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The Life of Madie Hall Xuma Virtual Book Launch: Wanda A. Hendricks in conversation with Deborah Gray White and Glenda Gilmore

Event Type
University of Illinois Press
wifi event
Oct 26, 2022   4:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
University of Illinois Press Events Calendar

Join Wanda A. Hendricks, Deborah Gray White, and Glenda Gilmore to celebrate the release of Hendricks's new book The Life of Madie Hall Xuma: Black Women's Global Activism during Jim Crow and Apartheid on October 26 at 4pm ET.

About the book:
Revered in South Africa as an African American "Mother of the Nation," Madie Beatrice Hall Xuma spent her extraordinary life immersed in global women's activism. Wanda A. Hendricks's biography follows Hall Xuma from her upbringing in the Jim Crow South to her leadership role in the African National Congress (ANC) and beyond. Hall Xuma was already known for her social welfare work when she married South African physician and ANC activist Alfred Bitini Xuma. Becoming president of the ANC Women’s League put Hall Xuma at the forefront of fighting racial discrimination as South Africa moved toward apartheid. Hendricks provides the long-overlooked context for the events that undergirded Hall Xuma’s life and work. As she shows, a confluence of history, ideas, and organizations both shaped Hall Xuma and centered her in the histories of Black women and women’s activism, and of South Africa and the United States.
Learn more:

Wanda A. Hendricks is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of South Carolina.  She served as the National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) from 2003 to 2005, was a senior editor of the three volume Black Women In America: Second Edition published by Oxford University Press in 2005 and is currently an editor for the book series Women, Gender, and Sexuality in American History at the University of Illinois Press.  She has published a number of articles and essays including a recent essay on Black women and politics in the National Women’s History Museum’s anthology Determined To Rise: Women’s Historical Activism for Equal Rights published in August 2022.  Her books include Gender, Race, and Politics in the Midwest: Black Club Women in Illinois and the first biography of Black activist and intellectual Fannie Barrier Williams, Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race, that was awarded the Letitia Woods Brown prize.  The Life of Madie Hall Xuma: Black Women’s Global Activism during Jim Crow and Apartheid is the first biography of Hall Xuma.

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore is the Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History Emerita at Yale University. She was also in the African American Studies Department and the American Studies Department. Her books include Gender and Jim Crow:  Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1898-1920, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1920-1950, These United States: The Making of a Nation, 1890 to the Present, with Thomas Sugrue, and Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination: An Artist’s Reckoning with the South, published in May 2022. She is a Fellow of the Society of American Historians and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, The American Association of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Radcliffe at Harvard University. She is the current president of the Southern Historical Association.

Deborah Gray White is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a Distinguished Fellow at the Rutgers Institute for Global Racial Justice. She is author of Ar’n’t I A Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South; Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994; several K-12 text books on United States History, and Let My People Go, African Americans 1804-1860 (1999).  In 2008, she published an edited work entitled Telling Histories: Black Women in the Ivory Tower, a collection of personal narratives written by African American women historians that chronicle the entry of black women into the historical profession and the development of the field of black women’s history. Freedom On My Mind: A History of African Americans, a co-authored college text, is in its third edition. As a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C, and as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, White conducted research on her newest book, Lost in the USA: American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March.  She holds the Carter G. Woodson Medallion and the Frederick Douglass Medal for excellence in African American history, and was also awarded a Doctorate in Humane Letters from her undergraduate alma mater, Binghamton University. From 2016-2021 she co-directed the “Scarlet and Black Project” which investigates Native Americans and African Americans in the history of Rutgers University and is co-editor of the three part Scarlet and Black series that explores this history.

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