Historian Talks Achievements of Black Women

On March 24, the African-American Studies Department and the Meek-Eaton Archives center hosted an “African Achievements and Contributions” forum in Lee Hall Auditorium.

Renowned author, historian and pioneer of African American women’s history, Darlene Clark Hine served as the Keynote speaker. Hine is a professor of history at Northwestern University and explores the prominent figures in women’s history, along with the subjects of race, class and gender.

Hine’s presentation focused on black women and health care professionals before the civil rights era. She told students that history runs deeper than what is seen in the history books.

She spoke of Maude D. Callen, a prominent midwife who received recognition in her 40 years of practice in training hundreds of midwives. This was in a time where blacks were not afforded the same health benefits as whites, so women were delivering children on their own. Cullen studied at FAMU in the 1930s.

Hine wants students to have a greater appreciation about the struggles our grandparents and great grandparents had to endure.

“When you stand back and really look, ask yourselves how blacks survived. It was by their foundation, the women: nurses, midwives, etc,” said Hines.

The auditorium was filled with students from FAMU, TCC and FSU and at the end of the presentation there was a line of eager students ready to ask Hines questions and receive her advice.

“There is a great need for more scholars to come to the university,” said Professor Kevin Eidhal of the history department. “That’s our mission as educators, to introduce our students to the best of academia.”

“History is buried, and it’s our jobs to be the shovels,” Hines said. “Who is going to do the work?”