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Bertice Berry, Ph.D.
Best-selling author and entertainer
"An Evening with Bertice Berry"
September 11, 2008
Apollo Room, Student Union
NO ONE DEFIES STEREOTYPES, generalizations, or clichés more than Dr. Bertice Berry. Growing up poor in Wilmington, Delaware, Berry was told by a high school teacher that she was “not college material.” Fortunately, there was another teacher who believed in her, and Berry applied to several schools without any idea how she would pay her tuition. The day her application arrived at Jacksonville University in Florida, a wealthy benefactor called the Admissions Department looking for a student “who could swim if they had the right backing,” and might sink without it.
Berry graduated magna cum laude from Jacksonville, and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Kent State University at age 26. She became one of Kent State’s most popular teachers by using humor to address such difficult subjects as racism and sexism. Upon leaving academia, she became an award-winning entertainer, lecturer, comedian, and television host, creating a niche as both a gifted speaker with a comic edge and a comic with a serious message.
Dr. Berry is the best-selling author of the inspirational memoir I’m On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head. Her first work of fiction, Redemption Song, was also a bestseller. Her other works include Jim & Louella’s Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy, and When Love Calls, You Better Answer. She has graciously donated all of the royalties from the sales of her books to organizations that help families in transition, raise funds for scholarships, and provide resource information to low-income families.