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WSSU to host kickoff of HBCU Made book tour by NPR host Ayesha Rascoe

Author and National Public Radio host Ayesha Rascoe will launch her book tour on the campus of Winston-Salem State University during Black History Month.

The book, “HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience,” is a collection of stories from popular HBCU alumni and how their collegiate experiences shaped their lives.

WSSU will be the first stop on Rascoe’s HBCU tour to promote the book in partnership with Bookmarks. The program begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Donald J. Reaves Student Center, Room 100. It is free to attend, but registration is required.

“HBCU Made” is the first book of its kind to feature famous alumni sharing direct accounts of their college experience. It presents a collection of vulnerable and candid personal essays about the schools that nurtured, challenged and educated them. From political figures to respected writers, from outstanding dancers to prominent performers, the array of voices describe why they chose their HBCU, their first days on campus, the excitement of homecoming, and the relief of finally feeling understood.

Among contributors are Oprah Winfrey, Stacey Abrams, Branford Marsalis and Roy Wood Jr. Stacey Abrams recounts her time at Spelman College as a crucial moment that inarguably altered her trajectory and shaped her sense capability. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers loved her time at Talladega because for the first time in her life, she didn’t have to justify reading books by Black authors; and Brandon Gilpin describes his HBCU experience as being “nothing short of a miracle.”

“For some, the choice to attend an HBCU was an easy one, as they followed in the footsteps of their parents or siblings. Yet for others, it was a carefully considered step away from a predominantly white institution to be educated in a place where they would never have to justify their presence,” a press release about the book states.

HBCU Made “beautifully pulls back the curtain on the lived experience of prominent graduates while also shining a bright light on the significant contribution that HBCUs have made to American culture,” it reads.

The program’s format will be a conversation event with Ayesha Rascoe and Dr. Santiba D. Campbell along with a moderator.

Rascoe is the host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” and the weekend episodes of “Up First.” Prior to her role as host, she was a White House correspondent, having covered three presidential administrations. As a part of the White House team, she was also a regular on the NPR’s “Politics Podcast.”

Before joining NPR, Rascoe spent the first decade of her career at Reuters, rising from a news assistant to an energy reporter to eventually covering the White House. While at Reuters, she covered some of the biggest energy and environmental stories of the past decade, including the 2010 BP oil spill. She’s also a proud graduate of Howard University.

Campbell earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from WSSU, and her master’s and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Delaware. Her research concerning racial identity and perceptions of racial discrimination and how both may influence the psychological well-being for Black American college students will lend to the conversation. She is director of Academic Special Initiatives at Bennett College and is an American Council on Education Fellow 2023-2024.

To register for a free ticket, visit Books will be available for purchase at checkout and during the program or call (336) 747-1471 ext. 1001, or email WSSU’s Leslie Winbush at


About Winston-Salem State University: Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region, and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.


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