Pioneering activism of Barbara Smith to be topic of panel discussion, March 31, 2015
Susan Arbetter to moderate discussion on the new book "Aint' Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith"
ALBANY, NY (03/18/2015)(readMedia)-- A celebration of pioneering activist Barbara Smith will be hosted by Rockefeller College, SUNY Press, and the NYS Writers Institute. Media personality Susan Arbetter of The Capitol Pressroom will moderate a panel discussion on the new book, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (2014), followed by a reception and book signing. Free and open to public, the event will begin at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Milne 200 on the University at Albany downtown campus, 135 Western Avenue, Albany. [Note: This is a rescheduling of the event from its original date of March 3, when it was cancelled due to the weather.]
Media personality Susan Arbetter of The Capitol Pressroom will moderate a panel discussion with Barbara Smith, and Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, editors of the new book, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith (SUNY Press, 2014). Immediately following the discussion there will be a reception and book signing.
Barbara Smith has played a groundbreaking role in opening and expanding our national cultural and political dialogues about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around brings to life the controversies, players, and strategies that expanded the definitions of freedom and liberation over four decades. As an organizer, writer, publisher, independent scholar, teacher, and most recently as an elected official, Smith has contributed to multiple freedom movements (Civil Rights, Feminism, Lesbian and Gay Liberation, Anti-racism, and Black Feminism). She offers a distinct lens on the nature of liberation struggles and the difficult art of building political movements that embrace and reflect our full selves.
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around is formatted as a reflective conversation through four decades of activism. Editors Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks were enlisted by Smith to explore her life from her childhood to her recent work as an elected official in Albany. They selected material from over two hundred articles, images, recordings, and a dozen original interviews. The book juxtaposes hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews, bringing to life the controversies, players, and strategies that challenged movements to expand their definitions of freedom and liberation. In a clear, accessible, and conversational style, the book engages readers in discussions of fundamental questions about the nature of social justice, integrity, accountability, and courage.
Scholar and activist Cornel West said in advance praise, "Barbara Smith is one of the grand pioneering and prophetic voices of our time. Her truth still hurts and heals!" Pioneering feminist Gloria Steinem said, "Barbara Smith is a creator of modern feminism as a writer, organizer, editor, publisher, and scholar.... She has shown us that democracy is a seed that can only be planted where we are."
Co-editor Alethia Jones is Director of Education and Leadership Development at 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and a former professor of public policy and politics. Co-editor Virginia Eubanks is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University at Albany, and author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age (2012). Barbara Smith is Public Service Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany. She served two terms as a member of the City of Albany's Common Council, and is the author of The Truth That Never Hurts: Writings on Race, Gender, and Freedom (1998).
For additional information go to: http://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/barbarasmith/index.shtml.