2020 Centennial Celebration of the Women’s Vote
Paula Giddings Book Discussions
Friday, February 28, 2020; 2:15 to 4:15pm
Fairview Park Library
21255 Lorain Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44126
Facilitators: Dr. Dorothy Salem, Phyllis W. Benjamin
WHEN AND WHERE I ENTER: THE IMPACT OF BLACK WOMEN ON RACE AND SEX by Paula Giddings.
This “ is an eloquent testimonial to the profound influence of African-American women on race and women’s movements throughout American history. Drawing on speeches, diaries, letters, and other original documents, Paula Giddings powerfully portrays how black women have transcended racist and sexist attitudes – often confronting white feminists and black male leaders alike – to initiate social and political reform. From the open disregard for the rights of slave women to examples of today’s more covert racism and sexism in civil rights and women’s organizations, Giddings illuminates the black woman’s crusade for equality. In the process, she paints unforgettable portraits of black female leaders, such as anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, educator and FDR advisor Mary McLeod Bethune, and the heroic civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, among others, who fought both overt and institutionalized oppression. “When and Where I Enter” reveals the immense moral power black women possessed and sought to wield throughout their history—the same power that prompted Anna Julia Cooper in 1892 to tell a group of black clergymen, “Only the black woman can say “when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or patronage, then and there the whole….race enters with me.””
Friday, March 27, 2020; 2:00 to 4:00
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library
2345 Lee Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
IN SEARCH OF SISTERHOOD: DELTA SIGMA THETA AND THE CHALLENGE OF THE BLACK SORORITY MOVEMENT by Paula Giddings
Facilitators: Dr. Regennia Williams, Dr. Dorothy Salem, Phyllis W. Benjamin with the support of the CH-UH Library’s leadership.
This history of the largest block women’s organization in the United States is not only the story of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (DST), but also tells of the increasing involvement of black women in the political, social, and economic affairs of America. Founded at a time when liberal arts education was widely seen as either futile, dangerous, or impractical for blacks, especially women, DST is, in Giddings’s words, a “compelling reflection of block women’s aspirations for themselves and for society.”
Giddings notes that unlike other organizations with racial goals, Delta Sigma Theta was created to change and benefit individuals rather than society. As a sorority, it was formed to bring women together as sisters, but at the some time to address the divisive, often class-related issues confronting black women in our society. There is, in Giddings’s eyes, a tension between these goals that makes Delta Sigma Theta a fascinating microcosm of the struggles of black women and their organizations.
DST members have included Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, and, on the cultural side, Leontyne Price, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Judith Jamison, and Roberta Flack. In Search of Sisterhood is full of compelling, fascinating anecdotes told by the Deltas themselves, and illustrated with rare early photographs of the Delta women.
Convened by the Education Committee of the LWV GC