Lecture: From Tragedy to Triumph: Black Girlhood in the Late 19th Century
Wednesday, January 16
7:00pm – 8:00pm
This lecture is free and open to the public
Presented by Dr. Nazera Sadiq Wright, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky
Scholars such as Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ellen Gruber Garvey, and Jasmine Nichole Cobb explore how nineteenth-century scrapbooks and friendship albums circulated among free black women in the North to showcase their middle-class status and close networks. However, little is known about how black girls participated in this sentimental practice. This lecture explores the significance of signatures and inscriptions written in two autograph albums from the second half of the nineteenth century in the Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning Collection at the Library Company of Philadelphia. The autograph albums belonged to two sisters, Miranda Cogdell Venning (1862–1900) and Sarah (Sallie) Sanders Venning (1872–1959). Dr. Wright will discuss the wide-ranging impact that early friendships, alliances, and associations had on the Venning sisters’ intellectual and political development.
This program is supported in part by the Library Company’s McLean Contributionship Educational Outreach Initiative, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. The McLean Contributionship Educational Outreach Initiative was funded through the Endowment Campaign for the Program in African History.
The Program in African American History brings together scholars and interested members of the public to explore and discuss every aspect of the experience of people of African descent in the Americas from the beginnings of European colonization through 1900. For more than forty years, the African Americana collections of the Library Company have helped nurture and sustain rich scholarship that has added dramatically to our knowledge and understanding of that experience—and public exhibitions, lectures, and programs have sought to involve the broadest possible audience.