Frye Gaillard and Cynthia Tucker

“The Southernization of America: A Story of Democracy in the Balance”

Pulitzer Prize-winner Cynthia Tucker and award-winning author Frye Gaillard reflect on their series of compelling essays considering the role of the South in shaping America’s political and cultural landscape. They find the South partially responsible for the ills of our society — family separation of migrants, George Floyd’s murder, and more — but also view the South as a source of hope, a hope that might lead the nation on a path of redemption.

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Speaker Bios

Frye Gaillard is a writer in residence at the University of South Alabama and award-winning author of more than 20 books, including “Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music,” “The Quilt: And the Poetry of Alabama Music,” “Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters,” “The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir,” and “Go South to Freedom,” all published by NewSouth Books. His book “A Hard Rain: America in the 1960s, Our Decade of Hope and Innocence Lost” is forthcoming from NewSouth. He is the winner of the Lillian Smith Award, the Clarence Cason Award for Non-Fiction, the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year Award, and the 2016 Eugene Current-Garcia Award For Distinction in Literary Scholarship.

Cynthia Tucker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist who has spent most of her career in journalism, having previously worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a Washington-based political correspondent. Her work as a journalist has been celebrated by the National Association of Black Journalists, who inducted her into its hall of fame, Harvard University, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Tucker spent three years as a visiting professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and is currently the journalist-in-residence at the University of South Alabama. Her weekly column focuses on political and cultural issues, including income inequality, social justice, and public education reform.

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