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Exhibit and event to honor Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey

Bertha Maxwell-Roddey at her desk

An exhibit honoring Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey, founding director of the Department of Africana Studies and beloved professor emeritus of our university, will be on the main floor of the library from January 26th- February 28th. 

During her long and distinguished career, Dr. Maxwell-Roddey was influential throughout Charlotte as an educator, leader, and advocate for youth, and her legacy is still felt on campus and in the community. A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she began her education career as a teacher. In 1968, she became one of the first African American principals at a predominantly white elementary school in Charlotte. 

After leaving K-12 education, Dr. Maxwell-Roddey set her sights on higher education, founding the Black Studies Program at UNC Charlotte in 1971 and the National Council for Black Studies in 1975. In 1974, she worked with Mary Harper, a fellow UNC Charlotte faculty member and co-founder of the Black Studies Program, to found the Afro-American Cultural and Arts Center, which later became the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

Join us on February 8th in the Halton Room from 5:30-7pm when professor of History and Women’s & Gender Studies, Dr. Sonya Y. Ramsey, will share research from her book Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey: Modern Day Race Woman and the Power of Black Leadership (University Press of Florida, 2022). 

-- Adreonna Bennett


Bertha Maxwell-Roddey at her desk. UNC Charlotte Photographs Collection, UA0066, Faculty and Staff, circa late 1960s -mid 1970s.