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Honoring Black History Month from our Archives

by Jonathan Bloy on 2024-02-16T09:03:00-06:00 | 0 Comments

Compiled by Andrew Holbrook, Graduate Assistant

In 2001, Edgewood hosts a conference on Black women writers, featuring author readings, musical performances, book signings, and a panel discussion. Keynote speaker A'Lelia Bundles (below left), a journalist and news producer, had recently published a biography of her great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, who is widely cited as the first female self-made millionaire in the United States.

Attallah Shabazz (below right), daughter of Malcolm X, speaks at a Black History Month presentation in the Edgedome in 1990.

A'Lelia Bundles autographs a copy of her book for a woman and her two daughtersAttallah Shabazz speaking at a podium

In the 1960s and 1970s, Edgewood’s enrollment of Black students triples. African American students come not only from Madison and Milwaukee but also from Chicago, Miami, and San Diego. Many countries in Africa and the African diaspora are represented, with international students arriving from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Trinidad. 

Political activist, professor, and author Angela Davis presents an address entitled “The Struggle Continues” at a Women’s History Month event in 1992. She is pictured below with Jonathan Øverby, host of “The Road to Higher Ground” on Wisconsin Public Radio. Dr. Øverby is an Edgewood alum several times over, having earned both a master’s and a doctorate in higher education administration. Dr. Øverby later became Edgewood’s first-ever postdoctoral fellow and is a member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Angela Davis and Jonathan Overby in front of a group of peopleA letter from Chinosole Chitunda on San Francisco State University letterhead

Chinosole Chitunda returns to campus as a distinguished alum in 1986 to speak on “the progression of self and social awareness through literature.” After graduating from Edgewood, Dr. Chitunda earned a PhD at the University of Oregon and taught around the country – and the world. “I want to take my audience on a journey beginning at Edgewood, to New Orleans, San Francisco, Africa, of course, and back to the United States,” Dr. Chitunda wrote in a letter (above right) accepting the invitation to speak at her alma mater.

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