Race, Gender, and Jim Crow Lecture Series - Dr. Virginia Summey

Event Description

Elreta Melton Alexander became the first African-American woman to graduate from Columbia Law School. In 1947, she was the first African-American woman to practice law in the State of North Carolina, and subsequently, in 1968, became the first African-American woman to become an elected district court judge. Despite these accomplishments, Alexander is little known to scholars outside of her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Dr. Virginia Summey will explore the life of Elreta Alexander, how she navigated race, and gender in Greensboro during her childhood, and how she took those lessons and turned them into a career as a pioneering attorney and judge.

Michelle Lanier, Director of North Carolina State Historic Sites, will kick off our Spring Lecture Series, as well as discuss her personal family ties to Palmer Memorial Institute.

Dr. Virginia Summey received her Ph.D. in History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in December 2017. At UNCG she also received a post-baccalaureate certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies, and is currently a Faculty Fellow in the Lloyd International Honors College. She received her MA in History and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Montana, and her BA in Political Science from Catawba College. She is currently an Archie K. Davis fellow with the North Caroliniana Society and a Road Scholar with the North Carolina Humanities Council. Her book on Judge Alexander will be released in 2021 by the University of Georgia Press.

Our Race, Gender, and Jim Crow Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Lectures begin at 6:30pm and take place in Kimball Hall.