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Crystal A. deGregory is Magic and Mortal

by Cass Teague
Crystal A. deGregory

In her new book, “Magic and Mortal,” we get an introduction to the poetic voice of historian and storyteller Crystal A. deGregory. Celebrating the nuanced facets of her Black girlhood, womanhood, and Caribbeanness, she expertly guides readers on a journey through the making of historically-Black institutions and their contributions toward cultural identity; personal triumph; collective joy; death; grief; and everything in between. Blackness is both a magical resistance and a mortal persistence, and deGregory leaves it all on the pages.

Crystal A. deGregory is a Bahamian diasporan, historian, and storyteller. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the historic Fisk University, deGregory earned her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in history from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Education from Tennessee State University. Among her myriad professional and civic affiliations is The Tennessee Historical Society’s trusteeship and membership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Known for her collaborative advocacy and entrepreneurial leadership, she serves as the founder and editor of two digital storytelling projects: HBCUstory and Dorian and Beyond—the story of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas. In her first poetic collection, deGregory weaves a love story for Black history, culture, education, and the places and people who shaped her.

Patricia Russell-McCloud, Esq., International Motivational Speaker says of the book, “This offering, captures, connects, and convinces as it artfully frames promise and pain, happiness and hollowness, test and testimony. She moves us, unapologetically, through decades of our now to our next!”

Hailed “young sister leader” by Spelman College and Bennett College President Emerita Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, she has given talks and served on panels for Alcorn State, Edward Waters, Fisk, Florida Memorial, Harvard, Howard, Michigan-Ann Arbor, Tennessee State, Vanderbilt, and Wilberforce universities. She also served as the graduation speaker for her alma mater Bishop Michael Eldon School and was commencement speaker for the inaugural University of The Bahamas, Northern Campus graduation exercise.

A gifted orator and sought-after commentator, Dr. deGregory offers a wide range of expertise on multiple topics including race, women and girls, history, culture, education, and of course, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In addition to regular contributions to HBCUstory.org, Dr. deGregory’s words have appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, The Tennessean, Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, Los Angeles Times, The State Journal, Lexington Herald-Leader, The Key Reporter, Nashville Scene, The Atlanta Voice, Tri-City Defender, The Houston Chronicle, EducationDIVE, INSIGHT Into Diversity, The Nation, The Feminist Wire and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Dr. deGregory has presented to audiences at TEDx, SXSWedu, the Southern Festival of Books, the Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Television, The New School, Middle Tennessee State University’s Center for Historic Preservation, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Ford, Nissan North America, National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Learn more about this phenomenal woman and how to get a copy of this amazing book on her website at: http://crystaldegregory.com/

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