We’ve got some exciting news to share with you: Dr. Maya Angelou hosted a fundraising party for the new movie Son of the South — based on Bob Zellner’s memoir The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement — at her home October 3. In attendance were Zellner, Son of the South director Barry Alexander Brown, and a host of civil rights figures including former U.S. Department of Agriculture staffer Shirley Sherrod. Blogger Verane Pick described the event in an article on the Scallywag & Vagabond website.
Son of the South, with executive producer Spike Lee, will bring this fascinating book to the big screen. Zellner’s memoir chronicles a lifetime of civil rights activism, from his childhood as the son and grandson of Klansmen to field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), including his imprisonment for desegregation work and his meetings with Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and others.
We’re not the only ones excited about this movie project. At the Son of the South event, Dr. Angelou told Pick that “in an era of such strong polarization, where hate is again being accepted as a tolerable response to our fellow human beings, [Bob Zellner’s] story needs to be told; this story needs to be heard.” The book also received the 2009 Lillian Smith Book Award presented by the Southern Regional Council, and Library Journal gave it a starred review, noting that “this powerful portrait of a courageous man is highly recommended.” Publishers Weekly called the book “a testament both to the courage of civil rights activists and to the hatred they overcame.”
Head over to New South Books to learn more.