The women behind the Black Power movement highlighted in lecture SKIP TO PAGE CONTENT

The women behind the Black Power movement highlighted in lecture

Ashley Farmer, an assistant professor in the departments of History and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, was this year's guest speaker at the annual African American Experience: An Invitation to Explore.


Angela Davis is a household name to those who grew up in the 1970s. She was known to many as a member of the Black Panther Party who was later acquitted of capital felonies including murder.

But during a talk at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas' Yowell Conference Room on Thursday night, Davis was explained as an intellectual woman, who authored books annually and has a doctorate from the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Ashley Farmer, an assistant professor in the departments of History and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, spoke of Davis and many other black women behind the Black Power movement during the annual lecture series sponsored by Texas A&M, Central Texas College and the Center for African American Studies and Research at CTC. Close to 325 people attended the lecture.

Farmer wrote "Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era," and the book is the first comprehensive study of black women's intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era.

The 288-page book, which was originally published in October 2017, examines how black women's intellectual, political and cultural contributions were integral of the movement.

Her lecture on Thursday gave a detailed synopsis titled "Black Women Intellectuals Who Transformed Black Power."

"The common idea is that black women were not really around during the Black Power (era), that it was a very male dominant and angry movement," Farmer told the Herald. "And the other common assumption (is) if the women were there, they weren't really thinking or coming up with ideas. A big part of my talk is challenging both of those ideas."

While Farmer's address featured black women, she told the Herald that all women should be respected as thinkers.

"We don't teach people that women at-large — white women, black women, Chicana women, whoever — are thinkers. They're doers," Farmer said. "And we herald the black women that did things but don't really herald their ideas or what they said. I'm thinking we are seeing a little bit better kind of adjustment to that especially with Black Lives Matter that is largely run by black women. So I think more black women are in the forefront but not everyone is being taken seriously as an intellectual."

The African-American Lecture Series is held annually and is rotated between CTC and A&M-Central Texas, according to Horace Grace, one of the organizers of the event. He is also the board chairman of CTC's Center for African American Studies and Research.

He told the Herald it's important to learn of black history, both past and present, to educate society's future, our youth.

"The whole goal here is to keep the memory alive," Grace said. "This is part of American history."