Hear the stories behind a group of African American women who migrated to Arizona and have made a difference in the lives of Arizonans. These women are Community Mothers. They have cared for and nurtured other people’s children, and they have been activists providing guidance, mentoring, and leadership for the many woes that attach themselves to the African American community. Based on oral histories collected over the past 20 years, these women have stood and delivered in the face of racial and gender obstacles to become beloved members of the Arizona community. Women like Betty and Jean Fairfax, Judge Jean Williams, Fatimah Halim, and others have forged safe, vibrant, and meaningful communities that we celebrate today.
Akua Duku Anokye, Associate Director, School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies, Director, International Initiatives, Associate Professor, Africana Language, Literature, and Culture in Arizona State University’s New College; is past chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and Chief Reader of College Board’s Advanced Placement English Language and Composition. Anokye’s research centers on African Diaspora orality and literacy practices, folklore, and oral history focusing on Ghanaian culture, religion, storytelling, and dance. Her work in oral history on community mothers has led to the production of 20 documentaries on African American women activists and other notable African American figures.