Daphne Muse


Daphne Muse


E: elderinresidence@berkeley.edu

Office hours:
654 Social Sciences Building

Daphne Muse is a writer, activist, educator, editor, social commentator, and cultural broker. Born in Washington, DC to parents who were part of the second wave of migration up South under The Warmth of Other Suns, she migrated to California in 1971. She has published four books, all focused on Black and multicultural children’s literature Caribbean, and the United States. Muse collaborated closely with the staff to ensure that this work was navigated into and intersected with multiple community-based projects in the greater Bay Area and across the diaspora.

Anointed by the hand of Harlem Renaissance writer and poet and Fisk University Librarian Arna Bontemps when she was a student at Fisk University, my collection of more than 22,000 letters, books, art, and ephemera has been used by authors, filmmakers, and scholars to inspire projects, conduct research and to augment exhibits at universities, museums, embassies, and libraries across the country. While I continue to house 70% of the collection, some is archived at the Bancroft Library
at UC Berkeley, Emory University and Mills College. My work as a cultural broker also includes two years as the program director for the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame, serving as a publicist for Alice Walker from 1978-1984, founding and producing “The Right-on Rainbow Children’s Book and Film Festival” (1978-1983) and mounting exhibits on Gwendolyn Brooks, literature across the African Diaspora and an exhibit on James Baldwin at UC Berkeley, as well as consulting with the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley on the acquisition of Pulitzer Prize author and poet Gwendolyn Brooks papers (1917-2000). In 2006, I also brought the Quilters of Gees Bend to Mills for a presentation and discussion of their work. From 2014-2016 I served as a consultant to Google Talks, bringing authors, artists, and journalists to the series including Alice Walker, Hank Thomas, Chris Johnson, and Belva Davis to the table. My most current project focuses on organizing and lecturing on “The Daphne Muse Collection of Correspondence:

Documenting Black Life and Culture Across the Diaspora” (more than 5000 handwritten and typed letters dating from 1898 to the Present). She was the sole proprietor of Concept to Manuscript from 1972-20014. Her client base included educators, award-winning writers, filmmakers, activists, foundations, media outlets, and non-profit organizations. I’ve served as a reviewer for grants, proposals and writer/consultant