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Displaying Posts Tagged: african american interests

Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis is a distinctive and acclaimed new voice in fiction. Her new novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, is the latest Oprah Book Club 2.0 selection. Beginning in the 1920s in Georgia, it tells the story of the Great Migration of African Americans through the trials and triumphs of one very remarkable, unforgettable family. Hattie Shepherd is 15 when she flees Georgia for a new life in Philadelphia. What she finds is a disappointing marriage and children she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. Captured in twelve luminous threads, their onrushing lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. It is a powerful, beautiful story you will treasure, and we were pleased to be able to host this young author at the First Baptist Church Decatur on March 21st, 2013.

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Dr. Keith Gilyard

Dr. Keith Gilyard is one of America’s most highly regarded scholars of African American writers.  In this author talk, he discussed his new book, the first major biography of an important native Georgia author, John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism. Killens was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, was the founding chairman of the legendary Harlem Writers Guild and is regarded as the father of the Black Arts Movement. Gilyard’s biography examines his life and those whose lives he touched including W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. We are very happy to share this illuminating talk with you in this program.

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Wil Haygood Discusses Sugar Ray Robinson

Wil Haygood is the author of a riveting new biography, Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, one of the greatest boxers in history. Haygood’s book is “a biography worthy of a great athlete and an important social force,” vividly detailing the often controversial life in and out of the ring of the legendary Sugar Ray, who was born in rural Georgia. His story weaves in some of the major figures in 20th century American history, including Langston Hughes, Miles Davis and Lena Horne. Haygood previously has written acclaimed biographies of Adam Clayton Powell and Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter, whose brilliant debut novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, was a New York Times bestselling novel, returns with something different: a new book, Jericho’s Fall, centered on the shadowy world of spies, government secrecy and financial fraud. It”s a riveting thriller for Carter, professor of Law at Yale University since 1982. His other books include Palace Council and New England White.

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Byron Pitts

Byron Pitts, correspondent for the highly-rated CBS television news program “60 Minutes,” has written a memoir that is at once a story of success and defying the odds. Step Out On Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Overcome Life’s Obstacles, is a powerful memoir that chronicles his rise from a stuttering black kid in an inner city neighborhood to a premier television journalist. Pitts’ story will resonate with those who have struggled with their own challenges.  Byron Pitts was interviewed by WSB-TV’s Monica Pearson at the Decatur Library on October 13, 2009.

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Julie Buckner Armstrong

Julie Buckner Armstrong, is one of the editors of a superb new anthology from the University of Georgia Press, The Civil Rights Reader: American Literature from Jim Crow to Reconciliation. The book, which contains fiction, drama, essays and poetry, insightfully captures the cultural and literary history of African-Americans’ struggle for freedom. Special guests include prize-winning author Anthony Grooms andConnie Curry.

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Doug Egerton

Doug Egerton, professor of history at LeMoyne College, offers a sweeping chronicle of African American history in his book Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. Stretching from Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War to the election of slaveholder Thomas Jefferson as president in 1800, Edgerton shows the scope to which slavery was woven into American daily life. Egerton highlights the will and determination of slaves, freed blacks and white reformers through the narrative and compelling portraits of their lives. A rich and comprehensive history that should not be missed!

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Robert J. Norrell

Robert J. Norrell, Bernadotte Schmitt Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, delivers the first full-length biography of Booker T. Washington in a generation.  Up from History recreates the broad contexts in which Washington worked. He struggled against white bigots who hated his economic ambitions for blacks, African-American intellectuals like W. E. B. Du Bois who resented his huge influence and inconstant allies such as Theodore Roosevelt. Norrell details the positive power of Washington’s vision, one that invoked hope and optimism to overcome past exploitation and present discrimination. It is a fascinating portrait of one of the most influential Americans of his age.

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