Guess who’s coming to Hoole? Wayne Greenhaw!

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Few Alabama authors have written more, and have produced so much variety as Wayne Greenhaw. He has written novels, plays, works of non-fiction, and several hundred articles in regional, national, and international publications.

Wayne will be at the Hoole Library on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 5 pm (talk to begin at 5:30 pm) to discuss his new book, Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama (Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review Press, 2011)

Greenhaw is the 2006 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer, given annually by the Alabama Writers’ Forum and Alabama Southern Community College at Monroeville’s Alabama Writers’ Symposium. In 2005, Greenhaw was recipient of the ninth Clarence Cason Award for Nonfiction, given annually by the University of Alabama’s College of Communication, joining such distinguished writers as Gay Talese, Rick Bragg, Diane McWhorter, and Howell Raines. Greenhaw’s short story, “The Old Guy,” won first place in the Hackney Literary Awards at Birmingham Southern College’s 2007 Writing Today conference.

After graduating from high school in 1958, Greenhaw traveled to Mexico from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by four different trains. In the central Mexican mountain Spanish colonial town of San Miguel de Allende he attended Instituto Allende. He returned for the next three summers, studying at the writing center under Ashmead Scott.

At The University of Alabama he studied under the legendary Hudson Strode. In 1967, after working as a reporter for the Alabama Journal, Montgomery’s afternoon newspaper, his first novel, the Golfer, was published by J.B. Lippincott Company.

After his first nonfiction book, The Making of a Hero: Lt. William L. Calley and the My Lai Massacre, was published in 1971, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard.

Throughout his years as a journalist in Alabama, where he was a stringer for the New York Times, Time magazine, and others, Greenhaw met and nourished friendships and relationships with Dr. Martin Luther King, Governor George C. Wallace, numerous political personalities and Southern cultural icons. Greenhaw was a protegé and mentee of fellow Alabama author and University of Alabama graduate, William Bradford Huie. As part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the birth of William Bradford Huie, Greenhaw, along with Huie’s widow Martha, spoke at the opening of the exhibition on November 10, 2010.

Wayne Greenhaw’s talk on his new book, Fighting the Devil in Dixie will begin at 5:30 pm, but doors will open at 5 pm. Books will be on sale for the event, and a reception will follow. This event is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by University Libraries, the Alabama Center for the Book, the Summersell Center for the Study of the South, and the WBH@100 Collaborative Group. As part of the event, Wayne Greenhaw will present the Hoole Library with some personal copies of his works to be included in the Alabama Collection. In addition, we have a very special guest to introduce Mr. Greenhaw!

About Fighting the Devil in Dixie:

Shortly after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Ku Klux Klan—determined to keep segregation as the way of life in Alabama—staged a resurgence, and the strong-armed leadership of Governor George C. Wallace, who defied the new civil rights laws, empowered the Klan’s most violent members.

As Wallace’s power grew, however, blacks began fighting back in the courthouses and schoolhouses, as did young Southern lawyers like Charles “Chuck” Morgan, who became the ACLU’s Southern director; Morris Dees, who cofounded the Southern Poverty Law Center; and Bill Baxley, Alabama attorney general, who successfully prosecuted the bomber of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and legally halted some of Wallace’s agencies designed to slow down integration. Fighting the Devil in Dixie is the first book to tell this story in full, from the Klan’s kidnappings, bombings, and murders of the 1950s to Wallace’s run for a fourth term as governor in the early 1980s, asking forgiveness and winning with the black vote.”

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