Dr. Mary Francis Berry, Black Educator Hall Of Fame Member

Every day this month, the Center for Black Educator Development, in partnership with Phillys7thWard.org and the Education Post, will highlight a Black Educator Hall of Famer. But, don’t forget, e’ry month is Black History MonthFebruary is just the Blackest.

Today, our featured Black Educator Hall of Fame Member is Mary Francis Berry.

Dr. Mary Francis Berry was born on February 17, 1938 in Nashville, TN. Dr. Berry attended segregated schools in Nashville, TN and unfortunately was placed in an orphanage for a time due to economic hardship within her family. Nevertheless, she preserved and succeeded academically, and professionally.

Dr. Berry graduated from Pearl High School in Nashville, with honors. She attended HBCU’s for her undergraduate and graduate level education. She started undergrad at Fisk and ended a Howard where she received both her B.A. and M.A. Dr. Berry received her Ph.D. in history, as well as her law degree, from the University of Michigan.

She began her teaching career at the University of Maryland. Her expertise and skill earned her new opportunities, including chancellor at the University of Colorado and assistant secretary of education during the Carter Administration. After, she returned to Howard University as a professor while serving on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

She is currently the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she’s been since 1987.

Dr. Berry is the author of a number of articles and essays as well as 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; Long Memory: The Black Experience in America (with co-author John W. Blassingame); Why ERA Failed: Politics, Women’s Rights, and the Amending Process of the Constitution; and The Politics of Parenthood: Child Care, Women’s Rights and the Myth of the Good Mother.

In recognition of her scholarship and public service, Professor Berry has received 35 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.

Mary Francis Berry; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.

For more information on Mary Francis Berry, visit the following site.


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