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Renowned children's author headlines seminar

February 4, 2002

As part of its celebration of African American History Month, Austin Peay will host children's author, Carolivia Herron, Feb. 15-16.

In her seminar, "African American Women in Pursuit of Beauty," Herron will discuss her controversial book, "Nappy Hair." The lecture takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb 15 in Gentry Auditorium, Kimbrough Building and will be followed by a book signing.

The event is co-sponsored by the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center and the African American Studies Program.

According to Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, director of APSU's African American Studies Program, "Nappy Hair" is intended to teach African American children to accept their African features, including their natural hair.

Herron's book received public attention in 1998 when Ruth Sherman, a white teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y., used "Nappy Hair" to teach a lesson in racial tolerance to her predominately African American and Hispanic third-grade class. When parents and local residents learned about the lesson, racial tensions flared. The school board convened a meeting but, ultimately, Sherman voluntarily transferred to another school.

Herron's Feb. 15 lecture complements a special course taught by Dawson. "More than 50 students at Austin Peay will study the complexities of color prejudice and self-esteem among African American women," Dawson said. "Historically, divisions have occurred within the African American community resulting from forced racial-mixing during slavery."

Herron will make a cameo appearance at an African American History Month program sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Clarksville/Montgomery County Library.

For more information, please telephone Dawson at (931) 221-7106 or Dr. Jacqui Wade, director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, (931) 221-7120.