Home > African American Authors, Black History, Historical Fiction, KAZI Interview > Black History Focus Featuring Authors Leonard Pitts and Deborah Davis on KAZI Book Review June 25

Black History Focus Featuring Authors Leonard Pitts and Deborah Davis on KAZI Book Review June 25

Leonard Pitts Jr., author of Freeman, a historical novel set in 1865 just after the end of the Civil War and Deborah Davis, author of Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation will be the guests on a special edition of KAZI Book Review June 25, 7 a.m. -7:30 a.m. CT, on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at www.kazifm.org.


In Freeman, Pitts weaves a compelling story of a former slave living in Philadelphia who quits his job to journey nearly a thousand miles by foot to find his wife in Mississippi shortly after the Civil War ends.   He hasn’t seen her in 15 years because he was sold for attempting to escape with his son who was tragically killed during the attempt.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is an American commentator, journalist and novelist. He is a nationally-syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

Guest of Honor

In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to have dinner at the executive mansion with the First Family. The next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man—and former slave—sent shock waves through the nation. Although African Americans had helped build the White House and had worked for most of the presidents, not a single one had ever been invited to dine there. Fueled by inflammatory newspaper articles, political cartoons, and even vulgar songs, the scandal escalated and threatened to topple two of America’s greatest men.

Deborah Davis is the author of Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X, Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball, Gilded: How Newport Became America’s Richest Resort, and The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy.

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