The Black Hills State University Multicultural Committee and the University Programming Team student organization are sponsoring a presentation titled “African American Sheroes in South Dakota” by performer Joyce Jefferson Monday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. Jefferson will share her research of a little-known South Dakota pioneer through song, dance and poetry. The presentation is one of several events held on campus during Black History Month.
Enthralled with the historic African American women who conquered the Wild West, Jefferson has researched and developed historical portrayals of women she calls Sheroes. These women crossed dangerous and undeveloped lands, entering the Wild West with all odds stacked against them. With backgrounds of slavery, little or no education, and being of minority gender, these women overcame the most challenging of circumstances to accomplish the extraordinary.
Jefferson will portray Sarah Campbell, one of Black Hills’ most interesting figures. Campbell was the first documented non-American Indian woman to come to the Black Hills of Dakota Territory. Probably born into slavery in Kentucky, Campbell traveled the Missouri River on steamboats for years. She was in Bismarck, Dakota Territory, when Gen. George Armstrong Custer was commissioned to survey the Black Hills. She signed on as a cook with the expedition. She was known as “Aunt Sally” to soldiers, miners and all who loved her. Campbell is reportedly the first woman to file a mining claim.
For more information on this event contact Erica Whitiker, student engagement coordinator, at 605-642-6378 or Erica.Whitiker@BHSU.edu