If you’re looking for a new podcast to indulge in this month, the “Black Women of Amherst College” is a must-listen. The six-part series celebrates the rich wisdom and experiences of Amherst college’s Black female alums, past, present and future.
In each episode, Amherst alumna and host Nichelle S. Carr highlights distinctive and influential contributions that Black women have made to the College, including the development of the Black Studies discipline and intellectual thought and campus activism. The podcast is envisioned as a “digital living archive to be preserved in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections.”
Interviews were conducted with many talented alumnae across faculty, students, and the administration. So far, legendary poet Sonia Sanchez and CNN anchor Laura Jarrett have been featured on the podcast. Sanchez was the first Black woman to join the Amherst faculty.
“This podcast is part of a larger storytelling project that will create a space for Black women to engage with the College that did not exist before,” Carr, who executive produced the series, said in a statement.
The project was heavily inspired by the 1999 book of the same name written by the late Mavis C. Campbell, a professor of history who taught at Amherst from 1977 to 2006. Telling the stories of Black women in academia is relatively rare but necessary.
As a part of exploring the history of Black women at Amherst College, the podcast also covers Black who impacted the Amherst community. Other notable mentions include iconic singer Nina Simone, who received an honorary degree from Amherst, and notable Black educator Anna Julia Cooper. Cooper. As principal of Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., the first public high school for Black students in the country, Cooper helped shepherd Black students into Amherst.
Michael A. Elliot, the president of Amherst College, gushed about the audio series following its release, saying in a statement:
“The stories in this podcast offer compelling testimony of the many ways in which Black women have been essential to Amherst’s pursuit of its mission to educate students in service to the greater good, and they remind us of the urgency of our work to create a truly inclusive campus community.”
About Nichelle S. Carr
Carr is the founder and lead producer at WC1 Studios. This production company aims to raise awareness of evocative and entertaining untold stories from diverse perspectives for global audiences across theater, television, and digital platforms. Carr also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA and is an executive officer of the Board of Directors of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. She graduated from Stanford Law School and holds a B.A. in Black studies and law, jurisprudence & social thought from Amherst College.
“We wanted to uncover the unknown, the unseen, the unheard stories of Black women of Amherst College,” says Carr of the podcast. “The work they’ve done, and the impact they’ve had, has helped Amherst College keep on the road to becoming the best version of itself.”
The “Black Women of Amherst College” podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, and all audio platforms. Listen to the show below.
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