Author Dorothy Spruill Redford is Keynote Speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. Events at Mount Union
January 9, 2003
The keynote address for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events at Mount Union College will be delivered by Dorothy Spruill Redford, author of "Somerset Homecoming," and executive director of North Carolina's Somerset Place State Historic Site.
Redford will be speaking on Monday, January 20 at 9:30 a.m. in the Rodman Theatre. She will also be presenting a convocation on Tuesday, January 21 at 10:30 a.m. in Rodman Theatre. Redford will offer a unique presentation for both events, which are free and open to the public.
Located in Creswell, Somerset Place State Historical Site is an antebellum plantation on which four generations of Redford's enslaved ancestors lived. Redford was inspired by Alex Hayley's "Roots," and the question, "were there slaves in our family?" She not only discovered her history, but also spent ten years tracing the lives of Somerset's slaves and their descendents. She is the author of "Somerset Homecoming," which has inspired thousands of people to search for their roots, and which is the story of Redford's unflagging efforts to recover the history of her ancestors.
After following her roots to Somerset Place, Redford converted the overgrown and forgotten nineteenth-century plantation to a national landmark. Her efforts culminated in a nationally-publicized homecoming she organized, bringing together more than 2,000 descendents of the plantation's slaves and owners. This marked the beginning of a campaign to turn Somerset Place into a resource for learning the history of both African-Americans and whites in the region.
For more information, contact the office of public affairs and marketing at (330) 823-6063.