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Live Author Appearance & Book Signing Celebrating Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey

All ages
  • About This Program

    Celebrate one of the Gantt’s founding mothers with Dr. Sonya Ramsey’s new book, Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, A Modern-Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership.

    The Gantt is proud to host a book signing for UNCC Women’s Studies Professor, Sonya Ramsey’s latest work. This program will feature an interview with Dr. Ramsey, facilitated by Dr. Shanna Benjamin, Professor of African American Studies at Wake Forest University.

    Following the interview, Dr. Ramsey will share impactful excerpts from the book to spark audience discussion. The book will be available for purchase at our museum store for personal signing from Dr. Ramsey. Our founding mother, Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey is scheduled to be in attendance, making the occasion a true celebration of her life and legacy.

  • About The Book

    This biography of educational activist and Black studies forerunner, Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, examines a life of remarkable achievements and leadership in the desegregated South. Dr. Sonya Ramsey modernizes the nineteenth-century term "race woman" to describe how Maxwell-Roddey and her peers turned hard-won civil rights and feminist milestones into tangible accomplishments in North Carolina and nationwide from the late 1960s to the 1990s.

    Born in 1930, Maxwell-Roddey became one of Charlotte's first Black women principals of a white elementary school. She was the founding director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Africana Studies Department and she co-founded the Afro-American Cultural and Service Center, now the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture. Maxwell-Roddey founded the National Council for Black Studies, helping institutionalize the field with what is still its premiere professional organization. She also served as the 20th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

    Ramsey illuminates the intersectional leadership strategies used by Maxwell-Roddey and other modern race women to dismantle discriminatory barriers in the classroom and the boardroom. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, A Modern-Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership offers new insights into desegregation, urban renewal, and the rise of the Black middle class through the lens of a powerful leader's life story.

  • About The Author

    Sonya Ramsey is a Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies and the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Ramsey is the author of several historical works, including the recently released Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, A Modern-Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership (University Press of Florida) and Reading, Writing, and Segregation: a Century of Black Women Teachers in Nashville, (University of Illinois Press).

    A sought-after speaker and research consultant on themes relating to education, desegregation, US History post-1877, Women’s and Gender Studies, and more, Dr. Ramsey served as a consultant or provided information for Axios, Charlotte Magazine, NPR, (National Public Radio),, and USA Today. A proud graduate of Howard University with a BA in Journalism, she also received a master’s and a Ph.D. in United States History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ramsey is a member of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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