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Press Releases

Monday, February 1, 1999

Black History Month Keynote Speaker, Mary Frances Berry, Discusses "Civil Rights In America" February 9 at Salisbury State

SALISBURY, MD--Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, delivers the keynote address for Salisbury State University’s February celebration of African-American History Month.

Berry will discuss “Civil Rights in America: From the ‘60s to the Millennium” on Tuesday, February 9, at 8 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center on the SSU campus. Her presentation is free and the public is invited.

Berry, who teaches history and law at Penn, was appointed by President Carter and confirmed by the Senate as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1980. After President Reagan fired her for criticizing his civil rights policies, she sued him and won reinstatement in federal district court. In 1993, President Clinton designated her chairperson on the Civil Rights Commission.

Berry has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows including Nightline, Crossfire, Lead Story, Face the Nation, The Today Show, Oprah Winfrey, CNN and C-Span. Berry is also one of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement, which instigated protests at the South African Embassy in the struggle for democracy in South Africa. She was arrested and jailed several times in the cause.

Berry was Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter Administration. As Assistant Secretary, she coordinated and gave several supervision to nearly $13 billion federal education program.

Prior to her service at HEW, Berry was provost at the University of Maryland, College Park and chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Berry’s six books include Long Memory: The Black Experience (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.

For more information on Berry’s talk and for a complete listing of African-American Month activities at SSU please call the Salisbury State Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.

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