Penelope A. Baskerville, class of 1968


Penelope “Penny” A. Baskerville begins Part 1 of this interview by recounting her family life and early education in New Jersey. She discusses the experience of being a racial minority at Pembroke (Baskerville was one of six Black women in her class) as well as the general novelty of the college social experience, stressing the strength of the friendships she developed. Baskerville recounts her extracurricular involvement, the founding of the Afro-American Society, and the unique nature of college in the 1960s.

In Part 2, Baskerville describes the larger Black Ivy League community, her scholarships, her academic performance, and the social expectations placed on women at the time, such as marriage.

In Part 3, Baskerville discusses life after Pembroke and her continued involvement in the field of education. She ends by reflecting on the positive experiences she had at Pembroke.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Recorded on February 3, 1996 via phone
Interviewed by Derria Monique Byrd

Suggested Chicago style citation: Baskerville, Penelope A.. Interview. By Monique Byrd. Pembroke Center Oral History Project, Brown University. February 3, 1996.


Penelope “Penny” A. Baskerville was born in South Orange, New Jersey. She arrived at Pembroke College as one of six African-American women in her class, the largest class group to date. At Pembroke she studied German and helped found the Afro-American Society, a social group that helped to develop a network for Ivy League African-American students. She lived almost all her life in New Jersey, raising two children, working in personnel administration, and volunteering extensively within her community. Baskerville died on July 7, 2014 at age 67.