The Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection includes contributing authors’ manuscripts and correspondence, history and
records of the group, and audio recordings. The collection documents the creation of the organization’s 1997 publication,
Black Women Stirring the Waters .
Black Women Stirring the Waters is a black women’s discussion group founded in 1984 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group
was conceived by Clara Stanton Jones, the first African American to head the public library of a major city and the first
African American president of the American Library Association, and Aileen Clarke Hernandez, activist, and former President
of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The group was organized with no formal structure, no taboo subjects, and no
requirements for membership other than an interest in the dialog. Black Women Stirring the Waters takes its name from a quote
attributed to the 19th century abolitionist, Sojourner Truth. The group has a large roster of members from six Bay Area counties
ranging in age from mid-twenties to mid-nineties; bi-monthly meetings are held to discuss the perspectives of black women
on a multitude of subjects. In 1997, forty-four members of the group published a collection of autobiographical memoirs discussing
ways they have dealt with obstacles and have grown in their lives and careers.
.75 linear feet
Permission to publish from the Black Women Stirring the Waters Collection must be obtained from the African American Museum
& Library at Oakland.
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.