In the 21st Anniversary of the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, Every Wise Woman Buildeth Her House: Sisterhood in the Black Church, the keynote lecture was delivered by Temple University history professor Bettye Collier-Thomas. Dr. Collier-Thomas, who is director of Temple’s Center for African American History and Culture of Temple University, discussed, "She Hath Done What She Could: Black Women Preachers’ Struggle for Dignity and Recognition." Dr. Collier-Thomas, who holds a Ph.D. from George Washington University, is the author of Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and their Sermons, 1850-1979, African American Women and the Vote, and A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories, and Jesus, Jobs, and Justice: African American Women and Religion.
As in past years, the series presented scholarly, in-depth research presentations and commentary by nationally known experts, who this year include, in addition to Collier-Thomas: Cheryl Townsend-Gilkes, Colby College, who commented on the keynote speaker; Marta Moreno Vega, who discussed the traditions of Santeria/lucumi; and Betty Adams, who discussed Creating a Home Away from Home: Viola Johnson and the Call to Community.
Giles Wright of the New Jersey Historical Commission and Clement A. Price, of the Rutgers Center for Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, moderated two of the sessions. And actress Millicent Sparks performed a Chautauqua, or interpretative reading, of a sermon by Jarena Lee.