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Beverly Guy-Sheftall

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Information about Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Profile image of Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Black Women\'s Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Lobster, Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Mexico, Italy
Favorite Quote:
I Freed A Thousand Slaves And I Would Have Freed Many, Many More If They Knew They Were Slaves.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1946
Birth Location:
Memphis, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Black Women\'s Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange
Favorite Food:
Lobster, Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
April
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Mexico, Italy
Favorite Quote:
I Freed A Thousand Slaves And I Would Have Freed Many, Many More If They Knew They Were Slaves.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1946
Birth Location:
Memphis
See how Beverly Guy-Sheftall is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Academic administrator and black women's studies professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall was born on June 1, 1946 in Memphis, Tennessee to Walter and Ernestine Varnado-Guy. Reared by her mother, who supported her three daughters by teaching math and later, working as an accountant, Guy-Sheftall was taught to work hard on her studies and to prepare for an independent, productive adulthood. Guy-Sheftall graduated with honors from Manassas High School in 1962, at the age of sixteen. That same year, she entered Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. There, Guy-Sheftall majored in English and minored in secondary education. After earning her B.A. degree in 1966, she moved on to Wellesley College for further study. Guy-Sheftall completed her M.A. degree requirements at Atlanta University in 1970.

In 1971, Guy-Sheftall returned to Spelman College as an English professor. She decided to help broaden the Women’s Studies Movement to include issues pertinent to African Americans. Guy-Sheftall began editing books of literature by African American women and publishing articles about black feminism. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes toward Black Women, 1880-1920”. Rarely are dissertations published in quantity, but Guy-Sheftall’s was, appearing in 1991 as a volume in the series Black Women in United States History. She received her Ph.D. in 1977 from Emory University. Two years later, Guy-Sheftall co-edited Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature, the first anthology of African American women’s writings.

In the early 1980s, Guy-Sheftall helped to establish two seminal resources for Black Women’s Studies. The first was Spelman College’s Women’s Research and Resource Center which she founded and served as the director for over two decades. The second was the periodical SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, which Guy-Sheftall co-founded with Patricia Bell-Scott. Her other books include Double Stitch: Black Women Write about Mothers & Daughters, which she co-edited with Bell-Scott; Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought and Gender Talk, which she co-authored with former Spelman College president Johnnetta B.Cole.

As a testament to her intellectual prowess, Guy-Sheftall was awarded Spelman’s Presidential Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. She was also named to the Anna Julia Cooper Professorship, an endowed chair in the English Department that honors the daughter of a slave who earned a doctorate degree from the Sorbonne, in Paris. In addition to these accolades, Guy-Sheftall was a recipient of the Kellogg and Woodrow Wilson Fellowships.

Guy-Sheftall resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2007.

See how Beverly Guy-Sheftall is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Beverly Guy-Sheftall's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her childhood homes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her mother's feminist views
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her father's personality and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her parents' education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the black business community in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall lists her siblings and extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Manassas High School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her family's holiday celebrations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her high school prom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her experiences in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her first impression of Spelman College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her professors at Spelman College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about majoring in English
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her social activities in college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her early teaching career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers teaching at Alabama State University and Spelman College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls founding the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spellman College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Audrey Lorde and Toni Cade Bambara
  • Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers Johnnetta B. Cole
  • Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes the 'Double Stitch' anthology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her edited volumes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her doctoral dissertation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her anthologies
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers her marriage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her career at Spelman College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her involvement in women's organizations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the Black Women's Health Imperative
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the protests against misogyny at Spelman College, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls the protests against misogyny at Spelman College, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the importance of feminism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her academic publications
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls editing SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her fundraising plans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Beverly Guy-Shefthall remembers her international travels
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her international doll collection
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall remembers studying Native American women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her experiences in India
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall recalls her travels in Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about her creative interests
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her decision not to have children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall talks about the future of the Women's Research and Resource Center
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Beverly Guy-Sheftall reflects upon her legacy