Virtual Discussion: A Choice of Weapons
Presenter: Regennia Williams
Date: Thurs., Nov. 18, 2021
Location: Cleveland History Center
This virtual discussion, led by WRHS Distinguished Scholar of African American History & Culture, Dr. Regennia N. Williams, will focus on several of the major themes that Gordon Parks explored in his 1966 memoir, A Choice of Weapons. Among other things, the discussion group will consider Parks' Kansas roots, his challenging young adult years, his early work as a pianist, his foray into professional sports, his family life, and his discovery of professional photography – the weapon that would transform his life forever.
Dr. Regennia N. Williams is the Distinguished Scholar of African American History and Culture at the Western Reserve Historical Society and President of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Fulbright Association. An award-winning historian, she is also the founder, president, and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Spirituality in the History of Africa and the Diaspora (The RASHAD Center, Inc.) This nonprofit corporation creates, supports, and promotes arts and humanities programs in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and in the state of Ohio through performances of Black sacred music, producing popular and scholarly publications, and conducting research for the Praying Grounds Oral History Project. Williams has also conducted oral history research in Newport News, Virginia; Washington, DC; Ile-Ife Nigeria; Macau, China; and Free State, South Africa. Her published works include books, book chapters, and articles in scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines, and she is the founder and editor of The Journal of Traditions & Beliefs and the Traditions & Beliefs newsletter. Her chapter on “Race, Religion, and Reconciliation: Academic Initiatives, Leadership Development, and Social Change” was published in Leadership for Change: Developing Transformational Student Leaders through Global Learning Spaces (2021).