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Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–

Johnnetta B. Cole 1936

Educator, anthropologist, writer

Discovered Anthropology By Accident

Conducted Anthropological Studies Abroad

Became President of Spelman College

Moved on From Spelman

Returned To Administration At Bennett

Selected writings

Sources

Johnnetta Cole has been many things in her long career: an anthropologist, a teacher, a college administrator, and even an author. But to most people, she will be remembered for her groundbreaking work at Spelman College, one of the oldest and most respected institutions of higher learning for black women in the United States. She became Spelmans first female black president in 1987 and during her ten-year administration she proved to be a dynamic administrator, an energetic fundraiser, and a source of inspiration to both faculty and the student body. At a time when historically black colleges were deemed obsolete by some commentators, Cole emerged as one of their most passionate advocates. She has since gone on to teach anthropology and African American studies at Emory University and once again took the reigns as the president of a traditionally womens black college when she became the president of Bennett College in 2002. Discussing womens black colleges with an interviewer from Dollars & Sense, Cole stated that students are often attracted to these institutions by the ambiance, by the affirming environment, by our insistence that African American women can do anything that they set out to do.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole was born on October 19, 1936, in Jacksonville, Florida. Higher education and high standards of achievement are traditions in Coles family. In 1901 her great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, cofounded the Afro-American Life Insurance Company of Jacksonville, Florida. That business grew and thrived, eventually employing both of Coles parents, each of whom had graduated from a black college. Her mother had worked as an English teacher and registrar at Edward Waters College prior to becoming a vice-president of Afro-American Life Insurance, and it was assumed that Johnnetta would also join the family business after completing her education.

Discovered Anthropology By Accident

Johnnetta was precocious, finishing high school by the age of 15. She earned outstanding scores on an entrance examination for Fisk Universitys early admissions program and began studying there in the summer of 1952. Her stay at Fisk was brief, yet pivotal. While there, a world of intellectual endeavor far beyond anything shed experienced in Jacksonvilles segregated schools was revealed to her. She had frequent contact with Arna Bontemps, the noted writer who also held a job as Fisks librarian. Seeing this respected author in a work setting was important to her because, as she later wrote in a McCalls column, When our heroes are portrayed as bigger than life, living, working, accomplishing beyond the realm of the normal, when they are depicted as perfect human beings, they are placed so far from us that it seems impossible that we could ever touch them or mirror who they are in our own lives.

After just one year at Fisk, Cole was eager to move on to new horizons. In 1953 she transferred to Oberlin College, where her sister was majoring in music. Seventeen-year-old Johnnetta was by then tightly focused on a career in medicine, but an anthropology course (taken to fulfill a liberal arts requirement) and its

At a Glance

Born Johnnetta Betsch Cole on October 19, 1936, in Jacksonville, FL; daughter of John, Sr. (an insurance company employee) and Mary Frances (an educator, registrar, and insurance company vice-president) Betsch; married Robert Cole (an economist), 1960 (divorced, 1982); married Arthur Robinson, Jr. (a public health administrator), December 1988; children: (first marriage) David, Aaron, Che. Education: Oberlin College, BA, 1957; Northwestern University, MA, 1959, PhD, 1967.

Career: Washington State University, assistant professor of anthropology and director of Black Studies, 1967-70; University of MassachusettsAmherst, professor of anthropology and Afro-American Studies, 1970-83, provost of undergraduate education, 1981-83; Hunter College of the City University of New York, Russell Sage Visiting Professor of Anthropology, 1983, professor of anthropology, 1983-87, director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 198487; Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, president, 198797; writer, 1988; Emory University, Presidential Distinguished professor, 199902; Bennett College, president, 2002.

Selected memberships: National Council of Negro Women; American Anthropological Association, fellow; board of directors, Global Fund for Women; board of directors, Points of Light Initiative Foundation.

Selected awards: Elizabeth Boyer Award, 1988; Essence Award in Education, 1989; inducted into Working Woman Hall of Fame; Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award and American Woman Award, 1990; Sara Lees Frontrunner Award, 1992; numerous honorary degrees.

Addresses: Office Office of the President, Bennett College, 900 E. Washington Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.

enthusiastic instructor changed her direction permanently. On my own little track, I would have simply taken my science courses, and never would have taken a class with George E. Simpson. This white American professor played Jamaican cult music in the classroom, jumping up and down, beginning to hyperventilate, talking about African retentions in the New World! This is what anthropologists try to understand, said he. Good-bye, premed and hello, anthropology! said I, Cole was quoted as saying in a Ms. magazine article.

After earning her bachelors degree in anthropology at Oberlin in 1957, Cole went on to graduate study at Northwestern University. There she worked under noted anthropologists Paul J. Bohannan and Melville J. Herskovits. To her surprise, she also fell in love with a white graduate student in the economics program. It was not my plan to fall in love with Robert Cole, she remarked in Ms. And I doubt seriously that this man coming from an Iowa dairy farming family intended to fall in love with a black woman from Jacksonville, Florida. Nevertheless, the two were married. Robert Cole shared his wifes fascination with Africa, and after their wedding day, they traveled to Liberia to work cooperatively on research that would form the basis of both their dissertations.

Conducted Anthropological Studies Abroad

Cole did anthropological field studies in villages while her husband conducted economic surveys of the area. She has stated that the experience of living in Africa imparted a unique perspective to her and her husband that helped their interracial marriage endure for more than twenty years, despite the fact that they returned to the United States at the beginning of the black power movement. It was a time when for many black folk interracial marriage was a problem, she was quoted as saying in Ms. But perhaps because I was working largely in an academic setting, with students, it was not just manageable, it was all right.

By 1967 Cole had completed her dissertation, Traditional and Wage Earning Labor in Liberia, received her Ph.D. from Northwestern, and joined her husband as a faculty member at Washington State University. Beginning as an assistant professor of anthropology, she went on to become a key player in the creation of the schools Black Studies program, also serving as director of the program. In 1970 Cole and her husband moved to New England, where she had been offered a tenured position at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She spent 13 productive years there, developing the existing Afro-American Studies program, increasing the interaction between her school and the others in the Connecticut River valley, teaching courses in anthropology and Afro-American studies, and serving as provost of undergraduate education.

Coles marriage ended in 1982, and the following year she moved on to Hunter College of the City University of New York. She remained on the staff of the anthropology department until 1987 and was director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. She continued her field work, which since her days in Liberia had encompassed studies of households headed by women, the lives of Caribbean women, Cape Ver-dean culture in the United States, and racial and gender inequality in Cuba.

Coles focus on cultural anthropology, Afro-American studies, and womens issues all came together in a groundbreaking book published in 1986. All-American Women: Lines That Divide, Ties That Bind was cited by numerous reviewers for its perceptive synthesis of issues concerning race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Cole remarked in Ms. that her fieldwork has definitely influenced the administrative side of her career: I tend to look at problems in ways that I think are very, very much in the anthropological tradition. Which means, first of all, one appreciates the tradition, but second, one also at least raises the possibility that there are different ways of doing the same thing. And its in that discourse where interesting things can happen.

Became President of Spelman College

When Spelman College began looking for a new president in 1986, finding a black woman for the job was a top priority. When the school was founded in 1880 by white abolitionists from New England, it was conceived as a missionary school where emancipated slave women could learn literacy, practical skills, and Christian virtues. Its first four presidents were white women; the first black to fill the office, Albert Manley, was not hired until the 1950s. When he left in the mid-1970s, a small but very vocal group of students demanded a black woman president for this black womans school. The search committee had three excellent candidates that fit the criteria, but two of them withdrew from the selection process before it was completed. The third was offered the job, but had already accepted another. Donald Stewart, former associate dean at University of Pennsylvania, was hired. A group of Spelman students reacted angrily to the announcement, locking the trustees in their boardroom for 26 hours.

When Stewart left office ten years later, Cole was clearly the standout choice of all the applicants for the vacancy, not just because of her race and sex but because of her strong background as a scholar, a feminist, and a student of black heritage. Her credentials were not only impeccable, but her incredible energy and enthusiasm came through during the personal interview. She showed certain brilliance in every sense of the word, Veronica Biggins, co-vice-chair of Spelmans board of trustees, was quoted as saying in Working Woman. Coles charismatic personality, cooperative leadership style, and firm black womanist attitude raise[d] expectations for an exciting new era at Spelman, according to a Ms. article published shortly after Cole took office. While [she] is a highly qualified, purposeful, serious-minded individual, she is also a thoroughly warm and unpretentious sisterin both the black and feminist senses of the term.

Coles presidency had an exciting kickoffduring her inauguration, Bill and Camille Cosby announced a gift of $20 million to Spelman. Delighted with the donation, Cole was nevertheless quick to point out that there is never enough money. She estimated that fund-raising took up 50 percent of her time. The other half was divided between teaching (one class per term), building up academics, and starting new traditions such as her Mentorship Program, in which CEOs of six major Atlanta corporations were paired with promising students from Spelman. She was committed to building and maintaining a powerful liberal arts program at the school, for it was her belief that a good liberal arts education was the proper foundation for any career. I tell my students to write, to learn to think, and the rest will fall in place, she told Working Woman.

Moved on From Spelman

Even while she was at Spelman, Cole was working on numerous projects. One of them, her 1993 book Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, attempted to broaden her call for a new order, targeting a multiplicity of audiences with her message of equality. Mixing enthusiastic discourse on race, gender, and learning with ruminations on her own experiences as a black woman, she argues for the eradication of racist and sexist views through education, tolerance, and expanded social awareness. While reaching readers of both sexes and all races, Cole marshals the forces of young black women in the United States to act for change, stating, We African American women must cure whatever ails us.

In 1997 Cole decided that it was time for her to move on from Spelman in an effort to make other colleges more culturally diverse and educationally sound. As she said in a speech at Spelman that was reprinted in Ebony, While I would love to remain at Spelman, it is not necessary. She went on to reveal that she would be going back to teaching full time at Atlantas Emory University. Her reasons, according to Ebony, were simple: The president [of Emory University] has invited me to be of assistance to him to more solidly connect the university to Africa-American and women communities. So I will be continuing to do the same work, Ill just be doing it from the other side.

Before starting her career at Emory, Cole took a year off to write and produced Dream the Boldest Dreams: And Other Lessons of Life. The book is filled with sayings and short passages that explore the different ways in which people make their way through life and how that way can be made easier by learning certain lessons sooner. The book also focuses on ways in which a person can make their lives more full, including getting involved in community service, getting to know the people in the community starting with the person that lives next door, and being willing to work for those things that really mean something.

Returned To Administration At Bennett

Cole spent three years at Emory as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Womens Studies, and African-American Studies. Then, in early 2002, Cole was made aware of the state of affairs at Bennett College for Women, a university that had been known for its education of minority women since 1926. Even though Bennett had a prestigious history, years of mismanagement had caused the college to face lower enrollments, dropping accreditation levels, and a $2 million deficit on top of infrastructure woes that were causing the campus to become unsafe. Unwilling to let a black womens college suffer this fate, Cole decided to come out of retirement from administration and take on the job of president of Bennett.

In her first year at Bennett, Cole was aggressive in her efforts to get the college back on track. She has appealed to local business, churches, and organizations in order to secure financial backing for the college and its programs. She has also looked within the college itself for support, turning to alumni, trustees, and national organizations that were already associated with the college. Going into June of 2003 Cole had already raised in excess of $9.1 million in grants, pledges, and gifts which more then took care of the $2 million deficit that Bennett was facing and continued to look for ways to make sure that Bennett will have a long standing surplus of funds to support itself.

Even though Cole was rigorously campaigning for funds for Bennett in 2002, she also found the time to do anthropologic research with fellow educator Beverly Guy-Sheftall. The results of this research was the book Gender Talk: The Struggle for Womens Equality in African American Communities. The book, according to the United Press International, presents a credible rationale for the tangled web of black gender issues, going back to the institution of slavery. The book has been praised not only for its well-researched premise but has also been noted to be easy to read and intriguing by critics. Cole agreed with this assessment of her book in Current Anthropology calling the book grounded in what we know about race and racism but something that is very accessible to the public, so we see it, again, as a work for a general audience.

Cole firmly believed that black colleges are vital to black success. She has frequently quoted statistics showing that although only 17 percent of black students enter black colleges, 37 percent of those who make it to graduation were attending black colleges, and a full 75 percent of black professional women are graduates of black colleges. She remained convinced that these schools give black students more opportunities to excel, to discover their heritage, and to see role models in their own image. When asked by Dollars & Sense what lies ahead for black colleges, she responded: A good deal of continuity and some intriguing changes. Tradition is important however not just for its own sake, but because it works.

Selected writings

All-American Women: Lines That Divide, Ties That Bind, 1986.

Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, Doubleday, 1993.

Dream the Boldest Dreams: And Other Lessons of Life, Longstreet Press, 1997.

(with Beverly Guy-Sheftall) Gender Talk: The Struggle for Womens Equality in African American Communities, Ballantine Books, 2003.

Editor of Anthropology for the Eighties and Anthropology for the Nineties. Contributor to numerous magazines and journals, including a regular column for McCals. Member of editorial board of Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly, Black Scholar, Emerge, and SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.

Sources

Books

Bateson, Catherine, Composing a Life, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989.

Cole, Johnnetta, Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, Doubleday, 1993.

Periodicals

Art in America, September 1990.

Black Issues in Higher Education, July 17, 2003, p. 8.

Change, September/October 1987.

Current Anthropology, April 2003, p. 275-88.

Dollars & Sense, March 1992.

Ebony, February 1988; March 1997, p. 73-4.

Essence, November 1987; July 1990.

Jet, June 28, 1999, p. 20; May 13, 2003, p. 14-5.

McCalls, October 1990; February 1991.

Ms., October 1987.

Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1992; November 30, 1992.

SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, Fall 1988.

United Press International, June 5, 2003.

Working Woman, June 1989; November 1991.

Joan Goldsworthy and Ralph G. Zerbonia

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Goldsworthy, Joan; Zerbonia, Ralph. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Goldsworthy, Joan; Zerbonia, Ralph. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (June 26, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3430900022.html

Goldsworthy, Joan; Zerbonia, Ralph. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Retrieved June 26, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3430900022.html

Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–

Johnnetta B. Cole 1936

Educator, anthropologist, writer

At a Glance

Conducted Anthropological Studies Abroad

Wrote on Issues of Culture, Race, and Gender

Became President of Spelman College

Looking to the Future

Selected writings

Sources

Spelman College is the oldest, most respected institution of higher learning for black women in the United States. It is somewhat ironic, therefore, that 107 years of the schools history passed before a black woman filled its presidential office. Johnnetta Cole is that woman, and since taking responsibility for Spelman in 1987, she has proven to be a dynamic administrator, an energetic fund-raiser, and a source of inspiration to both faculty and student body. At a time when historically black colleges have been deemed obsolete by some commentators, Cole has emerged as one of their most passionate advocates. Discussing Spelman with an interviewer from Dollars & Sense, Cole stated: I think that our students are being pulled here by the ambiance, by the affirming environment, by our insistence that African American women can do anything that they set out to do.

Higher education and high standards of achievement are traditions in Coles family. In 1901 her great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, cofounded the Afro-American Life Insurance Company of Jacksonville, Florida. That business grew and thrived, eventually employing both of Coles parents, each of whom had graduated from a black college. Her mother had worked as an English teacher and registrar at Edward Waters College prior to becoming a vice-president of Afro-American Life Insurance, and it was assumed that Johnnetta would also join the family business after completing her education.

Johnnetta was precocious, finishing high school by the age of fifteen. She earned outstanding scores on an entrance examination for Fisk Universitys early admissions program and began studying there in the summer of 1952. Her stay at Fisk was brief, yet pivotal. While there, a world of intellectual endeavor far beyond anything shed experienced in Jacksonvilles segregated schools was revealed to her. She had frequent contact with Arna Bontemps, the noted writer who also held a job as Fisks librarian. Seeing this respected author in a work setting was important to her because, as she later wrote in a McCalls column, When our heroes are portrayed as bigger than life, living, working, accomplishing beyond the realm of the normal, when they are depicted as perfect human beings, they are placed so far from us that it seems impossible that we could ever touch them or mirror who they are in our own lives.

After just one year at Fisk, Cole was eager to move on to new horizons. In 1953 she transferred to Oberlin College, where her sister was majoring in music. Seventeen-year-old Johnnetta was by then tightly focused on a career in medicine, but an

At a Glance

Born Johnnetta Betsch, October 19, 1936, in Jacksonville, FL; daughter of John, Sr. (an insurance company employee) and Mary Frances (an educator, registrar, and insurance company vice-president; maiden name, Lewis) Betsch; married Robert Cole (an economist), 1960 (divorced, 1982); married Arthur Robinson, Jr. (a public health administrator), December 1988; children: (first marriage) David, Aaron, Ethan Che. Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1957; Northwestern University, M.A., 1959, Ph.D., 1967.

Washington State University, assistant professor of anthropology and director of Black Studies, 196770; University of MassachusettsAmherst, professor of anthropology and Afro-American Studies, 197083, provost of undergraduate education, 198183; Hunter College of the City University of New York, Russell Sage Visiting Professor of Anthropology, 1983, professor of anthropology, 198387, director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 198487; Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, president, 1987; writer. Member of board of directors, American Council on Education, Global Fund for Women, and Points of Light Initiative Foundation, among others.

Member: National Council of Negro Women, American Anthropological Association (fellow).

Selected awards: Elizabeth Boyer Award, 1988; Essence Award in Education, 1989; inducted into Working Woman Hall of Fame; Jessie Bernard Wise Woman Award and American Woman Award, 1990; Sara Lees Frontrunner Award, 1992; numerous honorary degrees.

Addresses: Office Office of the President, Spelman College, 350 Spelman Ln. SW, Atlanta, GA 30314.

anthropology course (taken to fulfill a liberal arts requirement) and its enthusiastic instructor changed her direction permanently. On my own little track, I would have simply taken my science courses, and never would have taken a class with George E. Simpson. This white American professor played Jamaican cult music in the classroom, jumping up and down, beginning to hyperventilate, talking about African retentions in the New World! This is what anthropologists try to understand, said he. Good-bye, premed and hello, anthropology! said I, she was quoted as saying in a Ms. magazine article by Susan McHenry.

After earning her bachelors degree in anthropology at Oberlin in 1957, Cole went on to graduate study at Northwestern University. There she worked under noted anthropologists Paul J. Bohannan and Melville J. Herskovits. To her surprise, she also fell in love with a white graduate student in the economics program. It was not my plan to fall in love with Robert Cole, she remarked in Ms. And I doubt seriously that this man coming from an Iowa dairy farming family intended to fall in love with a black woman from Jacksonville, Florida. Nevertheless, the two were married. Robert Cole shared his wifes fascination with Africa, and after their wedding day, they traveled to Liberia to work cooperatively on research that would form the basis of both their dissertations.

Conducted Anthropological Studies Abroad

She did anthropological field studies in villages while he conducted economic surveys of the area. Cole has stated that the experience of living in Africa imparted a unique perspective to her and her husband that helped their interracial marriage endure for more than twenty years, despite the fact that they returned to the United States at the beginning of the black power movement. It was a time when for many black folk interracial marriage was a problem, she was quoted as saying in Ms. But perhaps because I was working largely in an academic setting, with students, it was not just manageable, it was all right.

By 1967 Cole had completed her dissertation, Traditional and Wage Earning Labor in Liberia, received her Ph.D. from Northwestern, and joined her husband as a faculty member at Washington State University. Beginning as an assistant professor of anthropology, she went on to become a key player in the creation of the schools Black Studies program, also serving as director of the program. In 1970, Cole and her husband moved to New England, where she had been offered a tenured position at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She spent thirteen productive years there, developing the existing Afro-American Studies program, increasing the interaction between her school and the others in the Connecticut River valley, teaching courses in anthropology and Afro-American studies, and serving as provost of undergraduate education.

Coles marriage ended in 1982, and the following year she moved on to Hunter College of the City University of New York. She remained on the staff of the anthropology department until 1987 and was director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. She also continued her field work, which since her days in Liberia had encompassed studies of households headed by women, the lives of Caribbean women, Cape Verdean culture in the United States, and racial and gender inequality in Cuba.

Wrote on Issues of Culture, Race, and Gender

Coles focus on cultural anthropology, Afro-American studies, and womens issues all came together in a groundbreaking book published in 1986. All-American Women: Lines That Divide, Ties That Bind was cited by numerous reviewers for its perceptive synthesis of issues concerning race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Cole remarked in Ms. that her field work has definitely influenced the administrative side of her career: I tend to look at problems in ways that I think are very, very much in the anthropological tradition. Which means, first of all, one appreciates the tradition, but second, one also at least raises the possibility that there are different ways of doing the same thing. And its in that discourse where interesting things can happen.

When Spelman College began looking for a new president in 1986, finding a black woman for the job was a top priority. When the school was founded in 1880 by white abolitionists from New England, it was conceived as a missionary school where emancipated slave women could learn literacy, practical skills, and Christian virtues. Its first four presidents were white women; the first black to fill the office, Albert Manley, was not hired until the 1950s. When he left in the mid-1970s, a small but very vocal group of students demanded a black woman president for this black womans school. The search committee had three excellent candidates that fit the criteria, but two of them withdrew from the selection process before it was completed. The third was offered the job, but had already accepted another. Donald Stewart, former associate dean at the University of Pennsylvania, was hired. A group of Spelman students reacted angrily to the announcement, locking the trustees in their boardroom for twenty-six hours.

Became President of Spelman College

When Stewart left office ten years later, Cole was clearly the standout choice of all the applicants for the vacancy, not just because of her race and sex but because of her strong background as a scholar, a feminist, and a student of black heritage. Her credentials were not only impeccable, but her incredible energy and enthusiasm came through during the personal interview. She showed certain brilliance in every sense of the word, Veronica Biggins, co-vice-chair of Spelmans board of trustees, was quoted as saying in Working Woman. Coles charismatic personality, cooperative leadership style, and firm black womanist attitude raise[d] expectations for an exciting new era at Spelman, according to a Ms. article published shortly after Cole took office. While [she] is a highly qualified, purposeful, serious-minded individual, she is also a thoroughly warm and unpretentious sister in both the black and feminist senses of the term.

Coles presidency had an exciting kickoffduring her inauguration, Bill and Camille Cosby announced a gift of $20 million to Spelman. Delighted with the donation, Cole was nevertheless quick to point out that there is never enough money. She estimates that fund-raising takes up 50 percent of her time. The other half is divided between teaching (one class per term), building up academics, and starting new traditions such as her Mentorship Program, in which CEOs of six major Atlanta corporations are paired with promising students from Spelman. She is committed to building and maintaining a powerful liberal arts program at the school, for it is her belief that a good liberal arts education is the proper foundation for any career. I tell my students to write, to learn to think, and the rest will fall in place, she told Working Woman contributor Audrey Edwards.

Looking to the Future

Cole firmly believes that black colleges are vital to black success. She has frequently quoted statistics showing that although only 17 percent of black students enter black colleges, 37 percent of those who make it to graduation were attending black colleges, and a full 75 percent of black professional women are graduates of black colleges. She is convinced that these schools give black students more opportunities to excel, to discover their heritage, and to see role models in their own image. I am obviously not an objective soul. I happen to think that this school is the greatest womens college in America, she told an interviewer for Dollars & Sense. When asked what lies ahead, she responded: I would like to think that Spelman has in her future a good deal of continuity and some intriguing changes. Tradition is important at this institution, not just for its own sake, but because it works.

In her 1993 book Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, Cole broadens her call for a new order, targeting a multiplicity of audiences with her message of equality. Mixing enthusiastic discourse on race, gender, and learning with ruminations on her own experiences as a black woman, she argues for the eradication of racist and sexist views through education, tolerance, and expanded social awareness. While reaching readers of both sexes and all races, Cole marshals the forces of young black women in the United States to act for change, stating, We African American women must cure whatever ails us.

Selected writings

All-American Women: Lines That Divide, Ties That Bind, 1986.

Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, Doubleday, 1993.

Editor of Anthropology for the Eighties and Anthropology for the Nineties. Contributor to numerous magazines and journals. Member of editorial board of Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly, Black Scholar, Emerge, and SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women. Columnist for McCalls.

Sources

Books

Bateson, Catherine, Composing a Life, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989.

Cole, Johnnetta, Conversations: Straight Talk with Americas Sister President, Doubleday, 1993.

Periodicals

Art in America, September 1990.

Change, September/October 1987.

Dollars & Sense, March 1992.

Ebony, February 1988.

Essence, November 1987; July 1990.

McCalls, October 1990; February 1991.

Ms., October 1987.

People, May 10, 1993.

Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1992; November 30, 1992.

SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, Fall 1988.

Working Woman, June 1989; November 1991.

Joan Goldsworthy

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Goldsworthy, Joan. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 1994. Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Goldsworthy, Joan. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 1994. Encyclopedia.com. (June 26, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2870700023.html

Goldsworthy, Joan. "Cole, Johnnetta B. 1936–." Contemporary Black Biography. 1994. Retrieved June 26, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2870700023.html

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