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_Cradle of Freedom_ wins Lillian Smith Book Award

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  • Amos J Wright
    Fyi... ajwright@uab.edu For immediate release September 28, 2005 NORTH CAROLINA JOURNALIST WINS LILLIAN SMITH BOOK AWARD Fifth Time the Award is Given to a
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 12, 2005
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      Fyi... ajwright@...

      For immediate release
      September 28, 2005


      Fifth Time the Award is Given to a University of Alabama Press Title
      TUSCALOOSA, AL-Frye Gaillard, an Alabama native and long-time reporter
      with the Charlotte Observer, has just been named the winner of the 2005
      Lillian Smith Book Award for Nonfiction. The winning book, Cradle of
      Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America was published in
      2004 by the University of Alabama Press.

      Cradle of Freedom puts a human face on the story of the black American
      struggle for equality in the 1960s. It is tied to the chronology of
      pivotal events that occurred in Alabama, including the Montgomery bus
      boycott, the Freedom Rides, and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist
      Church. Throughout Gaillard artfully interweaves fresh stories of
      ordinary people who had decided that the time had come to take a stand
      alongside tales of more familiar civil rights icons: Martin Luther King
      Jr., Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis, and
      others. With authority and grace, he explains how the state once
      proclaimed the Cradle of the Confederacy became, with great struggle,
      the Cradle of Freedom.

      Gaillard grew up in Alabama during the time of the civil rights
      movement. While on a school field trip to Birmingham, he witnessed the
      arrest of Dr. King on Good Friday, 1963. It was a life-changing event;
      one of the things that propelled him to become a writer. As a reporter
      for the Mobile Register he covered the latter stages of the movement. In
      the early and mid-1970s he covered the landmark school desegregation
      controversy in Charlotte for the flagship newspaper in that city, the
      Charlotte Observer.

      As a journalist, he has won awards from Sigma Delta Chi, the Alabama
      Associated Press, the North Carolina Press Association, and the North
      Carolina Working Press for spot news reporting, feature writing,
      investigative reporting, non-deadline reporting, and historical writing.
      As author of eighteen previous books he has won numerous prizes,
      including the Gustavus Myers Award in 1989 for The Dream Long Deferred,
      also about civil rights in the south. In 2002 the North Carolina chapter
      of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund gave Gaillard its
      Humanitarian of the Year award for writings on the subject of civil
      rights, including his book The Greensboro Four: Civil Rights Pioneers.
      Gaillard is a founding editor of Novello Festival Press, and is
      currently writer in residence at the University of South Alabama in

      The Lillian Smith Book Award is given annually by the Southern Regional
      Council. For more than eighty years, the SRC has been a trusted
      interracial organization in the South working to advance the principles
      of racial fairness and unity. The award is named in honor of Lillian
      Smith, one of the most liberal and outspoken of white mid-twentieth
      century Southern writers on issues of social-and especially
      racial-injustice. The award was first presented in 1968, and it
      recognizes fiction and nonfiction books that generate universal human
      understanding. Since 2004 it has been jointly administered by the
      University of Georgia Libraries, which will host a luncheon honoring
      Gaillard and this year's other prize winners on Saturday, October 15, in

      One of the most prestigious awards given in the South, the Lillian Smith
      Book Award is a prize much sought after by both for- and non-profit
      publishers. This marks the third time in six years-and the fifth time
      overall-that it has been awarded to a book published by The University
      of Alabama Press. Only one other publisher in the country has been
      honored more times. Past winners from The University of Alabama Press
      include Getting Right With God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation,
      1945-1995 by Mark Newman (2002); A Fire You Can't Put Out: The Civil
      Rights Life of Birmingham's Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth by Andrew M.
      Manis (2000); Poor But Proud: Alabama's Poor Whites by Wayne Flynt
      (1990); and Even Mississippi by Melany Nielson (1989). In addition, The
      University of Alabama Press has published paperback editions of three
      books that won the Lillian Smith Book Award in hardcover: Almost Family
      by Ray Hoffman (1983; UAP paperback 2000); Tongues of Flame by Mary Ward
      Brown (1991; UAP paperback 1993); and Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and
      the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama by Charles W. Eagles (1993; UAP
      paperback 2000).

      Cradle of Freedom was published in March 2004 and was immediately hailed
      as a profound and significant book. "[Gaillard] cuts through the veneer
      of familiarity and takes us into the spit, sweat and marrow of
      40-year-old events," stated the Charlotte Observer. The Mobile Register
      praised how it "dramatically presents well-known events in fresh
      fashion." Historian Hardy Jackson, writing in the Anniston Star,
      proclaimed "nowhere will you find better explained the dangers facing
      black people who wanted change and the fear that gripped whites for whom
      change was unthinkable."
      The University of Alabama Press will release a paperback edition of
      Cradle of Freedom in early 2006.
      # # #
      For additional information, contact: Dennis Lloyd *
      dlloyd@... * direct line: 205-348-9534


      A.J. Wright, M.L.S.
      Associate Professor
      Director, Section on the History of Anesthesia

      Department of Anesthesiology Library
      University of Alabama at Birmingham
      619 19th Street South, JT965
      Birmingham AL 35249-6810

      (205) 975-0158
      (205) 975-5963 [fax]

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