Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Making Unconventional Choices

Making Unconventional Choices

More From Beverly

In this video

Tagged as

Guy-Sheftall shares the advice and encouragement she gives young women to plan the lives they want, no matter how unconventional. 

Beverly's Biography

 
Childhood Sspiration: To become a pediatrician.
Scholarly Streak:  Missed only three days of school between kindergarten and 12th grade.
Thesis Topic: “Faulkner’s Treatment of Women in His Major Novels”
Proudest Accomplishment: “Making feminism very attractive to young women.”

As one of the leading African-American feminist scholars of our time, Beverly Guy-Sheftall was instrumental in bringing the women’s studies movement to women of color, and the voices of women of color to women’s studies. Highlights from her forty-year academic career include the founding of the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College in 1981, and the co-founding of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women in 1983. She is an important figure in what she once described to Ms. Magazine as “the stunning tradition of black female intellectualism."
 
Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Guy-Sheftall has spent most of her adult life at Spelman College, the oldest historically black college for women. She entered Spelman as a student at the age of 16, where she studied English and secondary education. After receiving her Masters in English from Atlanta University and teaching briefly at Alabama State University, she returned to Spelman in 1971. She has taught there ever since, providing the leadership to create the first women’s studies major at a historically black college.
 
In that time, she has published a number of works on African-American women’s literature and feminism, including the first anthology on black women’s literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1980), which she co-edited with Roseann P. Bell and Bettye Parker Smith. She is the recipient of a Kellogg National Fellowship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Her most recent publication is Gender Talk: The Struggle for Equality in African American Communities [2003].

Related Videos

Tiffany Shlain
Tiffany Shlain
Filmmaker

Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, artist, founder of the Webby Awards, and co-founder of The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Her last four films premiered at Sun...

Pat Mitchell
Pat Mitchell
Television Pioneer

Pat Mitchell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Paley Center for Media in New York City and the former President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PB...

Barbara Burns
Barbara Burns
Coal Miner

Barbara Burns was one of the first female coal miners in the country and an ‘everywoman’ champion against sexual harassment in the workplace. The oldest of eight, Burns...

Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman
Journalist

Amy Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist. Host and executive producer of “Democracy Now!”, Goodman’s program delivers independent news to over 1,1...