Thursday, September 11, 2014

Civil Rights Authors Chervis Isom and Nick Patterson Head Panel Discussion on Race and Reconciliation at Central Library, September 12

The Birmingham Public Library will present a panel discussion on race, redemption, and reconciliation on Friday, September 12, at noon in the Central Library's Arrington Auditorium as part of the city's Empowerment Week. The event is free and open to the public.

The speakers will be Chervis Isom and Nick Patterson, authors of recent books that examine Birmingham during the civil rights movement. Though one author is white and the other is black, the men's stories carry similar messages of change and moving forward.

Isom once held racist views as a child growing up in a segregated Birmingham in the 1950s and 1960s. But his opinions eventually changed when a married couple on his newspaper route taught him that it's wrong to judge people based on skin color. He shares his coming-of-age story in The Newspaper Boy.

Patterson had always felt that stories of the movement's foot soldiers were ones of struggle and perseverance that needed to live on for generations to share. Through research and extensive interviews, he delved deep into the past to tell their stories in his book Birmingham Foot Soldiers: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement.

Come learn about the city's past and how it prepares people for the future. Isom, an attorney, and Patterson, a writer, will sell and sign copies of their books after the discussion and Q&A session.

Birmingham's Empowerment Week, set for September 11-15, will include a day of service, speakers and festivals.

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