Dr. Mab Segrest is a feminist writer, scholar, and activist who received her PhD from Duke University in 1979. She was born in 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama and attended Huntingdon College from 1967 to 1971. Multiple generations of Dr. Segrest's family have lived in the Tuskegee area and influenced its history and development. Segrest is recognized for speaking and writing about sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression. She has founded, served on the boards of, and consulted with a wide range of social justice organizations throughout her life. From its creation in 1969 until it disbanded in 1983, Segrest participated in the southern feminist writing collective Feminary working to produce the journal of the same name. After Feminary disbanded, she worked for six years (1983–1990) with North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence (NCARRV), focusing much of her work on removing the Ku Klux Klan from North Carolina. She earned her livelihood from 1992–2000 as Coordinator of the Urban-Rural Mission (USA), part of the URM network of the World Council of Churches. After working full-time with various political organizations, Segrest returned to academia. From 2002 until 2014, Segrest worked at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. In 2004, Segrest was appointed the Fuller-Matthai Professor of Gender & Women's Studies there. She is currently conducting research for a book or series of books about the Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia. Her major published works include: Living in a House I Do Not Own (Night Heron Press, 1982), My Mama's Dead Squirrel: Lesbian Essays on Southern Culture, (Firebrand Books, 1985), Memoir of a Race Traitor (South End Press, 1994), and Born to Belonging: Writings on Spirit and Justice (Rutgers University Press, 2002).
This collection documents Segrest's personal life, education, and professional life and is comprised of materials related to her family, activism, research, writings, teaching, and travel.
The collection also contains a typescript of Dorothy Allison's Bastard out of Carolina.
There are significant materials relating to Segrest's work with the following organizations: The NC Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality, North Carolinians Against Racist and Religious Violence (NCARRV), The Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR), The North Carolina Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality (NCCGLE), National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), The World Council of Churches/Urban Rural Mission (WCC/URM), and The National Women's Studies Association/Southern Women's Studies Association (NWSA/SWSA).
Where possible, Segrest's original folder titles have been retained.