UD Author to Discuss Groundbreaking Biography of Mary Church Terrell, Early Advocate for Equality

September 30th, 2021 - 5:00 pm

The inspirational story of Mary Church Terrell – who was born into slavery and became a leading advocate for changing the culture and institutions that perpetuated inequality throughout the United States – is the subject of a History Book Festival program on September 30.

University of Delaware Professor Allison M. Parker will discuss Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) during a Zoom-based program beginning at 5 PM EDT. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

The program is free, but pre-registration is required; to reserve a spot, visit www.historybookfestival.org.

Terrell was one of the most prominent activists of her time, with a career bridging from the late 19th Century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s.

The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and W.E.B. DuBois. She also was a notable Black leader in the women’s suffrage movement.

Unceasing Militant is the first full-length biography of Terrell, bringing her vibrant voice and personality to life. Though most accounts of Terrell focus almost exclusively on her public activism, Parker draws on newly discovered letters and diaries to weave together the joys and struggles of Terrell’s private life with the challenges and achievements of her public, political career; the result is a stunning portrait of an often under-recognized political leader.

Alison M. Parker is Chair of the History Department and Richards Professor of American History at the University of Delaware. She has research and teaching interests in U.S. women’s and gender history, African American history, and legal history.

Parker majored in art history and history at the University of California, Berkeley, and earned her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. In 2017-2018, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Advanced Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University.

Her other books include Articulating Rights: Nineteenth-Century American Women on Race, Reform, and the State, and Purifying America: Women, Cultural Reform, and Pro-Censorship Activism, 1873-1933. She is co-editor of the University of Rochester Press book series on gender and race in American history.

Copies of Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell are available at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, the official bookseller of the History Book Festival. The book also may be purchased at biblion in Lewes. Books purchased at either shop come with a signed archival bookplate.

The September 30 program is part of the 2021 History Book Festival, which features noted authors of newly published historical fiction and nonfiction works. The virtual events will occur into November.

For a complete list of the upcoming presentations and detailed information on each program, visit www.historybookfestival.org.

Presenting sponsors of the 2021 History Book Festival are Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty.

In addition to the Lewes Public Library, the Festival’s online programs are supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries and Sussex County Libraries.

The History Book Festival, now in its fifth year, is the first and only book festival in the United States devoted exclusively to history.


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