Archive for February, 2009

Alabama Arise Features Life and Death Matters in Anti-Death Penalty Lobbying

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 by Lisa Harrison

Dr. Robert Baldwin’s new memoir Life And Death Matters: Seeking the Truth About Capital Punishment, will be given to every state legislator in Alabama on Thursday, March 26 by the organization Alabama Arise as part of their lobbying effort against the death penalty. A note from Rev. Tom Duley, President of the Board, Arise Citizens Policy Project, and Kimble Forrister, State Coordinator, will accompany the book. From the note:

This book is a gift from Arise Citizens Policy Project. We find that it speaks eloquently on the matter of capital punishment. We hope that it appeals to your heart and mind as it did to ours, and that the information contained therein will inform your decision making on this most important public policy issue.

Dr. Robert Baldwin introduced Life and Death Matters by speaking to a very receptive group of students, faculty and other interested parties at Birmingham Southern College as a featured event in connection with the opening night of the schools’ production of the play Dead Man Walking on January 27. Dr. Baldwin also appeared on the Fox 6 Morning Show in Birmingham and was a guest on popular radio host Don Daily’s show Perspective, airing on stations WNCB, WBPT and WZZK. On January 31, a sizable crowd gathered for a book signing at The Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham. In addition, the Death Penalty Information Center has selected Life and Death Matters as a featured book.

Dr. Baldwin continues to make presentations throughout the state to churches and civic groups. He will be signing copies of Life and Death Matters at Milestone Books in the Vestavia Hills City Cent, Vestavia, AL on February 26 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

Life and Death Matters is available directly from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Anti-Defamation League Praises Chicken Man’s Portrayal of Israel

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 by Brian Seidman

The Anti-Defamation League has chosen Michelle Edwards’s Chicken Man as one of their Recommended Books on Israel for kindergarten and elementary schools.

The ADL describes their recommended Israel Book Connections titles as quality titles that present Israel while avoiding “stereotypes in presenting the complexities of the region.” Congratulations to Michelle and Chicken Man.

NewSouth is pleased to release Michelle Edwards’s Chicken Man (winner of the 1992 National Jewish Book Award) and Alef-Bet, now available in paperback. Chicken Man is also available in hardcover from NewSouth Books.

Bob Zellner Talks Obama Election in Newsday, Washington Times

Friday, February 6th, 2009 by Andrew

Newsday newspaper has published an editorial by NewSouth author and civil rights activist Bob Zellner, where Zellner discusses the parallels between Barack Obama’s historic rise to the office of the President and the nonviolent struggle of those who paved the way for his success during the civil rights movement. NewSouth recently released Zellner’s memoir, The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, in which Zellner tells how he grew from an Alabama Klan heritage to joined ranks with the black students who were sitting-in, marching, fighting, and sometimes dying to challenge the Southern “way of life” he’d been raised on but rejected.  In recognition of Black History Month and Barack Obama’s recent election to the presidency, Zellner’s story of nonviolence in the struggle for racial equality has become especially relevant.

From Zellner’s Newsday editorial:

Obama, against advice to the contrary, insisted on clinging to nonviolent politics through the campaign – for example, sticking to his statement that the United States “must talk to its enemies” and his plan to visit a Muslim country in his first 100 days in office.

The internal spirit of this new politics springs from the soul force of black people, developed during centuries of slavery and repression. Warriors of the civil rights movement learned they could not harbor hate against enemies and maintain their own physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Now, imagine all the power of the new nonviolent army, organized during the Obama campaign, turning its power on places like the devastated Gulf Coast or even Darfur?

Read Zellner’s full article at the Newsday website.

Zellner also recently spoke with the Washington Times in an article about Barack Obama’s election and its effect on nonviolent politics and modern race relations within the United States.  From the article:

“One lesson from the Civil War to the freedom fighters … to the Obama movement, is that nonviolent politics works. And we have an army now to make change in this country and in the world,” said Mr. Zellner, a retired history professor.

He rightfully added that black warriors were aided at every step of the journey by many whites, adding that Mr. Obama is “another transformative figure,” who “brings the message that white people can do something about racism.” Mr. Obama “will bring people together because we know we have much more important problems than the color of someone’s skin,” Mr. Zellner said.

Read the full article at the Washington Times website.

Zellner was also a featured guest on WKRF’s The Jim Engster Show, where he discussed civil rights activism and his role in the civil rights movement. Learn more about the program or listen online.

The Wrong Side of Murder Creek is available directly from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.

Frye Gaillard Remembers Millard Fuller

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 by Brian Seidman

Author Frye Gaillard offers the following remembrance of Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, who died this past week. Gaillard wrote extensively about Fuller in his book If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity.

I was stunned by the news that Millard Fuller had died. Seldom have I met a man more vital, more energetic or committed to his work. The founder of Habitat for Humanity may have had his feet of clay–an inclination to greed in his early adulthood that almost ruined him; and random sexual longings later on that caused hurt to a few of the women he worked with. But Fuller was a good and decent man, and because of his energy and his life, more than a million people worldwide–many of them the poorest of the poor–are living today in good and sturdy homes.

At a critical time in his life, Fuller paid a visit to Koinonia Farms, a Christian commune in southwest Georgia where the Southern Baptist radical Clarence Jordan had taken a powerful stand for racial justice. Together, Fuller and Jordan came up with the Habitat idea–the notion that volunteers working in partnership with the poor could build decent houses that most low-income families could afford. The key to it all was a no-interest mortgage, because the Bible on that point was clear–explicit, in fact, in the Book of Exodus about not charging interest to people who were poor. Jordan thought the Bible meant what it said and so did Fuller, and the result became Habitat for Humanity–one of the high-water marks in American philanthropy.

If Fuller’s legacy is solid–a fitting reminder of his energy and drive–he is still a man who will be deeply missed.

Frye Gaillard is the author of If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity; With Music and Justice for All: Some Southerners and Their Passions, including a profile of Millard Fuller; and Watermelon Wine and a contributor to American Crisis, Southern Solutions from NewSouth Books.