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Kathleen Thompson

It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the writer and educator Paula Giddings to the study of black women’s history. Possibly even more important is the role she played in disseminating that history to the American public. A rigorous scholar, graceful writer, and committed advocate of black women, Giddings was a writer of history who made history herself.

Paula Giddings was born in Yonkers, New York. Her father, Curtis G. Giddings, was a teacher and guidance counselor and, later, the first black firefighter in Yonkers. Her mother, Virginia I. Giddings, was also a guidance counselor. In an interview in Essence in 1995 Giddings said of her parents My father was the race conscious person in my family but it was my mother who gave me my voice She did this I know now by clearing a space where mywords could fall grow then find ...


Diane Todd Bucci

journalist, author, editor, and professor, grew up in Yonkers, New York. Her parents were Curtis G. Giddings and Virginia Stokes Giddings, and both were college educated. Her father was a teacher and guidance counselor, and her mother was employed as a guidance counselor as well. The family's neighborhood was integrated, and Giddings was the first African American to attend her private elementary school, where she was the victim of racial attacks. Even now, Giddings regrets that she allowed herself to be silenced by these attacks. This, no doubt, is what compelled her to develop her voice as a writer. Giddings graduated from Howard University with a BA in English in 1969, and she worked as an editor for several years. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at Random House from 1969 to 1970 and then she became a copy editor at Random ...


Maggie Gerrity

poet, editor, and teacher, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Azzie Young, a chemist and healthcare administrator, and Paul Young, an ophthalmologist. The family moved frequently during his childhood, living in the Boston area, Chicago, Illinois, and Syracuse, New York, before settling in Topeka, Kansas, where Young graduated from high school in 1988. After graduating from Harvard University with an AB in English and American Literature, in 1992 Young received a Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University. He went on to study at Brown University, where he studied with Michael Harper. He was the recipient of two fellowships from the MacDowell Colony in 1993 and 1995.

His debut collection of poems, Most Way Home, was selected for the National Poetry Series by Lucille Clifton and published in 1995; it received the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares ...