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Guide to the Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection
MS 152  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection includes contributing authors’ manuscripts and correspondence, history and records of the group, and audio recordings. The collection documents the creation of the organization’s 1997 publication, Black Women Stirring the Waters .
Background
Black Women Stirring the Waters is a black women’s discussion group founded in 1984 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group was conceived by Clara Stanton Jones, the first African American to head the public library of a major city and the first African American president of the American Library Association, and Aileen Clarke Hernandez, activist, and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The group was organized with no formal structure, no taboo subjects, and no requirements for membership other than an interest in the dialog. Black Women Stirring the Waters takes its name from a quote attributed to the 19th century abolitionist, Sojourner Truth. The group has a large roster of members from six Bay Area counties ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-nineties; bi-monthly meetings are held to discuss the perspectives of black women on a multitude of subjects. In 1997, forty-four members of the group published a collection of autobiographical memoirs discussing ways they have dealt with obstacles and have grown in their lives and careers.
Extent
.75 linear feet (2 boxes)
Restrictions
Permission to publish from the Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.