Date and Time
May 22, 2022 6:00 pm
Pulitzer Prize-winner Cynthia Tucker and award-winning author Frye Gaillard bring us a compelling series of linked essays considering the role of the South in shaping America's current political and cultural landscape. Taking John Egerton’s seminal 1974 work The Americanization of Dixie and carrying it forward, they dive deeper, examining the morphing of the Southern strategy of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan into the Republican Party of today, the racial backlash against President Obama, family separation on our southern border, the rise of the Christian right, the white supremacist riots in Charlottesville, the death of George Floyd, and the attack on our nation's capitol. Amongst these polarizing events, Tucker and Gaillard still find hope in the South, reminding us of the legacy rooted in the civil rights years that might ultimately lead the nation on the path to redemption. Tucker and Gaillard bring their multiracial perspective and years of political reporting to the Busboys stage as they share with us the crux of their new work and where it sits during this critical moment in American history.
This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, with an introduction from a member of our Busboys and Poets team, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Signed copies of THE SOUTHERNIZATION OF AMERICA will be available after the event. Copies may also be purchased through Eventbrite. Full dinner service is available throughout the show. Please note that this event will not be livestreamed.
We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books. Proof of RSVP may be requested on arrival if capacity is reached.
Frye Gaillard is an award-winning journalist with over 30 published works on Southern history and culture, including Watermelon Wine; Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America; The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir; Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters; and Go South to Freedom. His most recent book, A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope, Possibility, and Innocence Lost, is considered by some to be his masterwork. It was selected as one of NPR's Best Books of 2018. Writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama, he is also John Egerton Scholar in Residence at the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Missisippi. He is the winner of the Clarence Cason Award for Nonfiction Writing, the Lillian Smith Book Award, and the Eugene Current-Garcia Award For Distinction in Literary Scholarship. In 2019, Gaillard was awarded the Alabama Governor's Arts Award for his contributions to literature.
Cynthia Tucker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist who has spent most of her career in journalism, having previously worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a Washington-based political correspondent. Her work as a journalist has been celebrated by the National Association of Black Journalists, who inducted her into its hall of fame, Harvard University, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Tucker spent three years as a visiting professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and is currently the journalist-in-residence at the University of South Alabama. Her weekly column focuses on political and cultural issues, including income inequality, social justice, and public education reform.