Black Women’s Conference highlights keynote speakers’ experiences
The African-American Studies Department held the Black Women’s Conference on Friday with the theme “Having Our Say: Claiming the Experiences of Black Women through Scholarship.”
LaRahia Smith, communication manager at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, said she was impressed by the speakers and the topics.
Smith said one lecture she liked was Prairie View A&M’s history professor Marcia Walker-McWilliams’ talk on “Writing Theory and Praxis.”
“(Walker-McWilliams) talked about intersectionality and basically how one activist brought all that together, and I thought that was very powerful,” Smith said.
Smith said she is excited about Walker-McWilliam’s biography and thinks that the memoir is going to be very powerful for her personal life as well.
Crystal Solores, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies junior, said she knew of keynote speaker Beverly Guy-Sheftall’s reputation for beginning conversations on problematic misogynists and figures of black masculinity. Solores considers her a black feminist writer.
“I’m really excited to hear her thoughts and learn from her experience of opening a resource center and building a community,” Solores said.
As a networking coordinator for the Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas, she came to see Sheftall speak about how she established the Women’s Resource Center and how she increased awareness in the community. Solores wanted to learn from her so she and her organization can increase awareness of trans Latinas in the Houston community.
“(The UH community) can come and learn from black feminists and the communities that they’re building and that conversations that happen here continue on to the future,” Solores said.
Smith adds she is very interested in the Black Women’s Conference because a lot of the topics being spoken about affect her personally.
“University of Houston’s such a diverse campus, and I think that the communicator is important, and I think this conference is giving me an opportunity to be able to speak on this topic in a more informed way,” Smith said.
Smith adds that the conference also allows her to engage with the black women in the student body because it’s important to be able to understand the different platforms.
Even if she is a black woman, Smith said, that doesn’t mean they all have the same experiences.
“This is a way to come together and talk about it,” Smith said. “This is a great educational opportunity and I’m really happy that the school put this on. These types of conversations are really important to have. “