Black | Women's History Matters

Alliances Amid Diversity

Recent surges of gendered, sexual, racial, religious, and economic violence lend new urgency to understanding how systems of gender and sexuality are intertwined with other modalities of social difference. In fall 2015 the Gender Institute launched new programs to illuminate the histories of women in conjunction with the histories of other oppressed and marginalized groups.


Liya Liu, a University at Buffalo Graduate Student in American Studies, has published the biographical interview she conducted during the conference with one of "the descendants", Dr. Carver Clark Gayton
It is published in a/b: auto/biography studies, a leading journal in the field.

Dr. Gayton recounts his family history as it intertwines with U.S. national history. He was a panelist at the conference and is a great-grandson of Lewis George Clark, a nineteenth-century black abolitionist. 

The full article can be found here: Interview with Dr. Carver Clark Gayton


In October 2015 the Gender Institute hosted a three-day workshop, "Reclaiming Our Ancestors," for which descendants of 18th and 19th-century antislavery authors and activists flew in from across the United States to discuss slave narratives, history, memory, and trauma. The principal goals of the workshop were to promote public (black) history and to support the participants’ educational, creative, and scholarly enterprises related to illuminating the legacies of slavery as well as the roots/routes of current forms of human trafficking and exploitation. Participants included descendants of Dred Scott, Solomon Northup, Venture Smith, William Grimes, Jeffrey Brace, Lewis Clarke, Moses Grandy, and other figures.

Learn more about this event in The New York Times and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered

RECLAIMING OUR ANCESTORS: Community Conversations About Racial Justice and Public History

In 2017 the UB Humanities Institute and the Gender Institute presented the second iteration of the Reclaiming our Ancestors conference. Acclaimed scholars and activists discussed how to democratize our imaginative, intellectual, artistic, and public landscapes through the inclusion of diverse histories. The galvanizing center of our conversations was an extraordinary group of descendants of prominent 18th- and 19th-century African American antislavery activists. Partnering with humanities scholars, the descendants will promote public engagement with and production of African American history through multiple media, including genealogical research, memoir, films, television, statuary, visual arts, museums, museum exhibitions, community foundations, celebration days, quilts, and food. In addition, activists, artists, and scholars from around the US and from the city of Buffalo discussed their work in fields of racial justice, city planning, and community-building.

This conference was made possible by the generous co-sponsorship of the UB Gender Institute as part of Gender Week, the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Departments of English, History, and Transnational Studies.


(L->R) Regina E. Mason, Carla L. Peterson, Annette Daniels Taylor, Charlotte-Ann Henay, Rebekah Williams