Opening Meeting Talk by Traci Parker

Who would have predicted that our Opening Meeting this year would be virtual, a webinar--there were no refreshments, no chatting with friends, no need to wear shoes? As unusual as this format was, the evening was a wonderful success. Most of us could not even see the other 50 attendees, but there was still a feeling of comradery and intimacy among us and the guest speaker Dr. Traci Parker.

This can be attributed to...

Kathy Campbell for figuring out her, and our, first Webinar; Adrienne Terrizzi for being the gracious moderator; Meg Gage and Andrea Battle for organizing and leading the Q&A; Marcie Sclove for inviting and introducing Dr. Parker as the speaker; and of course, Traci Parker, author and professor of African American Studies, whose talk was full of interesting facts, (Ever heard of the grandfather clause in voter suppression?) delivered in a serious, but natural, vibrant style reminding us that Black women didn't just become the leaders--they were always doing all the work!--and whose answers to a variety of questions were thoughtful and nuanced: "I have hope, [pause] I think, on racial and gender issues because my students are thirsty for knowledge and want to do something about it."

Guiding us through a history of the fight for Black voting rights: starting with Fannie Lou Hammer, then examples of voter suppression, the success of the Civil Rights Act, its passage and also its partial dismantling in the Roberts Court, Dr. Parker led us up to the present day detailing the continued curtailing of voting rights of people of color. Too many absorbing examples of the above topics to explain here (although my mind is longing to), but the meeting was recorded:

The Zoom host apologizes for the dropping of the first couple of minutes from the recording.

 

Adrienne Terrizzi

Tags: