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Jan. 27: Celebrated author offers reading to mark Black History Month

Thursday, January 27, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College will mark Black History Month with a reading by a celebrated author from her recently released novel Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the College’s Whitaker Campus Center.

The reading will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez will read from her acclaimed novel, "Wench," which tells the story of four black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War. In her debut novel, Perkins-Valdez explores the moral complexities of slavery and raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence.

Perkins-Valdez has been featured on NPR, and in Essence and Oprah magazines. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories 2009, The Kenyon Review, PMS: PoemMemoirStory, North Carolina Literary Review and the Richard Wright Newsletter.

Each year since 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month. The event, which celebrates the achievements of black Americans and recognizes their central role in U.S. history, grew out of Negro History Week, the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson. February was chosen because it marks the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African-Americans—Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.

The event is sponsored by Hood's African-American studies program, the office of multicultural affairs and international student programs, the English and history departments, the provost's and dean of students' offices, the Hood College chapter of Mortar Board and the Black Student Union.

For more information about the event, contact Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, at (301) 696-3686 or by e-mail at; or Hoda Zaki, Ph.D., professor of political science, at (301) 696-3697 or by e-mail at