Pulitzer Prize Winner Diane McWhorter to Speak at JSU on March 14


Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Diane McWhorter will visit Jacksonville State University on March 14, 2013, to deliver the annual Ayers Lecture hosted by the JSU Department of Communication. 

Ms. McWhorter will speak at 1 p.m. on the fifth floor of Stadium Tower. Admission is free and this event will be open to the general public. Doors will open at 12:40 p.m. 

Diane McWhorter is the author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama—The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, which was published by Simon & Schuster in March 2001. It won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Southern Book Award for Nonfiction, the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award, the Clarence Cason Award, the Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute, and the English-Speaking Union Ambassador Award. It was named by Time as one of the 10 Best Books of 2001 and was a Washington Monthly Political Book of the Year. In addition to being a New York Times Notable Book for 2001, it was on the “best books of the year” lists of The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Publishers’ Weekly, Library Journal, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and others. In 2011, Time named Carry Me Home to its list of the 100 best nonfiction books published since the magazine’s founding, in 1923. Carry Me Home is being re-issued, with a new Afterword, in 2013.

McWhorter’s young-adult history of the civil rights movement, A Dream of Freedom, was published by Scholastic in the fall of 2004. It was one of The New York Times’s nine “Notable Children’s Books of 2004” and USA Today’s “Best Children’s History” of that year. It was also on the “best books” lists of the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, The Horn Book, School Library Journal, and others.

Her work has been anthologized in These United States: Original Essays by Leading American Writers on Their State within the Union, edited by John Leonard (Nation Books, 2003), Stories from the Blue Moon Café IV, edited by Sonny Brewer (MacAdam/Cage, 2005), and Class Matters, by Correspondents of The New York Times, Introduction by Bill Keller (Times Books, 2005). She wrote the Foreword for Eric Etheridge’s Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders (Atlas & Co., 2008). 

McWhorter is a longtime contributor to The New York Times and is on the U.S.A Today Board of Contributors, writing for its op-ed page. Her articles on race, politics, and culture have appeared in The Nation, Slate, The American Scholar, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Legal Affairs, Harper’s and Boston Magazine, where she was managing editor. She has lectured widely about race and has been on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University’s graduate School of the Arts. She is a member of the Society of American Historians.

McWhorter was raised in Birmingham and educated at Wellesley College, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature. Until 2011, she lived with her family in New York City, where she co-founded a volunteer program serving foster children in the Bronx. During the fall of 2007, she was a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. She was a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, a 2010 residential scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, and a 2011-12 fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Currently she is a fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, for work on her book in progress about Wernher von Braun and the Third Reich missile pioneers who were brought to Alabama after the war and built the rocket that put the first man on the moon. For more information about her work at Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, please visit her fellowship bio page

Photo: Diane McWhorter (Annette Hornischer)

02/26/2013