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Interview with Paula Giddings on the 150th Anniversary of Ida B. Wells' Birth

This summer marks the 150th year after the birth of Ida B. Wells, civil rights and women's rights activist.

Dr. Jonathan Judaken speaks with author and historian Paula Giddings,  author of three books on the social and political history of African American women: When and Where I Enter: The Impact on Black Women on Race and Sex in America, In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement, and, most recently, the critically acclaimed biography of anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, Ida: A Sword among Lions.

Giddings is also the editor of Burning All Illusions, an anthology of articles on race published by The Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000. She is also a former book editor and journalist who has written extensively on international and national issues and has been published by the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeune Afrique (Paris), The Nation, and the journals Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism and Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, among other publications.

Giddings will be at Rhodes College on October 29th as part of the Rhodes College's Communities in Conversation series, celebrating Ida B. Wells at 150.

Wells (1862-1931) came of age in Memphis, moving to the city in 1880. She was forced to flee Memphis for her anti-lynching journalism in 1892. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of this civil rights and anti-lynching activist pioneer. All events are free and open to the public.

On Monday, October 29 at 5pm the celebration begins with Mayor Wharton on campus to christen the new Memphis Center, publicly opening this major new institution at Rhodes College. The Memphis Center will act as the umbrella for all Rhodes programs that work within the Memphis community and research its history, including the Crossroads to Freedom Digital Archive, which collects documents and oral histories of those in Memphis involved in the civil rights movement.

A reception will follow in the Memphis Center. At 6:30 pm, a public reception will lead into the keynote address by Paula Giddings, who will give a lecture titled, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching in the Bryan Campus Life Center.

Giddings is Professor of African-American Studies at Smith College.

For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Judaken, the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities at Rhodes, at 901-843-3292 or judakenj@rhodes.edu.

For more information on the Communities in Conversation series at Rhodes, visit the Rhodes College website.

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