Shackelford, Renae Nadine 1958-
Shackelford, Renae Nadine 1958-
Born July 11, 1958, in Charlottesville, VA; daughter of Raymond Nathaniel (a floral shop deliveryman) and Yvonne (a nurse) Shackelford; married James Robert Saunders (an educator), July 6, 1982; children: Monica. Ethnicity: "African American." Education: University of Toledo, B.A., 1990, M.L.S., 1995. Hobbies and other interests: Traveling, gardening, playing the clarinet.
Home—West Lafayette, IN. Office—Department of English, Purdue University, 500 Oval Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038. E-mail—[email protected]
Academic. University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, coordinator of student employment for the Upward Bound program, 1989, writing and editorial specialist, 1995, instructor, 1995-97; Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, lecturer, 1997-99, continuing lecturer, 1999—. University of Michigan Library System, Ann Arbor, coordinator of student employment, 1982-84; First Church of God Christian School, teacher, 1990-92; Toledo Public Schools, Toledo, OH, substance abuse specialist; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, visiting professor, 2004-05; Black American Student Experiences Program founder and director, 2005—.
(With husband, James Robert Saunders) Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia: An Oral History of Vinegar Hill, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1998.
Editor of Spirit Newsletter, 1991-92, and Community Focus, 1985.
Renae Nadine Shackelford is an American academic and historian. Completing her higher education degrees at the University of Toledo, Shackelford went on to lecture at various universities. With her husband, she wrote her first book, Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia: An Oral History of Vinegar Hill in 1998. Several years later, the pair wrote a second book, The Dorothy West Martha's Vineyard: Stories, Essays, and Reminiscences by Dorothy West Writing in the Vineyard Gazette.
Renae Nadine Shackelford told CA: "I would have to say that having been born in Charlottesville, Virginia, is one of the most significant circumstances leading to my literary career. In the days of my early childhood, the black community was indeed a society unto itself even while being situated rather precariously within the overall mainstream culture. To a large extent, when I was growing up, blacks made up what was essentially a servant class that catered particularly to the needs of the rapidly expanding University of Virginia.
"So when I had the opportunity to collect and organize oral histories of black Charlottesville residents, I took the project on as not only an important stage of my professional development but also as something of a spiritual journey, facilitating the presentation of my personal heritage. Vinegar Hill was at one time a vibrant residential and business community. It was segregated for the most part. But it was at the core of black culture in Charlottesville. Through the governmental process of eminent domain, the community was destroyed. Fortunately, at the time of my researching for the book Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia, many former residents of Vinegar Hill were still alive, and they made key contributions to the book, quite a few of them declaring that my project was the first opportunity that they had with regard to how the eminent domain was conducted and what blacks lost during the ordeal that was ostensibly carried out for their benefit.
"The Dorothy West Martha's Vineyard is the result of a fascination that I have with black women who participated in the Harlem Renaissance. At the point we are at now in literary history, there has been much work done on Renaissance authors such as Nella Larsen, Jessue Fauset, and Zora Neale Hurston. However, not as much work had been done on Dorothy West. So in putting together my book, I felt that I was doing the necessary job of filling in an important gap.
"Since teaching at Purdue, I have had the opportunity to introduce the course ‘Black Women Writers,’ which, through its various authors, speaks to me about the subject of writing itself, as well as the history and concerns of black women in America. And yet more so than those authors, I would have to say that the older women that I grew up around—particularly my mother and my paternal grandmother—inspired and continue to inspire me to try and present a vital perspective that has yet to be completely heard."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culturein Charlottesville, Virginia: An Oral History of Vinegar Hill.
Cercles,http://www.cercles.com/ (December 14, 2007), Anne Wicke, review of The Dorothy West Martha's Vineyard: Stories, Essays, and Reminiscences by Dorothy West Writing in the Vineyard Gazette.