Johnnetta Betsch Cole, author and editor of numerous books, is President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges, Director Emerita of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art, and former Chair and President of the National Council of Negro Women. She lives in Florida.
Celeste Watkins-Hayes, 2023. "Johnnetta Betsch Cole and the Art of Speechifying", Speechifying: The Words and Legacy of Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Erica Lorraine Williams
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This interview captures an informal exchange between mentee and mentor as Celeste Watkins-Hayes visited Johnnetta Betsch Cole as she prepared to return to her home state of Florida. Sorting through papers, books, artwork, and clothing that would later be archived at Spelman College and housed with dear friends and family members, Cole and Watkins-Hayes paused for tea to discuss the art of speechifying. This conversation in many ways became the catalyst for Speechifying, laying the groundwork for themes explored in the book. The interview is an intimate meditation and reflection on Cole's powerful impact as an orator who focuses on education and social justice.