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“Bernard's honesty and vulnerability reveal a strong voice with no sugarcoating, sharing her struggle, ambivalence, hopes, and fears as an individual within a web of relationships black and white. Highly recommended..."
 -- Library Journal starred review of Black is the Body

American HerStory: Conversations about Women's Autobiography

Emily Bernard

Tuesday, February 15, 2022
4:30 p.m. Boardroom, Campus Center West Addition
7:30 p.m. Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Both at University at Albany,
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222


Masks required. Event subject to change. We encourage you to sign up for email updates to stay up-to-date on schedule information. 

Free and open to the public. Free parking. See map.

Books will be available for purchase at the event or in advance at
the campus bookstore.

EmilyBernard credit Andy Duback

Emily Bernard is the author of a celebrated work of autobiography, Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time and Mine (2019)


From the publisher: In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop, marrying a white man from the North and bringing him home to her family, adopting two children from Ethiopia, and living and teaching in a primarily white New England college town. Each of these essays sets out to discover a new way of talking about race and of telling the truth as the author has lived it. 

Emily Bernard was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B. A. and Ph. D. in American Studies from Yale University.

An NPR “Best Book of the Year,” the book was also chosen by NPR correspondent Maureen Corrigan as one of her “10 Unputdownable Reads of the Year.” Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert called it, “one of the most beautiful, elegant memoirs I’ve ever read,” and novelist Ann Patchett called it “my very favorite book of the year.”


Oprah magazine, called the book, “Formidable, destined-to-be-studied… marks the emergence of an extraordinary voice on race in America.”


Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her most recent book, Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine, won the 2020 LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose.

Cosponsored by The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College.


All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask or other face covering while inside any UAlbany owned, operated or leased building.

Unvaccinated individuals are also required to wear face coverings in all outdoor settings. This revised mask requirement will remain in place until the University removes the requirement upon the recommendations of the CDC or other public health officials. Individuals should not attend our in-person events if they — or anyone in their household — are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. UAlbany COVID guidelines.

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