In a historic political year, Donna Brazile, one of the best-known strategists in modern American political life, is coming to West Virginia University to help celebrate Black History Month.

She will give a talk at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the New Erickson Alumni Center ballroom. A book signing and reception will follow in the Alumni Center Clubroom.

Donna Brazile has for many years been the authoritative voice on Democratic politics,said Marjorie Fuller, director of WVU s Center for Black Culture.In this extraordinary year of both political history and American history, the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research is proud to host Donna Brazile as she shares her learned perspective and expert analysis with the WVU community.

Brazile began her political career at the age of 9 when she worked to support the campaign of a city council candidate who promised to build a playground in her neighborhood.

Four decades and several state and local campaigns later, she has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as presidential campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore.

Brazile is a frequent CNN contributor and chair of the Democratic National Committees Voting Rights Institute, an organization established in 2001 to help protect and promote the rights of all Americans to participate in the political process.

She is also a political consultant for ABC News, regularly appearing onThis Week with George Stephanopoulos,a contributor to NPR sPolitical Corner,a columnist for Roll Call and Ms. Magazine and a content contributor to BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Author of the best-selling autobiographyCooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics,Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and a senior lecturer at the University of Maryland.

Washingtonian named her one of the100 most powerful women,and Essence called her one of thetop 50 women in America.The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gave Brazile its award for political achievement.

Braziles presentation is one of many WVU activities planned in honor of Black History Month.

Philip Merrill, a nationally recognized expert in black memorabilia and history, will give a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Mountainlair, Rhododendron Room.

The owner of an extensive and eclectic collection of black memorabiliamore than 30,000 itemsMerrill has exhibited his collection widely at museums, universities and schools, national conferences and a variety of other settings. His artifacts will be on display from Feb. 23-26 in theLair Mountain Room.

WVU s Center for Black Culture and Research and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, meanwhile, are hosting the annual African American Read-In at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in theLair Laurel Room.

Everyone is invited to bring his or her favorite pieces of African-American writing (literature, poetry, novels or scholarly writing) to read aloud and share with others.

For more information on the 2009 National African American Read-In, go to http://www.ncte.org/action/aari/packetinfo .

WVU Center for Black Culture and Research on the Net: http://cbc.wvu.edu/