Clenora Hudson-Weems

For Speaking Engagements, contact

Professor of English
University of Missouri
114 Tate Hall
Columbia, Missouri 65211

573-882-2783 (office)

Biographical Sketch

Speaking Engagements on Africicana Womanism

Speaking Engagements on Emmett Till

Conversation or Presentation


THE 2ND INTERNATIONAL AFRICANA-MELANATED WOMANISM CONF., OCT 25-27, 2018, again hosted by the U of Zimbabwe

FLYER for the 2nd International Africana-Melanated Womanism Conference








Photo of Clenora at her campus office with book, Nommo, which is one of the 18 Characteristics of Africana Womanism.

"The first African America woman intellectual to formulate a position on Africana Womanism was Clenora Hudson-Weems, author of the 1993 groundbreaking study, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves. Taking a strong position that black women should not pattern their liberation after Eurocentric feminism but after the historic and triumphant women of African descent, Hudson-Weems has launched a new critical discourse in the Black Women's Literary Movement." (p. 1811)

(Dr. Patricia Liggins Hill, gen. ed., Call and Response, Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

"Africana Womanist Literary Theory provides an expansion of ideas presented in Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves. It provides an extensive and thorough understanding of the concepts, nommo/self-naming" and self-defining. Hudson-Weems believes nothing is more important to a people's existence than naming and defining self. It comes as no surprise, then, that the work takes to task those who have ignored, distorted, or misappropriated all or parts of the theory that she has articulated." (Foreword, Africana Womanist Literary Theory, p. xii, 2004)

(Dr. Delores P. Aldridge, Grace T. Hamilton Chair of Sociology & Back Studies, Emory U)

"Clenora Hudson-Weems' work provides a theoretical construct that boldly restores meaning within historical and cultural contexts that are peculiar to the African and African Diaspora woman's experiences. It offers an element historically denied sush women: a choice. Moreover, her application of the Africana womanist theory to Black life and literary texts proves to be both accurate and useful as we search for appropriate theories and methodologies for Africana writers." (Jacket Blurb, 2004)

(Dr. Adele Newson-Horst, Professor of English, Assoc. Dean, College of Letters & Science, U of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)

"Africana womanism is a response to the need for collective definition and the re-creation of the authentic agenda that is the birthright of every living person. . . . In this antiquity ["the earliest days of African cultural history"], she [Hudson-Weems] has discovered the sources of so much commonality in the African world that there is no question that Africana Womanism has a distinct and different approach to relationships than, say, feminism." (p. 138)

(Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, Afterword for Africana Womanist Literary Theory, Africa World Press, 2004)

"Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves is not simply a scholarly work, one of those in the mainstream, but our own. It is a new trail blazed with incontrovertible revelations on the African heritage and gender question. Hudson-Weems bravely takes the bull by the horns, confronts the Eurocentric avalanche of words on questions of gender, and puts forward the Afrocentric point of view." (p. xviii.)

(Dr. Zulu Sofola, Foreword, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, 1993)

Articles/Book Chapters

1st International Council of Africana Womanism Conference: University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Chapter October 27 - 29, 2010



Book Cover - Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb

Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of
the Civil Rights Movement

From Hudson's 1988 Ford Doctoral Dissertation (U of Iowa)—the 1st full length study of Emmett Till as Catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement:

Dr. John Blassingame, Yale U--"I found Emmett Till to be an usually revealing and exciting narration of an important twentieth century event, crucial in the origins of the Civil Rights Movement. When you really think about it, Hudson-Weems is absolutely right. We historians missed it."

Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, Duke U--"In Emmett Till, [Hudson-Weems] challenges the most sacred shibboleths of the origins of the Civil Rights Movement. Not everyone will want to agree with what she has to say. But few will lay the book down before she has had her say. And she says a lot America needs to hear again right now."

Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett Till--"Hudson-Weems has dug relentlessly into Southern justice, revealing the stench and ugliness of race hatred, American style. She has captured the essence of Emmett, a "Sacrificial Lamb" whose death has provided an escape to life for millions who were trapped in a web of hate."

Dr. Maulana Karenga, California State University, Long Beach--"Emmett Till is a significant contribution to our understanding of the nature of racial oppression in U.S. history. It places the morally monstrous lynching of Till in its proper historical context, posing it as a major catalyst of the Movement."

BLURBS, etc. for Other Emmett Till Books:

Dr. William Turner, Vice Pres./Assoc. Provost, U of KY--"I met Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems in D. C. at the National Ford Annual Convention in1987. She was one of the plenary speakers [delivering] a slide presentation on her groundbreaking thesis of Till as catalyst. . . Thus, anyone who lays claim to exhuming the Till saga before Hudson-Weems demands to be questioned." (The Definitive Emmett Till, 2006)

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard U (quoted in a chapter by William Turner in an edited Till book by Hudson-Weems)--"What we know about the details of Emmett Till is because [of] Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems, who made his life and death her life's work." (Plagiarism—Physical and Intellectual Lynchings: An Emmett Till Continuum, 2007)

Barry Morrow, Oscar Award-Winning Co-Writer of "Rain Man"--"For nearly 20 years, Hudson-Weems was the lone voice calling for a fresh assessment of the true historical significance of the murder of Emmett Till. That voice has lately been joined by a host of others. But there is disharmony in the choir--the de facto failure to credit . . . her pioneering work . . . " (The Definitive Emmett Till, 2006).

7th Galaxy Productions, LLC launches "Liberating Emmett" Pre-Production Feb 2017:

Liberating Emmett

The author is the Screen Writer for the film, which is based upon her 4th Till book, "Emmett: Legacy, Redemption, Forgiveness," (2014). Her 1st Till work, the 1988 Ford Doctoral Dissertation, "Emmett Till: The Impetus of the Modern Civil Rights Movement," later published in 1994 as "Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement," was the beginning of her 30-year-plus commitment to "Liberating Emmett" from the stigma of being an embarrassment to the Movement to its catalyst, thereby setting the stage for the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott. The first to establish Till as catalyst, thereby giving him his proper place in the historical account of the modern CRM, Dr. Hudson asserts that all four of her Till books were Liberating Emmett, whose name has become a household word.



THE ORIGINAL EMMETT TILL EXPERT COORDINATES THE 1ST EMMETT TILL FORUM, 1994 (following 1988 dissertation-turned-book release in OCT 1994)

1. 1986—Dissertation Proposal Defense (Iowa)—Doctoral Committee: "Changing the catalyst from Rosa Parks to Emmett Till is virtually impossible. What happens if you can't defend the dissertation?"
Clenora Hudson: "Then I don't get the PhD and I'm willing to take that chance."


Dr. Clenora Hudson (Weems) interviews
on Emmett Till as Catalyst--Midday News, 1989

Mrs. Till Mobley receives Key to City—Mayor Mary Ann McCollum:

Mamie Till Mobley receives Proclamation from Mark Miller, the Missouri Black Caucus, as Michael Middleton (MU), a respondent, observes; other 2 respondents-- Dr. Robert Harris (Cornell U); Dr. Gary Kremer (William Woods U):

Dr. Hudson-Weems receives Proclamation from Mark Miller:

Gene and Mamie (Till) Mobley at 1994 Till Forum:

Atty. Alvin O. Chambliss, Jr., Dr. Talmadge Anderson (Wash. State U.), and Dr. Fredrick Woodard, who hooded me for the PhD (U of Iowa):

Dr. William Nelson (Ohio State U) and Atty. Alvin O. Chambliss, Jr.:

Dr. Robert E. Weems (MU) and Dr. Tony Martin (Wellesley College):

Emmett Till Day in Court, OCT 21, 1994: A Civil Rights Forum (UMC)

Below is a photo of Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems, Atty. Alvin O. Chambliss, Jr., with Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley in center--Book Signing during the 1994 Till Forum (UMC)

Mary and Matthew Pearson, parents of Clenora Hudson-Weems:

Dr. Al Brown of Memphis, TN performed at the Till Forum Dinner Party at the home of Robert and Clenora--10/22/1994

The Original Emmett Till Expert Coordinates The 1st National Till Conference in Memphis, TN, AUG 17-20, 1995

From Money, MS to Union, South Carolina: The Civil/Human Rights of African Americans

Below is a photo of Judge Joe Brown, Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley and Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems during conference:

Below is a photo of Dr. Robert E. Weems, Jr, Mrs. Mamie Till Mobley, Keynote Banquet Speaker, Mayor Marion Berry of Washington, D.C, and Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems:


Emmett Till Blog

Selected Resources

The CRM Trilogy: Dr. Martin Luther King (the father of the movement); Rosa Parks (the mother), Emmett Till (the child)

Emmett Till Books

(Major Presses were not interested in publishing Till as Catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement until years later, after it was established.)

  • Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement (1994)
    Inside Blurbs

  • Emmett--Legacy, Redemption and Forgiveness (2014)
    Inside Blurbs


Emmett Till Speaking Engagement


Syllabus: Contemporary Africana Womanist Writers, English 4420 (updated March 2018)

Syllabus: Theorizing Africana Literature, English 2400 (updated December 2017)

Brief Narrative Statement


African and Women of African Descent Leading and Impacting The World : A Pan-African Collection

Environmental Racism: Black Landowners, Katrina and The Making of a New Hilton Head--An Emmett Till Continuum (Keynote Address at International Environment Justice Conference at Wellesley College, Dept. of Africana Studies, 2007).

Africana Womanism and Baraka Obama book and chapter info
Also available: book covers

Book Review: Author's 4th Emmett Till book presents complete historic lynch-trial story (Word)
Book Review: 'Emmett' - The New Tri-State Defender
Emmett Till Film news release
Chronology of the Definitive Emmett Till Work (Word)



  • Africana Womanism & Race & Gender in the Presidential Candidacy of Barack Obama [cover in pdf]
  • The Definitive Emmett Till: Passion and Battle of a Woman for Truth and Intellectual Justice, Bloomington, England: AuthorHouse, 2006. [cover in pdf]
  • Africana Womanist Literary Theory, Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2004. Reviewed in The Western Journal of Black Studies, Winter 2003, pp. 275-77.
  • Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the Civil Rights Movement, 2nd revised edition. Bedford Publishers, August 1995, (1st edition--1994) 3rd. Revised Edition, New Foreword by James Stewart, February 2000. New Release, AuthorHouse, 2006 [cover in pdf]
  • Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, 4th revised edition, Bedford, 2004 (1st edition--1993)--Reviews in The Western Journal of Black Studies, Winter 1994; Class Magazine, September 1994; Modern Fiction Studies, 39. 3 and 4, 1993.
  • Toni Morrison. NY/Boston: Prentice-Hall, 1990. (Co-authored with Wilfred D. Samuels) 2nd printing, 1993; CD-ROM, 1995--Reviews: American Studies, Fall, 1992, (135-6) MELUS US, Winter, 1991 (146-8); Choice, July 1990 (1828-9).

Edited Books

  • Contemporary Africana Theory, Thought and Action: A Guide to Africana Studies, Editor, Africa World Press, 2007. [flyer in pdf]
  • Plagiarism—Physical and Intellectual Lynchings: An Emmett Till Continuum (Part III of Till Trilogy), Editor, 2007


  • Emmett: Legacy, Redemption and Forgiveness (2014) [cover in pdf]

Emmett Till Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the CRM
and Emmett: To Live For

New Release: The Definitive Emmett Till: Passion and Battle of a Woman for Intellectual Justice and
Re-release: Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the CRM (newly republished by AuthorHouse, Parity)
Till Film news release
Chronology of the Definitive Emmett Till Work (in Word)
 Clenora Hudson-Weems, Ph.D., was the first to establish the position of the August 28, 1955, brutal lynching of Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till, the 14-year-old Black Chicago youth for whistling at a 21-year-old white woman (Carolyn Bryant) in Money, MS, as the catalyst of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. In Emmett Till: The Sacrificial Lamb of the CRM (1994), she carefully documents the Till murder case as having set the stage for the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, since it happened 3 months and 3 days before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus, December 1, 1955. A Ford Fellow, she quests for truth surrounding the underplaying of the case in American history, concluding that Park's demonstration was more palatable than Till's bloated face, in spite of King's assertion in Stride Toward Freedom that pressed in the minds of the Alabamians during the boycott was the image of Till. Contending that "Historians will talk about the good and the bad, but they won't deal with the ugly," informant for her 1988 doctoral dissertation (U. of Iowa), Rayfield Mooty, Labor Union and Civil Rights activist who advised the mother, Mamie, during the ordeal, help to make the case a "cause célèbre."

Talmadge Anderson, founding editor of The Western Journal of Black Studies (Washington State University Press), asserts that

Hudson-Weems substantiates the real catalytic event that unleashed the long inhibited Black rebellion against the viciousness and brutality of White racism. . . . The lynching of Till may no longer be denied as the genesis of the chronology of the Civil Rights Movement.

Till Continuum Conferences Chaired by Hudson-Weems

  • Emmett Till Day in Court 1994: A Civil Rights Forum. University of Missouri-Columbia, October 21, 1994.
  • From Money, MS to Union, South Carolina: The Legacy of American Oppression.  National Chairperson, First National Conference on Civil/Human Rights of African Americans, Memphis, TN, August 17-20, 1995.
  • From Emmett Till, to James Byrd, Amadou Diallo & Shaka Sankofa: When Will It Stop? CEO & National Chairperson, Second National Conference on Civil/Human Rights of Africanans, Memphis, TN, September 7-10, 2000.
  •  Symposium on Civil/Human Rights of Africanans: A Till Continnuum. December 1, 2000, University of Missouri, Columbia.

Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves

Clenora Hudson-Weems, Ph.D., in her definitive, pioneering book, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, explicates a paradigm for all women of African descent in terms of the relativity of her rich legacy of African womanhood and Black women activism. A family centered construct, rather than the common female centeredness associated with women movements in general, Hudson-Weems in this work articulates the true role of the Africana woman within the constructs of the modern feminist movement. In reclaiming, renaming and redefining Black women and their movement, the author, according to C. Eric Lincoln (Duke U. Professor Emeritus), has established herself "as a careful, independent thinker, unafraid to unsettle settled opinion."

Hudson-Weems has stood firm on her ground that most Black women by their historical and cultural realities are not feminists. She insists that dealing with gender issues does not automatically make one a feminist, thus the feminist has no exclusive on gender issues. Hudson-Weems has been respected by authentic Africana scholars, such as the editors of Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), as "the first African American woman intellectual to formulate a position on Africana Womanism . . . [who] launched a new critical discourse in the Black Woman's Literary Movement." (1811).  In addition to many national/international speaking engagements, she has also been invited to contribute articles/book chapters on the subject in numerous other publications, including Sisterhood, Feminisms, and Power: From Africa to the Diaspora (Africa World Press, 1998, Obioma Nnaemeka, editor); Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies (Lexington Books, 2000, Delores P. Aldridge and Charlene Young, editors); Black Studies: From the Pyramids to Pan Africanism and Beyond (McGraw Hill, 2001, William "Nick" Nelson, Jr.); State of the Race: Creating Our 21st Century (U. of Mass.-Boston, 2001, Jemadari Kamara and T. Menelik Van Der Meer, editors), etc.


Book Chapters/Articles on Africana Womanism and Emmett Till

Emmett Till

Clenora Frances Hudson at the home of Gene and Mamie Till Mobley, mother of Emmett, Jan. 6, 1988; photo of Mamie and her father on top of television

In all of Hudson-Weems’ articles, she demonstrates a refreshing breath of Africana scholarship. Always placing Africa at the center of her analyses, she emerges as a truly authentic Africana scholar, bent on interpreting the Black experience from the perspective of authentic Black life. Her writing is thorough, engaging and lucid. Her assessment of ideas is both accurate and timely. In fact, one could even say the Hudson-Weems in many instances, is ahead of times. That was certainly the case with her work on Emmett Till, as many now do not hesitate in calling Till's brutal lynching the catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement, even though traditionally Rosa Parks' demonstration was deemed unquestionably to be the beginning of the movement by all historians, as documented in her 1988 doctoral dissertation (U. of Iowa). In addition, her seminal work on Africana Womanism was likewise ahead of its time. The challenge that Hudson-Weems took up in the mid-eighties at The National Council for Black Studies caused a momentary uproar, but very soon, after hearing her present her position that Black women were not feminists, many of her colleagues were quick to reassess their position, saying that they always knew that something was wrong with feminism for them and that it just didn't quite fit. Whenever Hudson-Weems observed that something was not quite right, she would challenge it. Her scholarship reflects this inclination, as she has remained constant in her scholarly activities and has contributed greatly to her area of expertise.

  1. “Establishing Female Competency via Literacy:? Reclaiming Our Communities:? An Africana Womanist Mission,” Closing Chapter in Literacy As Gendered Discourse:? Engaging the Voices of Women in Global Societies, edited by Daphne W. Ntiri.? Charlotte, NC:? Information Age Publishing, Inc., 2015, pp. 185-195.

  2. “Forward” Rediscoursing African Womanhood in Search for Sustainable Renaissance: African Womanism in Multi-disciplinary Approach, edited by Itai Muwati and Zifikile Gambahaya, College Press Harare, Zimbabwe, 2012.

  3. “Ending de-womanization, de-femininization and de-humanization vie Self Naming, Self-definition and Gender Sisterhood” in Rediscoursing African Womanhood in Search for Sustainable Renaissance: African Womanism in Multi-disciplinary Approach, edited by Itai Muwati and Zifikile Gambahaya, College Press Harare, Zimbabwe, 2012.

  4. “Environmental Racism–Black Landowners and Katrina in the Making of a New Hilton Head: A Till Continuum.” Book Chapter (Palgrave-Macmillan Publishers, 2009).

  5. “Africana Thought-Action: An Authenticating Paradigm for Africana Studies,” The Western Journal of Black Studies (Fall 2006).

  6. “The African American Literary Tradition,” in The African American Experience: An Historiographica and Bibliographical Guide, Arvah E. Strickland and Robert E. Weems, Jr., Editors, Greenwood Press, 2001.

  7. “Africana Womanism: The Flip Side of a Coin,” in The Western Journal of Black Studies (2001).

  8. “Africana Womanism: Entering the New Millennium,” in State of the Race, Creating Our 21st Century: Where Do We Go From Here, Jemadari Kamara and T. Menelik Van Der Meer, Editors, Diaspora Press--Boston, MA, 2001.

  9. “Resurrecting Emmett Till: The Catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement,” in Journal of Black Studies (Sage Publication), November 1998, pp. 179-188.

  10. “Africana Womanism: An Overview,” in Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies, Delores Aldridge and Carlene Young, Editors, Lexington Books, 2000, pp. 205-217.

  11. “Africana Womanism: An Historical, Global Perspective for Women of African Descent,” Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition, Patricia Liggins Hill, General Editor, Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 1811-1815.

  12. “Africana Womanism, Black Feminism, African Feminism, Womanism,” in Sisterhood, Feminisms and Power, Obioma Nneameka, Editor, New Jersey: African World Press, 1998, pp. 149-162 .

  13. “Self-Naming and Self-Defining: An Agenda for Survival,” in Sisterhood, Feminisms and Power, Obioma Nneameka, Editor, New Jersey: African World Press, 1998, pp. 449-452.

  14. “Africana Womanism and the Critical Need for Africana Theory and Thought,” in The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, Summer 1997, pp. 79-84.

  15. “From Malcolm Little to El Hajj Malik El Shabazz: Malcolm's Evolving Attitude Toward Africana Women,” The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 1993, pp. 26-31.

  16. “Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia: Crtitical Issues for Africana Women's Studies,” in The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1989, pp. 185-189.

  17. “The Tripartite Plight of African-American Women as Reflected in the Novels of Hurston and Walker,” in Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2, December 1989, pp. 192-207.


Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae
(uploaded March 2018)



© 2018 The Curators of the University of Missouri and Clenora Hudson-Weems, Ph.D.