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“Writers on Writing” Radio Show
November 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
About the Episode
Dr. Brenda M. Greene interviews Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, the author of In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit (Broadleaf Books, 2021). Drs. Greene and Pierce discuss the genesis for the book and its themes: womanism, spirituality, race, memory, and resistance. The chapters in Pierce’s book reflect her interweaving of theology and literature in her work and life. Chapters such as “The Work of Her Hands,” “Valley in the Shadow of Whiteness,” and “Holy Ghost(ly) Silences” speak to Pierce’s acknowledgement and celebration of the ways in which Black women’s wisdom and survival mechanisms, as well as many church women, have influenced her and continue to influence generations of Black women, men, and children. Her final chapter begins with the African proverb “Ancestors never die till there is no one to call their names.” Pierce has called upon the names of spiritual, literary, and activist leaders who have helped Black people to negotiate the world. Greene and Pierce also discuss her message for Black writers, scholars, and students.
About the Guest
Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, the author of In My Grandmother’s House, Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit (Broadleaf Books, 2021), is professor and dean of the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. She is the first woman to be appointed as dean in the Divinity School’s 150-year history. In 2016, Pierce served as the founding director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Previously, she served as the founding director of the Center for Black Church Studies and associate professor of religion and literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. Pierce holds degrees from Cornell University and Princeton University.
Pierce’s research specialties include African American Religious History; Womanist Theology; African American Literature; and Race and Religion. A widely published author, her work focuses on the historical and contemporary significance of the African American religious tradition. Pierce has written more than 50 critical essays and articles in academic and trade journals, which consider the relationship between religious faith, race, and gender in the American context. In addition to her teaching and academic scholarship, Rev. Dr. Pierce is a dedicated mentor, community activist, board member of a foster care agency, and cable news commentator.