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Paula Giddings

Paula, journalist, editor, college professor, feminist

Paula Giddings is the author of IDA: A SWORD AMONG LIONS--Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching (Harper/Collins 2008). Twenty years in the making, it is the definitive biography of its subject.


She is also the author of a "landmark study" on the political and social history of Black women: When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America. An alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the book was called "A labor of commitment and love...a jarringly fresh interpretation" by The New York Times; and "the best interpretation of Black women and race and sex that we have" by the Women's Review of Books. It has been translated into Japanese and Dutch, anthologized in The Course of American History and is used in college classes throughout the country.

Ms. Giddings second book, In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement was published in 1988. Comments on the book were also very positive. The Los Angeles Times said "(the book)... succeeds as a detailed study of an organization that has touched the lives of some of the most prominent Black women in America" and Booklist stated that "Giddings has done a solid job of research; her easy style makes the story clear and fascinating."

In addition, she has edited Burning All Illusions: Writings From the Nation on Race.

In 1986, Paula Giddings was named the United Negro College Fund Distinguished Scholar, and taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1986-87 and 1991-1992 school years. From 1989 to 1991, she held the New Jersey Laurie Chair in Women's Studies at Douglass College/Rutgers University. In 1992-1993, she was a Visiting Professor at Princeton University. In 1993, Ms. Giddings was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. From 1993-1995, she was a Fellow of the National Humanities Center in Research Park Triangle, North Carolina. In 1995-1996, she was named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and from 1996-2001, she was Research Professor of Women and African American Studies at Duke University. Currently, she is a professor at Smith College.

In addition she has been a Judge for the National Book Awards; on the Council of the Author's Guild of America; an Alternate for the National Humanities Center Fellowship Competition; an Advisory Board Member, Global Women's Studies Program, Hunter College (NY); a Fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women; a member of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Black Affairs in New York State; Contributing and Book Review Editor for Essence Magazine, and a board member of P.E.N.

Ms. Giddings is a graduate of Howard University (1969) who worked for Random House before becoming an editor at Howard University Press. Subsequently she was named Paris Bureau Chief for Encore American & Worldwide News. During her career, she has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation and Jeune Afrique (Paris), among other publications. Paula Giddings has received a Ford Foundation grant and awards from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, The NY Urban League, the Westchester Black Women's Political Caucus and the Howard University Alumni Club. In 1990 and 1995, she received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Bennett College and Wesleyan University, respectively.

Suggested Lecture Topics:
1. Ida B. Wells and the Beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
2. The Historical Role of Black Women in America
3. The Challenge of Pluralism and Diversity

Back to:
African-American History
Diversity Issues
Political Issues
Social Issues
Women's Issues

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