Published March 23, 2021
Gary Earl Ross
Moderated by Dr. James Ponzo
Retired University at Buffalo professor Gary Earl Ross is an award-winning playwright, novelist, public radio commentator, and occasional actor and director. His plays include The Mark of Cain, The Guns of Christmas, The Trial of Trayvon Martin, The Scavenger’s Daughter, and Matter of Intent, winner of Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award. In addition to the Gideon Rimes mysteries (Nickel City Blues, Nickel City Crossfire, and the forthcoming Nickel City Storm Warning), his books include the short story collections The Wheel of Desire, Shimmerville, and Beneath the Ice, the children’s tale Dots, and the novel Blackbird Rising. Other honors include three regional Emanuel Fried Outstanding New Play Awards, a Saltonstall Foundation Playwriting Fellowship, a LIFT Fiction Fellowship, an ASI-DEC Fiction Award, two NYS AP commentary awards, and one NYS Broadcasters Association commentary award. Matter of Intent and The Scavenger’s Daughter, both African-American mysteries, have been made into transliterated films from CITOC Productions of Mumbai, India.
Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold
Moderated by Dr. Fatima Morrell
Dr. Seals Nevergold is an educator, administrator, community and political activist. A native of Louisiana, Nevergold moved to the East side of Buffalo, New York in 1947 with her parents. She is a graduate of the Buffalo Public Schools and received her doctorate in Counseling Education from the University of Buffalo. In 1999, she co-founded with Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram, The Uncrowned Queens Institute, to promote the collection and dissemination of the individual and collective histories of African American women and their organizations. Nevergold has authored several articles and books including: An Uncrowned Hero: The Untold Story of James Benjamin Parker, 2018; The Power of the Pen: CrusadingJournalist A.J. Smitherman Gave a Voice to His People, 2013; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks, editors. Go Tell Michelle: African American women write to the New First Lady, 2009; Nevergold and Brooks-Bertram, Uncrowned Community Builders: Preserving Regional History, One Person at a Time; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks. Uncrowned Queens: African American Community Builders Series, Vols. 1- 4, 2002-2007.
The African American Studies Department, SUNYAB is pleased to announce that Literary Critic, Feminist and Social Activist Barbara Smith will deliver the 2021 Endowed African American Studies Lecture. This program also received support from the Gender Institute.Barbara Smith is an author, activist, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She was among the first to define an African American women’s literary tradition and to build Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States. She has been politically active in many movements for social justice since the 1960s.She has edited three major collections about Black women: Conditions: Five, The Black Women’s Issue (with Lorraine Bethel, 1979); All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies (with Gloria T. Hull and Patricia Bell Scott, 1982); and Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, 1983. She is also the co-author with Elly Bulkin and Minnie Bruce Pratt of Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism, 1984. She is the general editor of The Reader’s Companion to U. S. Women’s History with Wilma Mankiller, Gwendolyn Mink, Marysa Navarro, and Gloria Steinem, 1998. A collection of her essays, The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom was published by Rutgers University Press in 1998. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith, edited by Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks with Barbara Smith was published by SUNY Press in November, 2014.Smith was cofounder and publisher until 1995 of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first U. S. publisher for women of color. She resides in Albany, New York and served two terms as a member of the Albany Common Council from 2006 to 2013. From 2014 to 2017 she served as the Special Community Projects Coordinator for the City of Albany helping to implement the Equity Agenda.Smith is the recipient of numerous awards including Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary degree from her alma mater Mount Holyoke College in 2019, the African American Policy Forum’s Harriet Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award, Lambda Literary Award for Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around and 2012; Women Who Make America” AOL/PBS and in 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. Brenda Moore
Moderated by Dr. Mopelolade Oreoluwa
Dr. Brenda Moore is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University at Buffalo, receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Moore has numerous publications, including several journal articles and a book entitled To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American Wacs Stationed Overseas During World War II. She has completed research for a forthcoming book, entitled Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military During World War II. Dr. Moore enjoys a wide range of scholarly interests, and served as a contributor to the edited book, African Americans and the Rise of the Post Industrial City, writing a chapter on the class status of Blacks in Buffalo.Dr. Moore has presented dozens of conference papers, served on several international, national, local community, and university committees, including the 1999 White House Initiative for One America sponsored by UB’s College of Arts and Sciences. Serving as the organizer and host for the event, Dr. Moore brought together concerned scholars, community leaders, students, and residents of Buffalo to talk about race and ethnic issues.
Dr. Lillian S. Williams
Moderated by Dr. Mopelolade Oreoluw
Lillian S. Williams, PhD, is Associate Professor and former chair of the Department of African American Studies. Prof. Williams received the doctorate degree from the University at Buffalo. A specialist in United States social and urban history, Prof. Williams’ research is in the areas of institutions, ethnicity, biography and women’s history. Her research includes the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Christian Associations and the National Urban League; Jewish club women; and Mary Burnett Talbert, an early twentieth-century reformer.She is the author of Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York, 1900-1940; editor of the Records of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, 1895-1992 and she is writing a biography of human rights activist Mary Burnett Talbert.
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