Media Advisory: Historian and Activist Barbara Ransby to Speak at Wake Forest

Historian, author and longtime political activist Barbara Ransby will deliver the 2016 Anna Julia Cooper lecture at Wake Forest University on Tuesday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Porter Byrum Welcome Center. Ransby’s lecture will discuss the terrain of the black freedom movement from Black Power to Black Lives Matter.

Ransby’s lecture is being hosted by the Anna Julia Cooper Center, an interdisciplinary center at Wake Forest University that supports, generates and communicates innovative research at the intersections of gender, race and place in order to ask new questions, reframe critical issues and pursue equitable outcomes. The Center is led by Presidential Endowed Chair and founding director Melissa Harris-Perry.

Each year the AJC Center hosts a distinguished scholar, activist or artist to address the University and broader community. Ransby will deliver the 5th annual Anna Julia Cooper lecture.

Ransby is the author of a multi award-winning biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker, entitled Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, and of a political biography of Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson, entitled Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson. She is currently a distinguished professor at University of Illinois at Chicago in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies and History. She also directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative at UIC. In addition to serving in administrative roles as department chair and interim vice provost for programs and planning, Ransby serves on the editorial board of the London-based journal, “Race and Class,” the advisory board of The Chicago Woods Fund, and a number of non-profit, civic and media organizations.

“The Anna Julia Cooper lecture has welcomed some of the nation’s preeminent researchers in recent years,” said Harris-Perry. “Barbara Ransby’s scholarship resides at the powerful intersection of activism and the academy, calling on both the more rigorous intellectual traditions and the most impactful organizing histories of black people in America. Her voice will add to what has been a truly extraordinary year of meaningful engagement here at Wake Forest University as our campus has chosen to collectively and repeatedly engage the most pressing issues of inclusion and justice facing our nation. The Anna Julia Cooper Center is proud to be part of this effort and to welcome Professor Ransby to campus.”

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

About Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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