Program Description: In this talk, Riché Richardson reflects on the life, activism and continuing significance of civil rights leader Rosa Parks. Richardson draws on the leader’s legacy and work with children to reflect on her own life path, mentors, and early community service work as a student at the historic St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, Alabama that established foundations for her current work as a university professor and artist who has continued to engage Rosa Parks in both writing and art. Richardson discusses her most recent book, Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body, which includes a chapter on Parks, along with Richardson’s body of art quilts featured in solo shows at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery in 2008 and 2015.
Bio: Riché Richardson is professor of African American literature in Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center who was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2001, she received a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her interviews have been highlighted in news media such as NBC’s The Today Show and Nightly News, CNN, Al Jazeera’s Newshour, and the New York Times. Her Op-Eds have appeared in the New York Times, Public Books and Huff Post. She has published nearly 40 essays in journals and edited collections. Her first book, Black Masculinity and the U.S. South: From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007), was highlighted by Choice Books among the “Outstanding Academic Titles of 2008.” Her new book, Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body, was published in 2021 by Duke University Press. She is the editor of the New Southern Studies book series at the University of Georgia Press. She is also a visual artist whose art quilts have been featured in several solo and national exhibitions.
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The views expressed by our speakers do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) or the Idaho Humanities Council (IHC).