Johnnetta Betsch Cole

Image of Johnnetta Betsch Cole

Photo Credit: Boston Photography

About the Author

Johnnetta Betsch Cole is a noted anthropologist and educator. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, she grew up during the days of racial segregation. She holds a B.A. in sociology from Oberlin College, and masters and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. Dr. Cole has conducted anthropological fieldwork in Liberia, West Africa, and traveled to 17 African countries. She is the only person to have served as president for both Spelman and Bennet Colleges; she was also the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art from 2009 to 2016. Dr. Cole serves as the Chair of the Board and the President of the National Council of Negro Women, an organization with a membership of over two million women of African descent. Throughout her career, she has worked on issues of racial, gender and other systems of inequality.