SAVANNAH — The Book Lady Bookstore and the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum present a lecture by 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner (for general nonfiction) Douglas Blackmon, author of “Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” on May 15 at 7 pm., at the Civil Rights Museum at 460 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Immediately following the lecture, the author will be signing books. Preceding the lecture, new paintings by Robert Morris, inspired by “Slavery by Another Name,” will be on display. Artist reception will begin at 6 p.m. Both the lecture and art exhibition are free and open to the public. Ample (and handicap) parking is provided in the Civil Rights Museum parking lot adjacent and behind the building, and additional parking is on Alice Street directly in front of the entrance to the adjoining annex where the event will be held.
Blackmon is the Atlanta bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal. He has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly, the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal have explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct and racial segregation.
In 2000, the National Association of Black Journalists recognized Blackmon’s stories revealing the secret role of J.P. Morgan & Co. during the 1960s in funneling funds between a wealthy northern white supremacist and segregationists fighting the civil rights movement in the South. A year later, he revealed in the Journal how U.S. Steel Corp. relied on forced black laborers in Alabama coal mines in the early 20th century, an article which led to his first book, “Slavery By Another Name,” which broadly examines how a form of neoslavery thrived in the U.S. long after legal abolition.
Morris is the director of external affairs at the Georgia Ports Authority. He studied art at The Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., and Tulane University in New Orleans. His one-man show, “20,” was held at the Book Lady Bookstore in June of 2008 and featured in the Savannah Morning News.
His work was included in “Symphonic Notes: Paintings from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries” at 2 Car Garage Art Gallery in October 2008.
His most recent show, “Slavery by Another Name”, will open at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah, May 15. This series of mixed-medium pieces explores the history of slavery in the city of Savannah through the records and news articles from that era with images of the buildings and lanes where the slave trade was practiced.
His publications have received numerous awards including the 2007 Public Relations Society of Georgia Phoenix Award, the 2007 International Association of Business Communicators Silver Flame Award, and the American Association of Port Authorities’ 2006 Award of Excellence.
Morris’ articles and images have appeared in publications around the country including the The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The New Orleans Times-Picayune and The Village Voice. His poetry has appeared in Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art and will appear in the fall 2009 issue of Southern Poetry Review.
He has lived in Savannah’s historic district since 2002.
Following the May 15 opening at the Civil Rights Museum of the art exhibition, “Slavery by Another Name,” by Morris, paintings will be on display through June 15 at The Book Lady Bookstore, 6 E. Liberty St., just off Bull Street in downtown Savannah, across the street from the Desoto Hilton Hotel.