History Department
History Department

Daina Ramey Berry's "Price for their Pound of Flesh" honored with the Phillis Wheatley Award

Wed, June 6, 2018
Daina Ramey Berry's
Prof. Daina Ramey Berry

Congratulations to Professor Daina Ramey Berry, whose book The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved From Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Beacon Press, 2017) has been recognized by The Sons & Daughters of the US Middle Passage (SDUSMP) with the Phillis Wheatley Award.

Beginning in September, Dr. Berry will be the Oliver H. Radkey Professor of History and African and African Diaspora studies. She is a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of American Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies.

drbSDUSMP highlighted the award in a press release last month announcing its 2nd Annual Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage Conference this past Saturday, June 2, at Rider University in New Jersey. “The conference is a celebration of the lives of individuals enslaved in the United States and early English America. Without them, African-Americans, their descendants, would not exist and our country would be unrecognizable. They endured the horrors and brutality of American slavery and we must never forget them.”

Formed in 2011 in Washington, D.C., SDUSMP is a heritage society for people who can trace their lineage to a direct ancestor enslaved in the early colonial America and/or the United States of America. Its mission is to encourage descendants of enslaved Africans to identify their ancestors and to honor their ancestors' supreme sacrifice in the creation of the United States of America through education, patriotism, remembrance, and memorialization.  

Left: Dr. Evelyn A. McDowell, SDUSMP President and Founding Board Meeting, presents the Phillis Wheatley Award to Dr. Berry, June 2, 2018, at Rider University in New Jersey.

“This year's program and awards banquet will be amazing,” the SDUSMP announcement continued. “The program will be highly informative with sessions including basic and advance genealogical research, using DNA and other records to discover your roots, preserving African-American burial sites, understanding African-American history by using genealogy, and presenting little known history about slavery. It will also feature two young emerging researchers--one from Harvard University and another from Jackson State University. Our session speakers are noted researchers, bloggers, and family historians.” View the complete program here.

The past year has seen the launch of Professor Berry’s profile into the spotlight with the publication of her extensively-acclaimed book The Price for their Pound of Flesh, as well as numerous other publications and nationally-syndicated appearances. Below is just an abbreviated list of her many publications and contributions since last August, perhaps most notable among them a 7-part series for A+E Television Network’s Biography honoring Black History Month, and a widely-shared opinion piece that appeared in The New York Times about some less known atrocities during the era of slavery in the U.S.— focusing on one shocking fact that recently became known: major medical schools used slave corpses, acquired through an underground market in dead bodies, for education and research.

Read more about Professor Berry's work and publications on her home page, and History faculty profile page.

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