Bertice B. Berry (born 1960) is an American sociologist, author, lecturer, and educator.
Early life and education
Berry grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, as one of seven children raised by a single mother. The family was poor and her mother struggled with alcoholism. In a 1994 article, Berry reflected on her upbringing and her mother's abusiveness when she was "in one of her frightening stages of drunkenness." Berry ultimately forgave her mother, writing that "her drinking was a way to mask her own pain. I think of the burden she endured as a black woman with few resources for herself or her children."
Despite being told that she should give up on attending college, Berry graduated with a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Jacksonville University in Florida in 1982. She subsequently obtained an M.A. degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. degree in 1988, both in sociology from Kent State University in Ohio. In 1994, she was awarded an honorary D.H.L. degree by Jacksonville University.
After completing her doctorate, Berry taught sociology at Kent State University. In the early 1990s, she left academia to work as an entertainer, lecturer, and comedian. She was the host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, The Bertice Berry Show, from 1993 to 1994. According to legend, the show's September 1993 debut was delayed by news coverage of the Israel-Palestine peace treaty; when the show finally aired an hour later, Berry quipped "We've got peace, now here's Bertice." Alas, the show never found an audience and production shut down seven months later, in summer 1994.
She is the author of two memoirs entitled The World According to Me (1996) and I'm On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head: A Black Woman's Story of Getting Over Life's Hurdles (1997), as well as several novels. She also wrote The Ties That Bind: A Memoir of Race, Memory and Redemption (2009) about her African American heritage. Berry's self-help book about her weight-loss journey is entitled A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets (2010), and it won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Instructional) in 2012.
- "Longview News-Journal from Longview, Texas on September 11, 1994 · Page 96". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
- Dance, Daryl Cumber (1998). Hush, Honey: An Anthology of African American Women's Humor. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 621.
- Bertice Berry Biography - website Brief Biographies
- Honorary Degrees Awarded - website of the Jacksonville University
- Gregory, Deborah (April 1994). "Bertice Berry". Essence. 24: 51 – via EBSCOhost.
- O'Malley, Kathy; Collin, Dorothy (September 14, 1993). "O'Malley & Collin INC.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- "Berry, Bertice". Encyclopedia.com. Thomson Gale. 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Winslow, Harriet (1994-01-18). "They Get Passing Grades at Talk-Show U". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- Bertice Berry, The Ties That Bind: A Memoir of Race, Memory and Redemption, Broadway Books, 2009, p. 8.
- "NAACP Image Awards 2012: Full list of winners". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved 2017-03-04.