Black History Reads

Black History Reads

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 16:44

by Suzanne Moore, Wilkes County Librarian

Wilkes County Public Library is recognizing Black History Month with a couple of important readings and conversations.  First, save the date for a conversation about Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt by, Phoebe Zerwick. This book is a deeply reported, gripping narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the lifelong impact of incarceration, Beyond Innocence is the poignant saga of one remarkable life that sheds vitally important light on the failures of the American justice system at every level. 

In June 1985, a young Black man in Winston-Salem, N.C. named Darryl Hunt was falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a white copyeditor at the local paper. Many in the community believed him innocent and crusaded for his release even as subsequent trials and appeals reinforced his sentence. Finally, in 2003, the tireless efforts of his attorney combined with an award-winning series of articles by Phoebe Zerwick in the Winston-Salem Journal led to the DNA evidence that exonerated Hunt. The discussion for this non-fiction book will be streamed into Wilkes County Public Library and attended state-wide.  Meet Phoebe Zerwick who will be zooming with libraries in this live stream event at WIlkes County Public Library on February 27 at 6:00 p.m.

Next, the reading of August Wilson’s screenplay, Fences, takes place in the library on February 29 at 5:00 p.m.   The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around Troy Maxson, an African American former baseball player who now works as a garbage collector in Pittsburgh. The play explores themes of race, family, and unfulfilled dreams as Troy grapples with his past.   Join us for these important conversations on justice and race relations.