PD Dr. Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson (LMU/ GHI Washington D.C.): “From Sojourner Truth to Michelle Obama: Black Women's Role in the African American Freedom Struggle“

19.06.2012, 16:15 Uhr, U5/00.24

From the days of slavery to modern times, black women have played a significant role in the African American struggle for freedom and equality. But for a long time their contributions remained outside of the limelight of public attention and were neglected by historians. Based on recent scholarship and research, this lecture will discuss how essential the work of black women has been to the social, economic and political progress of African Americans since the 18th century.

Beginning with a look at the activism of black women who fought against slavery and segregation before World War II, this talk will continue to explore the role of black female leaders in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, with a special focus on gender relations in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The final part of the presentation will offer a brief look at the current situation and some thoughts on the significance of Michelle Obama as the first African American First Lady of the United States.

Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson is deputy director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. Her main research interests are African American Studies, Transatlantic Relations, Gender and American Religious History. She taught American History at the University of Munich from 1994 to 2011, and has been a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at numerous European and American Universities. Among her publications are From Protest to Politics: Schwarze Frauen in der Bürgerrechtsbewegung und im Kongress der Vereinigten Staaten (1998), Europe and America: Cultures in Translation (2006), Gegenspieler: Martin Luther King & Malcolm X (2000, 62010); Christian Science im Lande Luthers: Eine amerikanische Religionsgemeinschaft in Deutschland, 1894-2009 (2009), and Dreams and Nightmares: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and the Struggle for Black Equality in America (2012).