Women We Love 2022: Ayana Omilade Flewellen

Ayana Omilade Flewellen

by Chas Todd

As a student of history, anthropologist Ayana Omilade Flewellen appreciates every artifact she finds on an archaeological excavation. “Every button, piece of ceramic, bead, glass fragment,” they tell GO, “holds someone’s story.” As an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University (starting July 2022) and co-founder and current president of the Society of Black Archaeologists, her research focuses on Black Feminism, historical archeology, identity formation, and memory. She is also on the board of directors of Diving With a Purpose, which conserves and preserves sub- merged artifacts associated with the African Diaspora. It began with an undergraduate class at the University of Florida, “Archaeology of African American History and Culture.” “When I saw that class was available,” Flewellen explains, “my first thought was that I would have the chance to unearth the objects I used to spend hours in museums looking at. That really intrigued me, that idea of holding history.” Flewellen has been featured in National Geographic, Science Magazine, PBS, and CNN, and often presents her work at institutions like Stanford, Harvard, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Flewellen has always loved using her hands, whether holding his- tory or creating something beautiful. As a kid, she would make different crafts with her mother while watching Star Trek. “Today,” they say, “I create adornments mainly for myself, to always keep my creative side flowing.” –AB

What Do You Think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *