It’s down to people like me to make sure we are not the last and we are not tokens - Professor Brenda Stevenson

Professor Brenda Stevenson

If there were a first prize for coming first, Professor Brenda Stevenson would surely be in the running.  She has been first a lot. She grew up in a working-class African American neighbourhood in Portsmouth, Virginia, following the official end of segregation but when the reality had not caught up. And her first first was to be first in her family to go to the University of Virginia, a largely white and very prestigious college. She went on to be the black postgraduate among her year group at Yale and she was the first woman to be a full chair of department at UCLA and the first black woman to be a tenured professor in the department.