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Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant

Jacquelyn Grant was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, on December 19, 1948. Attending Catholic school at an early age, Grant then moved on to public schools, graduating from Howard High School in 1966. From there, she attended Bennett College, the Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and earned her Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Grant became involved with the Women's Studies Program at the Harvard Divinity School within the Women's Research Program in 1977. Her involvement there led to the creation of the Women's Studies in Religion Program, and she remained there until 1979. Grant founded the Center for Black Women in Church and Society at the Interdenominational Theological Center in 1981, where she continues to serve as director and professor. As a practicing minister, Grant has served as the assistant minister at Flipper Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1980 to 1982. She is presently the assistant minister at the Victory African Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

A successful author, Grant has written or edited several books, including White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response, the all-time best selling book released by Scholars Press, and her most recent book, Perspectives on Womanist Theology. Grant was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ministry Award in 1986 and has been nominated as the Woman of the Year in Religion by the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority. She also appears in Who's Who Among African Americans. Grant and her husband, the Reverend John Collier, live in Atlanta.

Accession Number

A2003.183

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/12/2003

Last Name

Grant

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Howard High School

Howard Adult Center & Optional School

Bennett College for Women

Interdenominational Theological Center

Union Theological Seminary

First Name

Jacquelyn

Birth City, State, Country

Georgetown

HM ID

GRA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Francisco, California

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/19/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Academic administrator, minister, and theology professor Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant (1948 - ) is the founder of the Center for Black Women in Church & Society.

Employment

Women's Studies in Religion Program, Harvard Divinity School

Black Women in Church and Society

Flipper Temple A.M.E. Church

Victory A.M.E. Church

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes her mother's beauty shop

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about lessons her mother learned while running her beauty shop in South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes her mother's training as a cosmetologist

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls her paternal grandfather's work

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant states her parents' names and talks about where they lived

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about her father's occupation, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about her father's occupation, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes the Geechee/Gullah dialect she heard growing up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects upon efforts to preserve Geechee/Gullah culture

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls her early memories of segregation and finding refuge in the church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls the neighborhood community center she grew up near and games she played as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls her elementary school years and controversy around the name of her high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls spending her lunch time with her best friend or reading alone during lunch

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls various teachers and receiving encouragement in her studies

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls her responsibilities at Arnett A.M.E. Church in Georgetown, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes the importance of the A.M.E. church in her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about attending a summer science program at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina as a high schooler

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about her studies and extracurricular activities at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about deciding to pursue work in the church

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains why she was interested in pursuing studies at seminary

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant argues that the A.M.E. Church was founded on theological differences

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains why she decided to study theology over Christian education

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls her professors at Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls beginning to consider questions about gender in theological study

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about HistoryMaker James Cone

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s lived religion

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant recalls beginning to consider questions about gender and theology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about the role of black women in the black church and challenging patriarchy through theological inquiry

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about black women's full participation in the black church, particularly as bishops

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about the Center for Black Women in Church and Society

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about programs within the Center for Black Women in Church and Society

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains womanism, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains womanism, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about divisions between black and white women in the abolitionist and women's suffrage movements

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains the need to articulate a specifically black feminism

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes her first book, 'White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes her first book, 'White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant challenges the notion of white theology as being normative

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects on prosperity and faith

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects on the relationship of womanism to black art and Afrocentric aesthetics

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about black people's reactions to seeing themselves in religious art

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant remembers a positive change in how black children viewed black religious art

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains the different arguments about the place of people of African descent in Christianity

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects on a summit on black religion that she participated in in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects on the need for interfaith and intra-faith dialogue

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant encourages viewers to learn the histories of unsung black women

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant talks about gay rights and the black church

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes how West African traditions have survived in black religion in South Carolina

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains her personal religious philosophy, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains her personal religious philosophy, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant lists and describes books she was developing at the time of the interview

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant describes the Geechee/Gullah dialect she heard growing up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina
Reverend Dr. Jacquelyn Grant explains the need to articulate a specifically black feminism
Transcript
Just off camera we were saying your family could be what we would call Geechees, right?$$Well we come from the area of--it's called Lowcountry, Lowcountry, South Carolina. Now we're from the City of Georgetown [South Carolina], but as I always say, all of Georgetown really is country, but technically, we come from the city, the town--in city area. But the areas, outlining areas, you know, the islands, Pawleys Island [South Carolina], Murrells Inlet [South Carolina], you know, right there on the--Sandy Island [South Carolina]. When I was growing up, the impression was that people from those areas were--the word that was used was Geechee, Geechee, Geechee. Now, to me what that has referenced to is a dialect though, a way of talking, a way of being. The dialects are quite clear, you know. I really think it's a--and you know, the Charleston area, particularly the John Island area, sea island area where you get the very heavy dialect that comes out of those areas. You know there are some who would say that you get some of that even in the towns, even in a place like Georgetown. But there's a heavy dosage of it that comes out of the--out of those islands You know, I don't know how to, I mean, outside of that context, there may be many who would say, you know, that you're all categorized in that. I recall my eighth grade teacher, English teacher, asking me where did you get your accent, where did you learn how to talk? I said, what do you mean, where I--I got it from my mother, I guess. And I said what did she mean, she said well, you don't sound--you don't talk like you come from this area. Well, at that point, eighth grade, I had never been out of South Carolina. And so I really had no idea what she was talking about. But she said, you don't talk like you came from this area. I'm assuming that that meant that I did not have the heavy dialect that you would find from persons coming from, you know, the surrounding areas, or even have some persons who are in the Georgetown context themselves. So it's really interesting too because there--I think when most people--when I was growing--when most people talk about that it's not--it's certainly not considered to be something to emulate. It's considered something to get away from. But the fascinating thing about it is that I really think that that dialect is one of the most beautiful--beautiful songs that you could hear anyway. I went to school at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and there was a classmate of mine from the Charleston area and she had such a beautiful melodic voice that was described as Gullah, you know.$$Now that's another word for that, Gullah, Geechee.$$Gullah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I don't understand how anybody could laugh at that. It was--it's so beautiful, you know, but of course you know, we live in a context where our culture is not always appreciated because we're taught so much that there's nothing of value in our own culture so we got to always seek to be like the other. But I think when we attempt to devaluate those aspects of our culture, we do ourselves a disservice. We can't see the beauty that's within our own culture.$You know, as I always say if the women's movement did not solve the woman question, certainly not for African American--for black women. If that were the case there would never have been a need for folks like Septima Clark or Fannie Lou Hamer or Dorothy Cotton or any of those African American women who were involved in voter registration movement or the freedom school movement in South Carolina or any of the other board of registration movements that were established throughout the south. Woman suffrage in 1920s meant white women's suffrage. It did not mean black women's suffrage, and so you still had in the decades to follow the very basic struggle for the right to vote for not only African American men but also African American women. You know so the tension has always been there. And it persisted even throughout the '60s [1960s] as the new wave of feminism got its start. Still toward the end of the '60s [1960s] and beginning of the '70s [1970s] you did not find a lot of participation of non-white persons in the feminist movement. During the Civil Rights Movement, yes, you did have the involvement of some white women in that movement then many of whom became disgruntled because of the sexism practices in the Black Power Movement itself. But even after some of those women made their exit, you know, there was still tension because many minority women interpreted the work and activity of these white women as basically middle class, white women seeking to advance the agenda of middle class white women, you know. And so the tension was always there. There were always problems with white women that women defined their movement and then coming back and backing up, you know, get some black--initially black then later on, you know, Asian and Hispanic women government, you know, to provide some color into the movement. But minority women never really participating at ground level in terms of defining the movement. That theory was always there and that why you had folks even when Black Women in Church and Society was initially established who were still in the "I'm not a feminist", but mode, you know. They would persistently say I'm not a feminist but and everything that comes after but are feminist issues. But the point is to make a distinction between what African American women were concerned about and what white women were addressing in their "white middle class movement."