Gail Smith

(Moderator), Feminist Author & Journalist
Winnie’s death and the narrative fall-out that followed forced us to ask why we were so susceptible to the lies and misinformation about Winnie Mandela? This reckoning with our past forced a new conversation about culpability, about white supremacy and the violence it required, about the machinery invented to destroy her. It exposed the dirty secrets of white supremacy, of black liberation, of the national family, and of the hidden faces for whom destroying Winnie Mandela was a matter of white nationalist pride.

Gail Smith is a feminist writer, journalist and media strategist, and is the ReaBua:HerStory Campaign Project Manager. Gail’s publications include both journalism and long-form essays on race, gender, feminism, and culture, and she has written extensively on Winnie Mandela. Gail’s TV credits include It’s A Feminist Thing 2020, South Africa’s first unapologetically feminist talk-show, as well as research and writing on The Life and Times of Sarah Baartmann (1998) and The Return of Sarah Baartmann (2002) – for which she documented the historic return of Sarah Baartmann, pejoratively exhibited and described as ‘The Hottentot Venus’ – from the Musée de l’Homme in Paris in 2002. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2006, Gail is also the former Spokesperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, a former Senior Specialist Writer City Press, and the former head of the UNISA Institute for Gender Studies