Aresty Speaker Gilbert King Talks Storytelling and Social Justice

SOLD OUT!  Pulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King packs the house.

OPEN kicked off it’s 2019-2020 season by selling out the venue for OPEN Aresty Speaker, Gilbert King within 24-hours of launch with a waiting list of over 70 additional people eager to attend.

This was the first in a series of OPEN Conversations designed to bring us together to listen, share experiences and explore truths about race, equity and social justice in American culture.

Mr. King’s meticulously researched and beautifully woven true accounts of Southern justice gone awry resonated strongly with our audience, helping open people’s eyes to the impact U.S. criminal justice policies continue to have on our families, communities, and lives today.

Prior to his presentation, Students from Eckerd, St. Petersburg College, Stetson and USF St. Petersburg gathered for a candid OPEN Conversation with Gilbert King at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library.  USFSP Criminology students Emily Varley and Steve Chandler, who have launched their own “Community Social Justice Initiative for St. Petersburg,”  hosted the student round table and will be working with OPEN on additional community gatherings where people can share stories and ideally propose policy changes for racial justice reform.

Mr. King shared his thoughts about how writing can be a tool for social justice with WUSF’s Kerry Sheridan, discussing why these stories are so important to share.

Author Gilbert King won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2013 book, “Devil In The Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America.” His latest book, “Beneath A Ruthless Sun,” also focuses on a true story of racial injustice in Florida in the 1950s.  The New York-based author has been in St. Petersburg doing research for his next book.

Prior to the event King met with WUSF to discuss his content on NPR.

Visit WUSF Public Media for the Full Story and to Listen to the Interview


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