Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sheryl Means - Sisters in the Struggle: The Long View of Black Women and Civil Rights

Greetings, Class Community.

Ms. Sheryl Means discussed the efforts of black women in the Long Civil Rights Movement.   Ms. Means' research extends from 1830 to present times. She also spoke of the efforts of many black women in the struggle for civil rights.

Ms. Means discussed many women and organizations, including:

from http://www.gayrva.com/news-views/remembering-dorothy-height/Dorothy Height

from http://www.blackpast.org/aah/combahee-river-collective-1974-1980

What portions of Ms. Means' lecture do you remember most?  Which one of the women mentioned impressed you the most?  Which his/herstories do find inspiring?


  1. While Ms. Mean's entire lecture was very informational and engaging, the portion that stood out to me was the timeline that she detailed. Ms. Means started with the year 1779 in South Carolina where black people were banned from any kind of literacy. From there she transitioned to 1881, which is the year Spelman College was founded, and then to1906/1908 when the first African-American Fraternity and first Sorority where founded. She talked of how revolutionary the evolution from not being allowed to develop any type of knowledge, to black people starting their own highly functioning organizations were. It amazed me that even with high levels of opposition at every turn black people were able to make huge advances in just over 100 years. Even though this information is out in the world and readily available, I didn't really realize how much ground was covered by African-Americans in such a short period of time until said information was outlined in this format.

  2. Ms Mean's had a very great speech and is a very intelligent women who really seemed passionate about the subject she was presenting. I think the part that stood out most to me was her involvement in greek life. I am a greek man myself and find it very easy to relate to someone who also wears letters. It was nice to learn about the African American greek organizations as I work very closely with NPHC organizations on UK's campus.

  3. I really did enjoy Ms. Means coming to talk to us because she offered a new perspective of the role women played in the Civil Rights movement. Before Tuesday, many of the women that she explained in her presentation I had never heard of or only heard about them in passing but never enough to really get a full gist of what they contributed to the Civil Rights era. I also appreciate the fact that Ms. Means stated that the Civil Rights movement started way before the 1950's and while it has gotten better, African-Americans still face many hardships when fighting for even the most basic human rights.

  4. I remember her talking with pride about african american sororities and fraternities. I remember her emphasizing the tight nit communities and support that african americans have. And that although men want to take credit, it was women that got them moving. The lady I remember Ms. Means talking about was Mary Bethune, I remember she said that under her voice Mary had a great bass that would carry and give power to her words. and that although she found being a black woman a great burden she most always found a way and pushed on.

  5. I enjoyed the speech Ms. Means given the class she talked about many women activist who had a role in the civil rights movement era. I had never heard of many of the women that she talked about about but I appreciated all the information we were given and I plan to look for more information about these women.

  6. There were a lot of women in Ms. Means lecture that I had not heard about or wasn't as aware about as I feel I should have been. The organization of her powerpoint made it easier to understand how black women as a whole have progressed and grown overtime and where it started. She brought to light a lot of the accomplishments of black women that are often overshadowed. Yes, these women were educated but they were also breaking barriers that no one else was. They were paving the way for our future (especially mine being that I am an educated black woman) and it is nice to see them get the recognition that they deserve. Also Ms. Means seemed very passionate about the subject which her lecture very enjoyable.