FLORENCE - Pulitzer-winning author, journalist, and professor, Hank Klibanoff, and the TimesDaily’s, Sherhonda Allen, city editor and a journalist for nearly three decades, will co-host a live episode of the Peabody-winning civil rights podcast Buried Truths at 6pm on Thursday, February 27. The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library will be the setting for this event that will focus on race relations in the Shoals area during the civil rights era.
“Buried Truths Live: Civil Rights in the Shoals,” is part of the library’s “Voting Rights in America” series, which commemorates this year’s anniversaries of the 15th and 19th Amendments, as well as Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
This ongoing series of exhibits and programs explores the struggles for equal voting rights for black Americans and women.
Klibanoff and Allen are both natives of the Shoals area. They will explore the Black and White experience in the Shoals during the civil rights era and beyond. They will discuss topics such as integration, voting rights, and more. The event will include the opportunity for public comments and questions, and community members are encouraged to share stories about their experiences.
“Hank and Sherhonda are both accomplished journalists from the Shoals who have very different perspectives on growing up in the area,” said Abby Carpenter, the Assistant Director at the library. “This event will allow them to discuss those differing perspectives and invite the community to share theirs as well.”
Buried Truths is a podcast of NPR affiliate WABE in Atlanta. It is a narrative civil rights history podcast that investigates injustice, resilience, and racism in the American South.
Buried Truths creator and host, Klibanoff is a white man who was a senior at Coffee High School when Florence schools integrated. For this episode, he is being joined by Allen, a black woman who started school at Brooks Elementary during the onset of integration.
“The conversation about the civil rights era in the Shoals often revolves around the contrast between us and other Alabama cities,” said Jennifer Butler Keeton, the library’s Public Affairs Coordinator. “People are proud that we didn’t have the level of violence or national attention that Birmingham or Montgomery had. But that doesn’t mean that the problems and fears here weren’t real, or that our community isn’t still grappling with those struggles.”
This event seeks to bring those real struggles to light through frank discussions, interviews and Q&A.
The “Voting Rights in America” series continues through March. For a complete list of events, visit www.flpl.org/votingrights.