Dr. Jessie Carney Smith, left and Rev. Dr. Chestina Mitchell Archibald

NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Chapter of Les Gemmes, Inc. will host it’s 11th Annual Literary Luncheon, featuring Dr. Jessie Carney Smith, author of Notable Black American Women, which won the WNBA award, and later published Notable African American Men. Her other books include Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century and others.

In addition, we will feature Rev. Chestina Archibald, minister and author of The Secrets of the Psalms, Say Amen, The African American Family’s Book of Prayers, Lessons for Living, A Spiritual Guide to Prosperity just to name a few.

In celebration of National Women’s History month, these two great historians will inspire, motivate and empower those in attention.

This is a Must Attend Event!

The program will also spotlight young ladies we mentor, “Jewels,” who participate in “Girls of Distinction”, formerly “Lighting the Path for Girls,” signature program of Les Gemmes, Inc. The proceeds from this event will provide scholarships for these young ladies as they graduate high school and prepare to attend a four year college.

Dr. Jessie 

Carney Smith

Dr. Jessie Carney Smith, Dean of the Library and  Camille Cosby Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Fisk University, is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina.  She holds a B.S. degree from North Carolina A and T State University; M.A., Michigan State University; M.A., George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D., the University of Illinois.

Dr. Smith is consultant to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has served as consultant to the Office for Civil Rights in the desegregation of higher education institutions in Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina.  She has also served as consultant and proposal reviewer for the Southern Education Foundation and the U.S. Office of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

She attended an internationally known Pugwash Conference in Nova Scotia; lectured in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico; served as chairperson of the library section, Conference on Manding Studies, University of London, London, England; directed a workshop for librarians’ conference, United States Army in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan; was book reviewer and program participant on Black Bermudians, Hamilton, Bermuda; and made an educational tour of Dakar, Senegal.

Dr. Smith is author of numerous journal articles and editor or author of over 25 books, including Black Academic Libraries and Research Collections; Ethnic Genealogy; Images of Blacks in American Culture; Epic Lives; Black Firsts; Notable Black American Women; Notable Black American Men; Civil Rights Facts and Firsts (coauthored with Linda T. Wynn), Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture; and more recently, Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era (with Lean’tin Bracks) and Encyclopedia of African American Business (rev. ed.).

She has been honored by the Council on Library Resources, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois; Coalition of 100 Black Women the Women’s National Book Association; and SAGE Magazine (1992). She also received the Bennett College Belle Ringer Image Award; Fisk University’s Research Career Award; was named Librarian of the Year by the Association of College and Research Libraries; and was honored with A Tribute Resolution, American Library Association Council, June 30, 2015.  Fisk University honored her in July 2015 for 50 years of distinguished service to the institution. In December, the Fisk faculty honored her again, citing her dedication to the library and the university.

Selected memberships include the NAACP; Pi Gamma Mu (National Social Science Honorary); Beta Phi Mu (National Library Science Honorary, and national president, 1976-77); Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; and the Links, Inc.

Rev. Dr. Chestina 

Mitchell Archibald

Rev. Dr. Chestina Mitchell Archibald, longtime Dean of Chapel at Fisk University, is also an award winning speaker and acclaimed author. Her many recent projects include being editor of “Say Amen, the African American Family’s Book of Prayers” (Duton@Signet), co-editor of “Divine Inspiration” (Harper@Collins), and author of “Secret of the Psalms” (Berkley), “Lessons for Living From A Dying Man,” (ITC), and “A Spiritual Guide to Prosperity” (Anchor) among many other publications,  both large and small.

Her extensive educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dubuque, Iowa, a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Howard University School of Law in Washington D. C. Rev. Mitchell is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator and Life Coach.

The lengthy list of awards she’s received ranges from being selected by the Staley Foundation as one of its most distinguished Christian scholar lecturers to multiple listings in Marquis Who’s Who among American Women. She’s participated in international clergy conferences in Africa, the Caribbean, Korea, Japan, Israel, Brazil and across the USA. Besides being a speaker and participant in the “Consultation for Global Survival” held in Nairobi, Kenya, Rev. Archibald has received the United Methodist Church’s prestigious HOPE Award for her assistance to youth from Brazil, Africa ,and America, and been recognized by the United Negro College Fund as Outstanding Alumnus from the Interdenominational Theological Center.

The mother of a son with two grandchildren, Rev. Archibald has spoken not only at prestigious universities and colleges like Howard, Harvard and Duke, but in humble rural settings. Helping others, especially young adults, acquire a consciousness that yields self esteem expressed in love, joy, peace, health, happiness and prosperity, remains her prime passion.

The 11th event will take place at the Airport Mariott beginning at 9 am with a reception and book vendors.

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