Interview with Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Beverly Guy-Sheftall is the founding director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College, where she has been a faculty member since 1971. She is also adjunct professor at the Institute for Women’s Studies at Emory University. Scholars and activists hold Beverly in high esteem as a pioneer of black feminism and an integral part of the movement to institute women’s studies in American academia. Through her scholarship, advocacy and action, Beverly lead the way to establishing a women’s studies program in a historically Black college. In 1980, Beverly co-edited and published the first anthology on Black women’s literature, “Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature”. Other seminal texts she has published include her dissertation “Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920” (1991); “Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought” (1995); and the anthology “Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality” (2001), of which she was co-editor. In 1983, Beverly co-founded SAGE: A Scholarly Journal of Black Women, a journal dedicated to the experiences of women of African descent, of which she was also co-editor. Most recently, she co-authored the book “Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American Communities” (2003). At Spelman, Beverly supports the development of student activism around social justice issues such as violence against women, reproductive rights and misogynistic visual representations.