Gender and Race after the 2008 Campaign

Mary Frances Berry

Tuesday, 03 Mar 2009 at 8:00 pm – Sun Room, Memorial Union

Mary Frances Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of seven books, including The Pig Farmer's Daughter and Other Tales of American Justice: Episodes of Racism and Sexism in the Courts from 1865 to the Present; Black Resistance, White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America; Why ERA Failed: Politics, Women's Rights, and the Amending Process of the Constitution; Long Memory: The Black Experience in America, with John Blassingame; and Military Necessity and Civil Rights Policy: Black Citizenship and the Constitution, 1861-1868. She was previously a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, serving as chair from 1993 to 2004. She also served as the Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; as provost of the University of Maryland and chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Part of the National Affairs Series: How Will America Change?
Mary Frances Berry has been a Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History since 1987. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan and JD from the University of Michigan Law School. She is the author of seven books, including The Pig Farmer's Daugher and Other Tales of American Justice: Episodes of Racism and Sexism in the Courts from 1865 to the Present (1999); Black Resistance, White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America (1994, orig. 1971); The Politics of Parenthood: Child Care, Women's Rights, and the Myth of the Good Mother (1993); Why ERA Failed: Politics, Women's Rights, and the Amending Process of the Constitution (1986); Long Memory: The Black Experience in America, with John Blassingame (1982); and Military Necessity and Civil Rights Policy: Black Citizenship and the Constitution, 1861-1868 (1977).
Professor Berry has had a distinguished career in public service. From 1980 to 2004, she was a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and from 1993-2004 served as Chair. Between 1977 and 1980, Dr. Berry served as the Assistant Secretary for Education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). She has also served as Provost of the University of Maryland and Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In recognition of her scholarship and public service, Professor Berry has received 32 honorary doctoral degrees and many awards, including the NAACP's Roy Wilkins Award, the Rosa Parks Award of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Ebony Magazine Black Achievement Award. She is one of 75 women featured in I Dream A World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America. Sienna College Research Institute and the Women's Hall of Fame designated her one of "America's Women of the Century." In 1990-91 she was President of the Organization of American Historians.

Professor Berry teaches the History of American Law, and the History of Law and Social Policy. She also advises students in African American History.

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This lecture was made possible in part by the generosity of F. Wendell Miller, who left his entire estate jointly to Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. Mr. Miller, who died in 1995 at age 97, was born in Altoona, Illinois, grew up in Rockwell City, graduated from Grinnell College and Harvard Law School and practiced law in Des Moines and Chicago before returning to Rockwell City to manage his family's farm holdings and to practice law. His will helped to establish the F. Wendell Miller Trust, the annual earnings on which, in part, helped to support this activity.

Cosponsored By:
  • LAS Miller Lecture Fund
  • National Affairs
  • YWCA
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB)