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Salamishah Tillet

Dr. Salamishah Tillet is one of the rising feminist activists and academics of her generation. In 2003, Salamishah and her sister, Scheherazade Tillet, cofounded A Long Walk Home, Inc., a 501 (c) nonprofit that uses art therapy and the visual and performing arts to end violence against girls and women. She is the writer of Story of a Rape Survivor (SOARS), an award-winning multimedia performance that tells her own story of reclaiming her body, sexuality, and self-esteem after being sexually assaulted in college. She cocreated The Girl/Friends Leadership Institute, an art-based, feminist boot camp for African-American adolescent girls who have been impacted by violence in Chicago. She was an associate producer for Aishah Shahidah Simmons’s groundbreaking documentary, NO!, A Rape Documentary and is in the Cambridge Documentary’s award winning film, Rape Is… In 2006, Ebony Magazine named her one of America’s top 30 Black leaders under 30 years old. In 2010, Salamishah and Scheherazade were finalists for Glamour Magazine’s “Women of the Year” award for their work to end violence against girls and women.

Salamishah has appeared on CNN and NPR and written for The Nation on issues of race, gender, and popular culture and is a regular contributor for the Washington Post magazine, The Root. Her book, Sites of Slavery: Citizenship, Racial Democracy, and the Post-Civil Rights Imagination examines how contemporary African-American artists represent slavery to challenge present-day racial inequality and model a more democratic American future. She is currently working on a book on the black feminist icon, Nina Simone. She earned her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from and A.M. in English and American Literature from Harvard University. She is an Assistant Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.


6 Responses to Salamishah Tillet

  1. Makeba Kedem-Dubose says:

    Peace Salamishah,

    It is so wonderful to read about your work in bringing women’s issues to the forefront. I just read your piece on NPR about Nina Simone and was brought to tears. It is such a powerful story, and I have always loved her, in fact so much so that I named my daughter for her. I can’t wait to read your book!

    I know both your mother and your sister from some time ago, but I don’t believe that I ever had the opportunity to meet you. It would be a treat indeed to meet someone such as yourself, who so powerfully champions the rights, ideals, and talents of women. Keep up the good work!

    By the way, your mother has a portrait done by me that was featured on “The Volora show” along with a piece of John Legend. I am a career artist of 20 years, living in Chicago.


    Makeba Kedem-DuBose

  2. Chris MacDonald-Dennis says:


    Brilliant conversation. I am so excited to see all of the great work you continue to do. I will never forget your visits to Bryn Mawr. Hopefully, I can get you out to the twin Cities–but I promise NOT in the winter.


  3. JOAN MORRIS says:

    HOPE YOU HAD A HAPPY THANKSGIVING & looking forward to christmas.

    Please can I have your help and support.

    It’s a fight for justice and a worthy cause. like ROSA PARKS, IDA B. WELLS, NAOMI C. EARP (tucker v. walgreen), HARRIET TUBMAN, any many more.




    A FIGHT FOR JUSTICE I, Joan Morris ASK your help ~ TITLE VII
    I, Joan Morris seek your help as I fight for justice just like Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Rosa Parks and a woman in my days Ms. Naomi Churchill Earp.
    As we go back in history and take a look at our list of 30 black female leaders. African American women have played a key role in the American Civil Rights Movement. Without their struggle for freedom from racial abuse, it wouldn’t have been possible for Americans to achieve racial justice. Some of these are African American women like Rosa Parks, to Ann Gibson Robinson and Ella Baker, not to forget Ms. Naomi C. Earp (former EEOC Chair, Tucker vs. Walgreen case) were just a few who led the front, would know more. African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement and, how civil rights movement overshadowed abuse of women.


  4. I was left in my 20′s by my college classmate husband very suddenly. I got on the NY-Chi train with 2 babies,my little one with a hole in her heart, her brother crying,$100.00,pneumonia, aneviction notice, and suspended health insurance. I remember nothing its blocked out except i passed out when i got to the small apartment .
    I got up,got a job, got well, learned marketing, remarried,studied music, and took an offer as a Comm.REBroker.As i see it it was pretty happy for over 50 years.Then the other woman by now rich and famous died and my ex put the publicity all over the newspapers,Internet, etc.the gossip moved to my family, friends, here and was very humiliating. he claimed to have been “miserable ” with me.There is no way to stophimi took minimum child support and no alimony.Lately he tells me i dont deserve his “money” which i never asked for. the laws are useless. My son after college moved nearhis Dad andi have seen him 3 x in over 20 years.Are othersin this situation?is society indifferent?

  5. Hi Salamishah
    Bravo. Great interview, great questions and as usual brilliant insights.

  6. Jacqueline Munroe says:

    Hi Salamishah – I’m so happy that I now know about you and your work/contribution to women’s issues. I’m a mother who was so badly treated by the now ex-husb and though I am so happy to be free from him, my 2 young ones, son & daughter are still there. You would’nt believe the cycle of abuse that is present in this very anti black women southern system. It is quite painful. I have worked extremely hard on regaining my self-esteem and confidence and now I’m seeking custody of my children. PLEASE ASSIST