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  • Writer's pictureRhana Gittens

"What if I Am a Woman?"

Sprinkling a little BLACK GIRL MAGIC to celebrate MY FIRST published academic article!

In 2016, my first year as a PhD student, I met Maria W. Stewart, abolitionist and woman’s activist of the 19th Century. Before Sojourner Truth and Harriet Beecher Stowe we had Maria. I started reading her speeches and I felt that I knew this woman. She imbued the consciousness of what I strive to be. Her words were unapologetically Christian, unapologetically black, and unapologetically woman, but more importantly she was unapologetically HUMAN. She was transparent in her flaws and her strengths. I decided then that I wanted to research her work and re-establish her voice for today.

At the time,I began my rhetorical criticism of her speeches, I decided to pray. I prayed fervently that God would give me the wisdom and the gifting to be able to bring light to the heart of Stewart’s words in truth and in respect.

Today, I am thankful that God answered that prayer. And my very first published academic article is a tribute to Maria W. Stewart and all that Black Girl Magic.

Because of the business of academia, the academic article and journal are not freely accessible to many that are not members of an academic institution. This saddens me. However, I strongly believe information should be affordable and accessible to everyone. So I have posted this video re-enactment of my conference presentation at National Communication Association in 2017 in order to make this research available to the public. Please share and enjoy!

No work is done alone. I would like to thank Dr. Mary Stuckey and Dr. Patricia G. Davis for their guidance, proofreading and editing of this project. I thank my classmates for their continued encouragement. Thank you to Brian Wheeler for helping with this video!

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