Best-Selling Author to Discuss Book Oct 12

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed, J.D., to speak at Ignatian Values In Action Lecture on Oct. 12.
Best-Selling Author to Discuss Book Oct 12

Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author, Annette Gordon-Reed, J.D., will discuss her book “On Juneteenth” at The University of Scranton’s Values In Action Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Byron Recreation Complex. It is open to the general public, free of charge. The lecture is part of the University’s annual Royal Reads program, which introduces incoming students to Ignatian values through a shared reading experience of a selected book, in addition to programming in courses and extra-curricular activities throughout the semester that expands discussion on themes first encountered in the book.

The book selected for members of Scranton’s Class of 2026 is The New York Times best-seller “On Juneteenth,” a 144-page history and memoir by the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University.

“Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865 when U.S. Army Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that slavery was over in the state. It was originally celebrated as Emancipation Day by former enslaved people and their descendants,” said Prof. Gordon-Reed in an interview about the book published by The Harvard Gazzette. She said she wrote the book during the height of the pandemic, after she “had just written an essay on Juneteenth for The New Yorker, talking about the origins of the holiday and the way we celebrated it during my childhood. And in the previous year, I had done a big review — five books — for the New York Review of Books about Texas. The topic had been particularly on my mind.”

Prof. Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.” In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” and “Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History Publishing,” among other books. Her numerous awards and honors includes a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Prof. Gordon-Reed earned her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and her J.D. degree from Harvard. She was the first African American editor for the Harvard Law Review.

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