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Cooperative Extension Clubs Empowerment of African-American Farm Women and Girls, 1928-1965

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Image: “Can all you can” – the motto of the Club members of Montgomery County. Auburn University Special Collections, Auburn, Alabama.

The 2021 Draughon Seminars in State and Local History presents Dr. Shari L. Williams on Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 at 10:00am. To receive a Zoom link, register at aub.ie/draughonseminars 

African American women played a crucial role in the Black Freedom Struggle in the United States, and one significant but overlooked contribution of their leadership development was participation in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Negro Cooperative Extension home demonstration and 4-H clubs. In addition to learning skills related to cooking, cleaning, canning, sewing and other domestic chores, many assumed leadership roles in Alabama neighborhood clubs and county-level councils, and, over time, club activities became an intergenerational emancipatory realm of personal fulfillment and citizenship rights consciousness. Focusing on Alabama from 1928-1955, and, especially, the life and work of Macon County’s Laura Randolph Day, Dr. Williams uses historical and genealogical research to explain how Daly’s work was grounded in and enhanced by existing Afrocentric kinship, community and religious beliefs and cultural practices.

Dr. Shari L. Williams is a historian of the modern American south. She is the executive director of The Ridge Macon County Archaeology Project which operates an interpretative center in Warrior Stand that offers educational programming focused on the history of the Federal Road through Macon County, multicultural migration and rural community development.

Draughon Seminars in State and Local History are a series of lectures sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. The series is funded by the Kelly Mosley Endowment in honor of Dr. Ralph B. Draughon, president of Auburn University from 1947 to 1965. For more information, please visit auburn.edu/cah.

SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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As the Bibb County Coordinator for Alabama Extension, Michelle Giddens coordinates the implementation of all Extension programs in Bibb County in many program areas. These program areas include 4-H and Youth Development, Animal Sciences, Food Safety and Quality, Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, Human Nutrition, Diet and Health, Family and Child Development, Family Resource Management and Workforce Development, Commercial Horticulture, Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests, Farm and Agribusiness Management, and Community and Economic Development. Her experience includes with the eXtension Initiative at the University of Nebraska and with the eXtension Foundation; California State University, Fresno and Central Community College in Grand Island, NE. She currently serves on the board for Brierfield Fire and Rescue, a volunteer fire department serving Brierfield and Six Mile communities in Alabama