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March 5: Hood hosts Wil Haygood, author of The Butler

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FREDERICK, Md.—An acclaimed journalist and best-selling author whose book was made into an award-winning film will give a lecture March 19 at 7 p.m. in the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College.

Will Haygood, author of The Butler, will give a talk entitled The Butler Inside the Civil Rights Storm of America. The event is part of the College's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

The Butler is a historical drama loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, who endured a harsh and segregated upbringing in his native Virginia. He relocated to Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression, and made his way from a country club waiter to head White House butler. He served eight presidents—from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan—and witnessed sweeping social change during his three decades of service.

The first in his family to go to college, Haygood served for 17 years as a national and foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe. He joined the Washington Post in 2002 and covered national and global affairs.

He is the author of five nonfiction books, including an award-winning trilogy of biographies of notable 20th century African American personalities.

In 2013 Haygood was honored with the prestigious Ella Baker Award—named for the civil rights pioneer—for his efforts in his writings to bring to light persons who contribute from behind the scenes.

Other 50th anniversary events include a March 20 screening of The Loving Story; a lecture March 26 by Shirley Sherrod, former U.S. Department of Agriculture official who was forced to resign her position in 2010 after a misleadingly edited clip of her speech was widely circulated; a lecture by Fred Gray, a civil right attorney and activist who came into prominence working with Martin Luther King Jr., E.D. Nixon, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Improvement Association during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955; and a singing workshop April 16 led by Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey and the Rock.

Fiftieth anniversary events are also sponsored by the Robert D. and Barbara E. Hanson Fund of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities and Frederick County Bank.

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