Southern University Professors Highlight Black Women in History at Louisiana Historical Association

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Louisiana Historical Association invited Southern University professors to highlight black women in history.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how black women have shaped America.


Dr. Latrenda Williams-Clark says, “To be black and female in America means that we are ignored, silenced, sometimes erased.”


Southern University professors shared the untold stories of black women in history where the audience learned about Elizabeth Freeman and Harriet Robinson Scott.

“Of course, most people are familiar with the Dred Scott case, but they don’t know his wife, nobody really knows the pivotal part she played with him in that case, fighting for their freedom.”


The audience was encouraged to look at the dehumanization of African American women.

Clark says, “The feedback was amazing. I think everybody took away something, they learned something they didn’t know, whether it was a book or resources they could use.”


For the past 65 years, the Louisiana Historical Association has taught scholars to preserve history.

President of the Louisiana Historical Association Dr. Charles Pellegrin says, “We are all part of what has happened in the past so it’s extremely important for us as a people, as Louisianans, as individuals of various different interest groups, ethnic groups, to know our past.”


Historians and scholars took notes of the contributions black women have made.

Moderator and Professor Dr. Christy Garrison-Harrison says, “These women also created space, navigated, engineered, pioneered change but they’re most often not given credit because they are women, they are black women, or they were married to someone who was considered famous.”

LSUA Archivist Michelle Riggs-Waller says, “Black women have been so valuable, so instrumental, so foundational, into not only building this country but maintaining this country even through today.”


Race, class, and gender played a role in why their stories were not told.

Dissertation Coach Dr. Sherry D. Davis says, “To be able to hear them talk about women, black women specifically, and how they’ve been impacted by laws and legislation that limit and or marginalize their presence was very enlightening for me as a researcher.”


Integrating black history into everyday conversation was the goal of the historical roundtable.

The Louisiana Historical Association invites the public to join and learn about their programs.