This week, The Country School was honored to welcome a distinguished visitor to its campus, Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier, Chair of United States and Atlantic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Professor Bernier, an esteemed authority on African American literature and culture, shared her groundbreaking research on the life of Frederick Douglass and his family. This two-day event provided a unique opportunity for all students, from Pre-K through 8th grade, and staff to engage with Professor Bernier’s wealth of knowledge on this pivotal figure in American history. Students of all ages were given the opportunity to ask questions of Professor Bernier during a Q&A session, providing an interactive platform to delve deeper into the complexities of Douglass’s life and legacy.
Frederick Douglass, a towering abolitionist, writer, and orator, played a transformative role in the fight against slavery in the United States during the 19th century. Professor Bernier’s research delves into Douglass’s life, shedding light on lesser-known aspects of his personal journey, as well as the experiences of his family members.
“We were thrilled and honored to welcome Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier to The Country School,” said Jean Brune, Interim Head of School. “Her expertise in United States and Atlantic Studies, combined with her in-depth research on Frederick Douglass and his family, aligns perfectly with our commitment to fostering a deep understanding of historical and cultural narratives among our students. This occasion not only enriches the academic environment at The Country School but also serves as an opportunity for students and staff to appreciate the significance of Douglass’s contributions to American history.”
Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier is the author/editor/curator of over 85 books, essays, exhibitions, and educational guides. Her recent books include an eight-book series, Douglass Family Lives: The Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass Family Biography and Collected Works. She is the winner of a British Association for American Studies Book Prize and co-winner of a European Association for American Studies Book Prize and International African American History and Genealogical Society Maryland Book Award. Professor Bernier has held visiting appointments and fellowships at Memphis, Harvard, Yale, Oxford, King’s College London, University of California, Santa Barbara, National Center for the Humanities and Obama Institute.