Archive for the 'Southern history' Category

Inspiring story of Benjamin Sterling Turner shared in new children’s book embraced by Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Monday, March 16th, 2020 by Matthew Byrne

Neither Congresswoman Terri Sewell nor Benjamin Sterling Turner were born in Dallas County, Alabama, but both came to IMG_1175represent the 7th District of Alabama with fervor and dedication. Turner was born a slave and rose to be Alabama’s first African American representative in Congress. 140 years after Turner took office, Terri Sewell was put in charge of the 7th district, the first African American woman to do so. After the recent publication of The Slave Who Went to Congress—an illustrated children’s book detailing Turner’s early life and political career—Congresswoman Sewell visited Clark Elementary in Selma with authors Frye Gaillard and Marti Rosner and gifted students there fifty copies of the book. Sewell movingly told the schoolchildren attending her program that she “stands on the shoulders of Benjamin Sterling Turner,” who paved the way for her civil service with his bold
FrontCover choice to run for office. This incredible intersection of history reminds us of how important historymakers like Turner and Sewell are; the effects of their leadership can be felt in Dallas County today. The Slave Who Went to Congress—which the Midwest Book Review calls “a choice pick for personal, school, and library collections”—is a powerful account of an impactful life and, importantly, introduces Turner’s remarkable story of bravery and leadership to children around the world.

Frye Gaillard adds Jefferson Cup Honor Book for Go South to Freedom, film documentary about Journey to the Wilderness to list of credits

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 by Randall Williams

Award-winning author Frye Gaillard is enjoying a banner year: his book Go South to Freedom has just been named a Jefferson Cup Honor Book for young adult readers by the Virginia Library Association. The Jefferson Cup honors a distinguished biography, work of historical fiction or American history book for young people. Presented since 1983, the Jefferson Cup Committee’s goal is to promote reading about America’s past; to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography, and historical fiction for young people; and to recognize authors in these disciplines.

News of the award reached Frye as he was on the road filming a television documentary based on his book Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters. Produced by Mike Letcher of Dragonfly Public Media, the program follows the footsteps of Gaillard’s ancestors who fought in the Civil War. In the film Gaillard reflects on the Civil War letters written by his great-great-grandfather and other family members, noting, “My own generation was perhaps the last that was raised on those stories of gallantry and courage. Oddly, mine was also one of the first to view the Civil War through the lens of civil rights.” The film is being produced in partnership with The Center for War and Memory at The University of South Alabama for public television.

In other news, Frye Gaillard has just put the final touches on his forthcoming memoir A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope and Innocence Lost. In this book, Gaillard gives us a deeply personal history, bringing his keen storyteller’s eye to this pivotal time in American life. A Hard Rain is due out from NewSouth Books in spring 2018. He is presently at work researching the life of Benjamin Turner for his first illustrated children’s book, a project he’s collaborating on with Marti Rosner. The Slave Who Went to Congress will be released by NewSouth Books in fall 2018.

Go South to Freedom is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Roger Reid Introduces New Book Space in Huntsville, Alabama

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 by Lisa Harrison

Roger Reid launched his new young adult mystery Space in a series of events in Huntsville, Alabama, home of the Marshall Space Flight Center that serves as the setting of this new mystery. The author’s alma mater, Davis Hills Middle School, gave the book a premier presentation on September 5, 2008.  Roger also presented at the Davidson U. S. Space and Rocket Center and the Huntsville Public Library, and was a guest speaker at Astronomy Day at the Conrad Swanson Observatory.

In an interview with the Huntsville Times, Roger spoke about creating his novels, which combine scientific knowledge with exciting adventure. Said the Times, “Roger recalled that, when his son was in the sixth grade, he noticed there were not a lot of books for kids set out in the natural world. So he created a fictional world with a setting ‘you can go out and touch.'”

Space features teen science wiz Jason Caldwell, the hero of Roger’s highly successful debut novel Longleaf. When Jason accompanies his dad on their annual astronomy retreat, he thinks spending time with his obnoxious friend Stephen will be bad enough. But soon Jason is recruited to help determine which of a group of gathered scientists killed Stephen’s father, and he finds himself stalked by the enigmatic Man in a Red Flannel Shirt. Author Rodman Philbrick praises Space as “exciting, suspenseful, and informative,” and Charles Ghigna, aka Father Goose, calls Space “an out-of-this-world good read.”

Space is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon , or from your favorite local or online book retailer.

'Still Hungry in America' revisits the South

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 by Brian Seidman

NPR had an important story on poverty in America yesterday, focused around Robert Coles and Al Clayton’s book Still Hungry in America, which published photographs of the poor and hungry in the 1960s South. For their program, NPR reporter Michele Norris goes with Clayton back to Belzoni, Mississipi, “one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states in the United States,” to see how conditions have improved — or not — since Clayton was there. As Clayton says in the NPR transcript, “It was so graphic with the small folks. The face of a hungry child or their demeanor just really prints on me. It’s unforgettable.”

Still Hungry in America is out of print, but a very few used copies are available from the NewSouth Bookstore, toll free (866) 639-7688.