Life in Baltimore: Leah’s Book Club 2016 National Women’s History Month honorees


The sixth annual Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea sponsored by Leah’s Book Club honored eleven women in the community and presented guest author, F. Michael Higginbotham. Leah’s Book Club was organized in 1998 by Dr. Leah Goldsborough Hasty for like-minded readers to discuss books, particularly those by African American authors.

Beginning in 2000, each December the club began hosting a holiday tea with invited friends and Irene Bennett Reid, an avid reader and charter member of Leah’s Book Club who delighted the membership and audiences with her review of the books.

In 2011, Leah’s Book Club thought it fitting to honor Irene’s memory with the Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea during National Women’s History Month. Each year the club members honor and recognize women who have made contributions to their communities and who embody the same spirit and concern for the welfare of others as Irene demonstrated throughout her career.

Irene‚Äôs son, the Honorable Kurt L. Schmoke, president, University of Baltimore and former Baltimore Mayor introduced the guest author, F.Michael Higginbotham, University of Baltimore law professor and former interim dean at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professor Higginbotham discussed his book, “Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post Racial America, ” and signed books after the program. Previous speakers at this event have been Taylor Branch, Antero Pietila, Dr. G. Derek Musgrove, Larry Gibson and A. Dwight Pettit.

The program was chaired by Dr. Brenda Conley and Claudette Swain. The 2016 National Women’s History Month honorees are Regina Bernard, the Honorable Pamila J. Brown, Dr. Thelma Daley, Janese Kerr Daniels, Ph.D., Geraldine Floyd, Gloria Jones, Patelle Harris, Cynthia A. Jordan, Barbara Lee, Erika Maynor and Peggy A.W. Moore. Each honoree was highlighted in a power point presentation and escorted to the podium by their sponsor to receive a certificate and gift.

The ladies of Leah’s Book Club are committed to highlighting women in the community and providing an audience for authors to discuss their books at the annual Irene Bennett Reid Memorial Tea. Members are Lorna Brice, Lorraine Brown, Dr. Brenda Conley, Merita Donaldson, Ernestine Dunston, Juanita Edgerton, Leah Hasty, Dr. Brenda Bowe Johnson, Bennie Keene, Dorothy Marshall, Marilyn Mc Donald, Evelyn Moore, Cassandra Ross, Alice Shelton, Dr. Louise Smith, Margaret Smith, Claudette Swain and Beaulah Wallace.