Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray, bestselling authors of The Personal Librarian, will discuss their book and the extraordinary life of Belle Marion Greener.
The 2022 Richard T. Greener Lecture will be moderated by Augusta Baker Endowed Chair Dr. Nicole Cooke. A book signing will follow.
About the Book:
"In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.
But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.
The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives."--from the publisher
About the Authors:
Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator. A graduate of Boston College and the Boston University School of Law, she is the New York Times and USAToday bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Carnegie’s Maid, The Other Einstein, and Lady Clementine. All have been translated into multiple languages. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.
Victoria Christopher Murray is an acclaimed author with more than one million books in print. She has written more than twenty novels, including Stand Your Ground, a NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction and a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Dr. Nicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina. Read more
About the Lecture:
Richard T. Greener (1844-1922) was the first African American to serve on the faculty at the University of South Carolina (1873-1877). A statue was erected on the campus in his honor in 2018. The Greener Lecture honors and builds on his legacy and the contributions he made as professor, librarian, law student, and advocate for civil rights.
Sponsored by Richland Library, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and the Center for Innovation and Inclusion in Higher Education. This Let's Talk Race program is also made possible thanks to funding from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.