175 Makers of History: Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Beverly Guy-Sheftall 84PhD
Professor, Spelman College

Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Beverly Guy-Sheftall began her academic career as an undergraduate at Spelman College at age sixteen. After graduation with honors, she attended Wellesley College for a fifth year of study in English. She received her master's degree in English from Atlanta University where her thesis was titled "Faulkner's Treatment of Women in His Major Novels."

After her first teaching position at Alabama State University, she returned to Spelman in 1971 as an English professor. Only four years later, Guy-Sheftall coauthored the first anthology of black women's literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature. Her Emory dissertation, "Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes toward Black Women, 1880–1920," was published as part of the sixteen-volume series Black Women in United States History.

The founding director of the Women's Research and Resource Center at Spelman, she holds the Anna Julia Cooper Professorship in Women's Studies. She recently completed a two-year term as the first black president of the National Women's Studies Association.