PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for his narrative history of the civil rights era, will deliver the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at Brown University on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.
Branch's talk, titled “Myth and Miracles from the King Years,” begins at 4:30 p.m. in Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow in Sayles Hall. Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public. The lecture can be viewed live online at www.brown.edu/web/livestream.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
On Friday, Jan. 31, Branch will take part in a discussion on “Martin Luther King Jr. in Berlin.” Focusing on King’s visit to West and East Berlin in 1964, the discussion will examine topics King addressed in speeches on both sides of the Berlin Wall, including segregation and the importance of recognizing common humanity. Panelists include Tricia Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America; Michael Steinberg, director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities; and Andre Willis, visiting professor of religious studies. The discussion begins at noon in Pembroke Hall, Room 305, 172 Meeting St.
Taylor Branch is an American author and public speaker best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy’s first volume, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, won the Pulitzer Prize for history and numerous other awards in 1989. Two volumes followed: Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 and At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968.
Branch returned to civil rights history in his latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (2013). It presents 18 key episodes across the era, selected and knitted together in language from the trilogy, with new introductions for each of the chapters.
Branch is also the author of The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President.
Branch began his career in 1970 as a staff journalist for The Washington Monthly, Harper’s, and Esquire. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from 10 colleges and universities. Other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” and the National Humanities Medal in 1999. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.