In 1971, Aldridge became the first African American woman faculty member of Emory University and founding director of the first African American and African Studies degree-granting program in the South, which she administered until 1990.
In 1988 and 1992, she studied gender and race issues in the Soviet Union and Brazil. Aldridge served as national president of four separate national organizations including an unprecedented two terms as president of the National Council for Black Studies. She has been chairman of the board of a number of organizations including the International Black Women’s Congress (IBWC).
As chair of the IBWC, she organized international conferences on issues related to the health of Africana women. Aldridge also published Toward Integrating Africana Women into Africana Studies in 1992 and co-edited River of Tears: The Politics of Black Women’s Health in 1993. She is popularly known for her 1994 work, Focusing: Black Male Female Relationships.
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