CoLA grad to deliver public lecture at Saint Michael’s College

Oct 21, 2022 | Alumni, Liberal Arts, Research, Tech Family

Louisiana Tech University graduate Jolivette Anderson-Douoning (’90-Speech) will deliver a public lecture at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 on the campus of Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. The lecture will also be available via Zoom.

Jolivette Anderson-Douoning The lecture, titled “The Hands that Picked the Cotton: A Black Woman’s Labor as Acts of Liberation in Segregated Shreveport,” is a portion of Anderson-Douoning’s dissertation. The lecturer’s doctoral research is informed in part by the ledger kept by her grandmother in Jim Crow-era Shreveport.

According to Anderson-Douoning, the lived experiences of her grandmother, Mrs. Goldleana, are inextricably linked to the cotton and timber industries in Caddo Parish and believed to be interconnected with labor organizing work done by everyday people in Shreveport. She sees Mrs. Goldleana’s different jobs – picking cotton, working in the chair factory, serving as a seamstress, and canning foods – as acts of freedom, not enslavement, because she did those things by choice.

“Mrs. Goldleana’s labor allowed her to create certain conditions and opportunities that brought my life into existence, literally, because she is my maternal grandmother,” Anderson-Douoning said. “I am aware that the subject and imagery of field work related to cotton production and African Americans doing that labor has been used to demean and stereotype us and is often connected to slavery in the southern United States. My lecture is not meant to trigger Black people – it is to look at the history and the everyday people who worked to create the present conditions that exist within family units as well as in labor practices in the nation, especially the Black women who left historical record of their work.”  

Anderson-Douoning is the Edmundite African American Fellow in the Saint Michael’s History Department and a PhD Candidate in the Purdue University American Studies Program. Her lecture focuses on a period after World War II leading into the Civil Rights activity of the 1960s in Shreveport, which was connected to other Civil Rights organizing being done in other areas of the Deep South.

The free lecture will be delivered at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall at Saint Michael’s College. Interested individuals can register for the Zoom webinar at