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Noted Historian Will Explore “What Black Women Want” in Nov. 1 Lecture

For release: October 18, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

Deborah Gray White
Deborah Gray White

“What do black women want?” Acclaimed historian Deborah Gray White will address this question during her lecture “Brown Sugar Melts: African-American Women at the Turn of the Millennium” on Thursday, Nov. 1, in the University Center Theatre on the University of Memphis campus. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:30. The event is free and open to the public.

White will explore ideas about marriage, family, gun control, and men from the unique experience of black women in America. Her research examines black women’s ideas about nationhood within the context of black and white America, giving voice to their anxieties and expressing their particular sense of belonging.

White is the Board of Governors Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her most well-known publication is her first book, Ar’n’t I A Woman?” Female Slaves in the Plantation South. Her other books include Let My People Go: African-Americans, 1804-1860 and Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994.

White’s lecture is the keynote address for the 14th Annual Conference of the Graduate Association for African-American History at the University of Memphis. This conference is organized by graduate students in the Department of History and attracts scholars of African-American history from across the nation and the globe. The conference includes panel discussions from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. For more information on the conference, visit

The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, the Program in African and African-American Studies, Student Event Allocation and the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities.

For details, contact Dr. Arvin Smallwood at 901-678-3869 or,

or Dr. Ernestine Jenkins at 901-678-3450 or

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