Black History Month PROFILE: Ella Baker

Born in 1903, Ella Baker was the granddaughter of a rebellious slave. She  began her involvement with the NAACP in 1940. In 1955 she co-founded the  organization In Friendship to help raise money to fight Jim Crow laws in  the deep South. Two years later, she moved to Atlanta to help with the  organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. After a  group of black college students held the first sit in at a café in  Greensboro, North Carolina, Ella Baker decided that she wanted to help the  new student leaders. She held a meeting at Shaw University for student  leaders of the sit-ins. It is from this meeting that SNCC, the Student  Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was born. SNCC was an important part of the Civil Rights movement over the next decade. Ella Baker continued to  support and advise SNCC, although she left its leadership in the hands of  the students. SNCC became one of the foremost advocates for human rights  in the country.

During the remainder of her life, Ella Baker stayed an active activist,  and was involved with a variety of movements. During the 1970’s she  supported the “Free Angela” campaign that demanded the release of Angela  Davis. She also supported the Puerto Rican independence movement and spoke  against apartheid in South Africa. Ella Baker worked with a variety of
women’s groups, like the Third World Women’s Alliance and the Women’s  International League for Peace and Freedom.

“Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone, but for the freedom of the human spirit a larger freedom that encompasses all

- Maria Etienne ’13

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Is Black Hair Still Political?

We’ve focused the spotlight during this black history month on Lori L Tharps as she guides us through the question…

Meet Lori. L Tharps, a self-described writer, author, professor, Mother, and Multicultural Maven. She is currently an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University and a freelance writer who is generally interested with stories concerning cultural intersectionality and identity formation.

Her latest book, Kinky Gazpacho, takes on the very concepts she is most passionate about as she navigates the reader through her journey as a black woman traveling and finding love in Spain. It is her memoir that reads as a travel essay and love story. Within this charismatic and heartfelt book, Tharps strikes a chord of the black women’s self-understanding through her experience with hair.

Lori has co-written HAIR STORY: UNTANGLING THE ROOTS OF BLACK HAIR IN AMERICA alongside Ayana D. Byrd. Here’s what she has to say about it!

It’s been eight years since Hair Story’s debut, but the conversation continues about Black hair in America. Is it okay to go natural? Is Black hair still political? Why is nappy a naughty word? Still relevant today, if not more so with a Black first family in the White House, Hair Story contextualizes, demystifies and explains the significance of Black hair in American popular culture. With chapters that cover the history, politics, culture and business of Black hair, Hair Story should be required reading for every American.”

For Tharps, black hair has and continues to influence the American cultural landscape through and around popular trends. Follow her on facebook and her blog My American Melting Pot. Sounds good? Tell us what you think!

Stephanie C ’11

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NO-vember like SEX-vember!

Hello readers! This is Misha again, and I am going to update you on  what’s been happening in the Women’s Center this month!

November was themed as Sex-Vember as our events catered to sexuality, sexual health and sex education….

To start the month we partnered with FAB (‘Fords Against Boredom) to host FAB Quizzo! This had a great turn out. The middle round of questions focused on sexual health and the WC gave a way a slamming bonus prize: $50 gift card to Milkboy!

Next up…. There were TWO workshops held by Juicy Justine (sex educator), Rough Sex for Beginners and a Pleasure workshop. These events turned out to be Tri-Co as the crowd expanded and with students from not only Haverford but also those from Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore!

Here are some photos from Justine’s Rough Sex Workshop::

People poured into the Multicultural Center

People poured into the Multicultural Center

Justine gave a very informative lecture for the first half of the workshopJustine gave a very informative lecture for the first half of the workshop

A willing volunteer...

…followed by some demonstrations with willing volunteers!


From our point of view as a staff and judging by the audience’s responses, the night was a GREAT SUCCESS! We are happy that we help to provide an event that was both fun and educational (note Karina and Cara’s huge grins)!

Later in the week, world renowned poet and activist, Stacey Ann Chin performed in Founder’s Common Room. When Chin read her excerpts from her new book ‘The Other Side of Paradise’, the audience was taken back in time to Jamaica in the 70′s as Chin spun tales of a young biracial (Black and Asian) woman exploring her racial, gender and queer identities. Hopefully Chin was make a reappearance at Haverford soon!

The following week we held a Sex Toy Raffle in the Dining Center. This was also an educational moment for the student body. The raffle was free and the toys were arranged in themed baskets according to sexuality and ranging from edible goodies like Pasta to G-Spot stimulators. The winners of the raffle will be announced on November 22nd!

Our last event was SpeakOUT a pluralism-style, safe space to speak about rape & sexual assault. This biannual event is open to the whole community, survivors, and allies to talk about their personal sentiments on these topics.

AND THAT FRIENDS, concludes Sexvember! It was a great month, with well attended events, excellent guest speakers and a moment for the campus to focus on sex education.

See you next month with more themes and events!


WC Staff

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What Exactly Is the Women’s Center?

…and how is it different from some of the other organizations on campus, like Women of Color and Women in Action???

I’m ever so glad you asked, O internet. Actually, we get this question all the time.

Here, look at this picture we drew for you:


Like WiA, Women of Color is a student club that is open to women (all women!). The heads of Women in Action this year are Maya Barlev (mbarlev) and Meg Bishop (mdbishop); the heads of Women of Color are Hilary Malson (hmalson), Kristin Tan (ktan), and Misha Baker (mbaker – who, incidentally, is also a supafantastic Women’s Center staff member). Email any of them to get involved!


WC staff

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Hello Everyone,

Welcome back to our blog! My name is Misha and I am a staff member at the wonderful Women’s Center at Haverford.

We have a full medley of events for this semester to keep everyone occupied, interested and hopefully excited! I will write out some of them here but be on the look out for a full calendar coming up!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this occasion we will table at the DC with breast cancer  and (testicular cancer too) self-check pamphlets. Please stop by to pick one or two up and have a chat with the staff member tabling. Hopefully we will borrow a piece a ‘Breast in a Box’ set. I know that might sound creepy but it’s actually really informative and offered me a sense of relief when I first came across it when I was first year student. Essentially it’s a pair of breasts, one is healthy and the other has a tumor. The point is to give women an idea of what a cancerous tumor may feel like. Of course it is not a solution but it’s a step, women should still continue to check themselves after their period!

In addition, we will have more movie nights, as well as random nights for tea and coffee and general relaxation, and maybe even an art day!

…THEN on to SEXvember! WOO HOO!

For this month we will partner up with FAB (‘Fords Against Bordeom’) for a Sexual(ity) Health Trivia: How much do you know? This will be your chance to win cash and other prizes!! Don’t miss it.

As usual, we will also include a Sex Toy Raffle in the Sunken Lounge of the DC, we will flyer for this event so you will get a heads up.

To make things even better we recently booked an excellent and experienced Sex Educator to hold TWO workshops open to the entire student body.

Last but definitely not least, the women’s center will hold a Speakout event where women and men alike can come to support, listen and speak out about rape and sexual assault.

**Please stay tuned for dates and additional information. You can check your email or come back here for more information**

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