Release date: Feb. 9, 2005
Emory Celebrates Black History Month
Emory University's Black History Month celebration is highlighted by the keynote address by Mary Frances Berry, former chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Berry's lecture, "Civil Rights: the Struggle Redefined," will be Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Woodruff Health Sciences Administration Building auditorium, 1440 Clifton Rd., Emory. This event is free and open to the public. For more information regarding this and other Black History Month events, call 404-727-6754.
Mary Frances Berry was appointed by then-President Carter and confirmed by the U. S. Senate as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1980. During President Reagan's administration, Berry was fired for criticizing Reagan's civil rights policies. She sued the president and won reinstatement on the committee. In 1993, President Clinton designated her chairperson of the commission, a position she held until her resignation in December 2004. In addition to her service with the Civil Rights Commission, Berry also was assistant secretary for education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1977-80.
Berry is one of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement, which instigated protests at the South Africa Embassy in the U.S. as part of the struggle for democracy in that country. She has been jailed several times for her activities in support of this cause.
Berry is the recipient of many awards for her public service and scholarly activities, including the NAACP's Image Award, the Rosa Parks Award of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Hubert Humphrey Award of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
She is the author of seven books, including "The Pig Farmer's Daughter and Other Tales of Law and Justice," "Race and Sex in the Courts 1865 to the Present," "Long Memory: The Black Experience in America" (with co-author John W. Blassingame), "The Politics of Parenthood: Child Care, Women's Rights and the Myth of the Good Mother" and "Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America."
Currently, Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches history and law.
Other events during Black History Month include the Black Film Festival, a performance by Voices of Inner Strength Gospel Choir and an art gala.
The schedule of activities follows. All events are free and open to the public.
"The Gender Jihad: Islamic Feminism and Reform Movements in the Muslim World." Amina Wadud, Virginia Commonwealth University. 7 p.m. Free. Winship Ballroom, Dobbs Center, 605 Asbury Circle, Emory.
Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For more than a decade Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nine schools, the university encompasses The Carter Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, a comprehensive metropolitan health care system.