Penn Bookstore series celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month Bookstore

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the proud history of African Americans and the countless contributions they have made to American society, not only in sports and entertainment, but also science, engineering, business, education, literature, law, anthropology, medicine, civil rights, politics, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

To honor the many achievements of African Americans, the Penn Bookstore is featuring a Black History Month Series throughout the month of February.

“The Bookstore is pleased to partner with the Center for Africana Studies, as well as a number of Penn faculty, to present a variety of topical programs,” says Christopher Bradie, associate vice president of the Business Services Division, which oversees the Bookstore.

On Friday, Feb. 4, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, cofounder of Def Jam Records, chats about his book, “Super Rich,” with spoken word artist Black Ice in the ARCH Auditorium, 3601 Locust Walk. The session starts at 7 p.m.

Daniel Biddle, politics editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Murray Dubin, a former Inquirer reporter and editor, visit the Bookstore on Wednesday, Feb. 9, to discuss their book, “Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America.” The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, Mary Frances Berry, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and a professor of history at Penn, talks about her new book, “Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama’s Speeches, from the State House to the White House.” Berry speaks at 5:30 p.m.

Shaun Harper, an assistant professor in Penn’s Graduate School of Education, moderates a panel discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 15, titled “How Black Men Experience and Succeed in College: Responses to the Harper Book Collection.” The panel will feature a diverse group of five black male undergraduate students who answer questions about life in higher education. The discussion starts at 5 p.m.

On Monday, Feb. 21, C. Vivian Stringer, head coach of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, comes to the Bookstore to discuss her book, “Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph.” Stringer ranks third in career victories in Division I women’s basketball history and was the first African-American coach to reach 800 wins. The event begins at 5 p.m.

Wes Moore visits the Bookstore on Thursday, Feb. 24, to talk about his book, “The Other Wes Moore.” Moore was a captain in the United States Army before serving as special assistant to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. His book tells the story of two kids with the same name, living in the same city. One grew up to be a White House Fellow; the other is serving a life sentence for felony murder. Moore talks at 6 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Risa Levitt at 215-898-5965 or email


Originally published on February 3, 2011