12/30/07 — Wanye County Reads sets 2008 events schedule

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Wanye County Reads sets 2008 events schedule

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 30, 2007 2:00 AM

A true story of racism, murder, historical perspective and how a society deals with conflict is the 2008 Wayne County Reads selection.

"Blood Done Sign My Name" tells the story of Timothy Tyson, who was 10 years old in 1970 when a black man was murdered by a white family in his hometown of Oxford, N.C.

Events planned by the committee, which is headed up by Tara Humphries of Wayne Community College and Kim Huskins Webb of the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Lib-rary, will begin Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Arts Council building.

The student art exhibit "Sunday Afternoon with Family and Friends," which will run through Feb. 28, will be accompanied by refreshments and a performance by storyteller Granddaddy June Bug of Wilmington.

Committee member J.D. Evans said he was in Goldsboro during the troubled years of the Civil Rights Movement, and he knew all the players in the book. Evans and the author's father will appear for a panel discussion that will be among the last of the events planned to commemorate the book.

"A lot of people today are appalled at the prevailing attitude of the time," Evans said. "It was a part of our culture. Anybody my age or older lived the same experience."

Tyson will be the featured speaker during the second event, which will be Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College. A reception and book signing will follow.

On Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the main branch of the Wayne County Library, the program will feature Billy Stevens, a musician, entertainer and historian provided by the N.C. Humanities Council's Road Scholar Project. His presentation will be "Sincere Forms of Flattery: Blacks, Whites and American Popular Music."

On Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. and again on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Music Room on the second floor of the Dogwood Building at Wayne Community College, local writers will present "A Portrait of a People: A Survey of African American Poetry" compiled, adapted and arranged by C. Rose Howard.

On Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at Mount Olive College, there will be a book discussion led by Dee Clere, a professor at Mount Olive College.

During the 2008 Wayne County Reads events, local readers will get to meet three authors, including Trudier Harris, who wrote "Summer Snow: Reflections on a Black Daughter of the South."

On Feb. 18 at a location to be announced, Ms. Harris will talk about the role of black women in the book, "Blood Done Sign My Name," in the Civil Rights Movement and today. Her presentation is being provided by the UNC Alumni Association.

The other author, Gene Roberts, will give a presentation Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at a location to be announced. Roberts is a Goldsboro native and former News-Argus reporter.

Roberts authored the Pulitzer Prize winning book "The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation." His presentation, which will be about Tyson's book and not his own, will be followed by a reception and book signing.

The final event will be Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. at a location to be announced. This event will feature a panel discussion on local civil rights action and responses by Wayne County residents and leaders.