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Black History Month: Eslanda Goode Robeson

Eslanda Goode Robeson. For full image, please visit: http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/hb7p3008gb/

Background

As Carol Boyce Davies has noted, black women have been consistently written out of accounts of black international radicalism. The life and work of Eslanda Goode Robeson is a case in point. Born in Washington, D.C. in 1896, Eslanda Cardozo Goode, or Essie as she was more commonly known, moved to New York City with her family as a young girl after the death of her father. An excellent student, she would go on to study at both the University of Illinois and Columbia University and was awarded a B.S. …

Black History Month: Lilian Masediba Ngoyi (1911-1980)

FEDSAW Women’s Protests, Pretoria 1956.

In 1954, Lilian Masediba Ngoyi took to the stage of the inaugural conference of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) and stated to the gathered group of multiracial delegates: “Let us be brave: we have heard of men shaking in their trousers, but who ever heard of a woman shaking in her skirt?” As the cheers, applause and laughter subsided, Ngoyi, a textile worker and mother of three from Orlando, Johannesburg, concluded her speech in typical fashion: with the declaration that all South African women, regardless of their race or background, should be willing …