You have probably seen the posters around campus—the brightly-colored ones, made by Kristin Hardy, that read “Ain’t I a Woman.” It is an event that students do not want to miss out on if they are interested in the history of influential African American women.
This free-of-cost, one-night event will be held on March 12 and will include a lecture, performance and SNU Coffee Shop Conversation.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room in Webster Commons, University of Oklahoma’s Dr. Catherine John Camara will lead a lecture. During this time, she will discuss, among other topics, her studies on Zora Neale Hurston and the writer’s relationship with literature and cultural expression during her time.
Following Camara’s lecture, members of the Core Ensemble of Florida will provide a performance of Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” in addition to other performances that celebrate the strides made by Zora Neale Hurston, Clementine Hunter, and Fannie Lou Hamer. Core Ensemble is a performing arts group from Florida whose mission is to “[celebrate] diversity through chamber music theatre.” Actress Shinnerie Jackson will be accompanied by pianist Hugh Hinton. This portion of the event will begin at 8 p.m. in Herrick Auditorium.
To wrap up the evening of learning and celebration, SNU will host an Ain’t I a Woman Coffee Shop Conversation to discuss thoughts and new discoveries at 9:30 p.m. in the SNU coffee shop. The conversation will be led by a panel of Deanne Brodie-Mends, Bekah Barkocy, Nate Goodwin, and Mike Wilson.
This collection of events is truly a collaborative effort by all parts of the campus community. “We have funding coming from the Intercultural Learning and Engagement part of campus, Student Life and Student Development, the School of Music, from the Cultural and Communication Studies area and SNU Creative,” said Dr. Pam Bracken, Southern Nazarene University English professor.
Bracken also gave a special shout-out to her intern for events, Evetta Soma, who has worked tirelessly to aid in the planning and carrying out of the many moving parts involved in such a big project.
She excitedly anticipates this event because, she said, “I want students to be aware that they can make a difference in the world in which they live, no matter who they are. These women had everything against them, and they fought for rights for people. They fought for space for people to do their art or space for people to speak. No matter who we are, no matter what color we are, what gender we are, what ethnicity we come from, we can all make a difference. I think that’s so powerful.”
(Photo Courtesy of Kristin Hardy)