My Blog

Author: Brian Seidman

Historians in Service of a Better South honors Paul Gaston, author and activist

Historians in Service of a Better South, new from NewSouth Books, has as its subtitle “Essays in Honor of Paul Gaston.” The book is a Festschrift, a collection of essays by Gaston’s students and colleagues over his long career at the University of Virginia and through his long-time involvement in civil rights causes. Robert Jefferson (Jeff) Norrell and Andrew Myers edited the book. Gaston himself sent a video message to the contributors and to NewSouth, thanking them for what he called a “handsome book” …

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Remembering Leslie W. Dunbar

Writer, professor, and civil-rights activist Dr. Leslie W. Dunbar died January 4, 2017 in New Orleans, three weeks from his 96th birthday. In the turmoil of the 1960s, Dunbar worked with the Southern Regional Council, helping — among other initiatives — to create the Voter Education Project; the project is credited with registering two million African American voters. Later that decade Dunbar directed the Field Foundation, dedicated to child welfare and civil rights, including funding Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign and the Children’s Defense Fund …

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The Integration of Tuskegee High School: new play highlights role in history played by attorney Fred Gray

Legendary civil rights attorney Fred Gray has received accolades from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, American Bar Association, and the NAACP, among many others. Now he is honored with a play that brings the history related to the integration of the Tuskegee High School, with which he was much involved, to dramatic life. Written and directed by Dr. Tessa Carr on the faculty at Auburn University and presented by the Mosaic Theatre Company, The Integration of Tuskegee High School tells the story of Attorney Gray’s role in the pivotal 1963 desegregation lawsuit …

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NPR’s Michel Martin talks with Rev. Graetz, panelists on 60th anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott

On the occasion of the recent 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, NPR’s Michel Martin held an important and far-reaching panel discussion at the historical Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, with a live audience and also aired live on NPR. Panelists included historian Taylor Branch, Alabama State University president Gwendolyn Boyd, Ebony Howard of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Reverend Bob Graetz, pastor of Trinity Lutheran church during the boycott and author of A White Preacher’s Message on Race and Reconciliation (NewSouth Books, 2006) …

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Remembering Julian Bond

NewSouth Books mourns the untimely loss of our friend and noted civil rights leader Julian Bond, who died over the weekend at age 75. Bond was one of the organizers of SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center, national chairman of the NAACP, a longtime Georgia state senator, a founder of the Institute for Southern Studies, a distinguished professor of history, and an internationally known lecturer, writer, and commentator. Bond wrote forewords and commentary for several NewSouth titles, including the autobiography of fellow SNCC member Bob Zellner, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek

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Clifton Taulbert reflects on Charleston church tragedy in Huffington Post

At the same time bestselling author and motivational speaker Clifton Taulbert participated in the GlobalMindED leadership conference in Denver last week along with an audience of college students, a young man took nine lives in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. As Dylann Roof was being arraigned, Taulbert spoke to the conference about his memoir The Invitation, which recounts reconciliation between Taulbert and a South Carolina plantation owner who revives in Taulbert memories of his childhood in the Jim Crow South. Fellow GlobalMindED participant Carol Carter shared Taulbert’s thoughts in the Huffington Post

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