Stories of Struggle In Conversation Virtual Event ft. Claudia Smith Brinson

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Don't miss our virtual event with Claudia Smith Brinson and Judge Richard Gergel

About this Event

COVID-19 may have upended our lives, but Fiction Addiction is still your guide to finding books worth your time to read them.

We are thrilled to bring you a virtual event with Claudia Smith Brinson (author of Stories of Struggle) and Judge Richard Gergel (author of Unexampled Courage) on Wednesday, December 2nd at 6pm Eastern.

Each ticket includes access to a live online book talk and the ability to view a 48-hour replay in case you miss the live event.

Tickets can be purchased through Wednesday, 12/2/20 at 6pm. Refunds can be requested up until the ticket cutoff.

In this pioneering study of the long and arduous struggle for civil rights in South Carolina, longtime journalist Claudia Smith Brinson details the lynchings, beatings, bombings, cross burnings, death threats, arson, and venomous hatred that black South Carolinians endured—as well as the astonishing courage, devotion, dignity, and compassion of those who risked their lives for equality.

Through extensive research and interviews with more than one hundred fifty civil rights activists, many of whom had never shared their stories with anyone, Brinson chronicles twenty pivotal years of petitioning, preaching, picketing, boycotting, marching, and holding sit-ins. Participants' use of nonviolent direct action altered the landscape of civil rights in South Carolina and reverberated throughout the South.

These firsthand accounts include the unsung petitioners who risked their lives by supporting Summerton's Briggs v. Elliot, a lawsuit that led to the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision; the thousands of students who were arrested and jailed in 1960 for protests in Rock Hill, Orangeburg, Denmark, Columbia, and Sumter; and the black female employees and leaders who defied a governor and his armed troops during the 1969 hospital strike in Charleston.

Brinson also highlights contributions made by remarkable but lesser-known activists, including James M. Hinton Sr., president of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Thomas W. Gaither, Congress of Racial Equality field secretary and scout for the Freedom Rides; Charles F. McDew, a South Carolina State College student and co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and Mary Moultrie, grassroots leader of the 1969 hospital workers' strike.

These intimate stories of courage and conviction, both heartbreaking and inspiring, shine a light on the progress achieved by nonviolent civil rights activists while also revealing white South Carolinians' often violent resistance to change. Although significant racial disparities remain, the sacrifices of these brave men and women produced real progress—and hope for the future.

About the authors:

Claudia Smith Brinson, a newspaper journalist in South Carolina for more than thirty years, spent much of her career with Knight Ridder media company as a senior writer, writing coach, associate editor, and columnist. She taught writing at the University of South Carolina and directed the Writing for Print and Digital Media major at Columbia College. Brinson won more than thirty state, regional, and national awards, including Knight Ridder's Award of Excellence and an O. Henry Award for short fiction, and she was a member of the Pulitzer finalist team covering Hurricane Hugo.

Richard Gergel, the author of Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring, is a United States district judge who presides in the same courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina, where Judge Waring once served. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Judge Gergel earned undergraduate and law degrees from Duke University. With his wife, Dr. Belinda Gergel, he is the author of In Pursuit of the Tree of Life: A History of the Early Jews of Columbia, South Carolina.

Access to the Event

The talk will be hosted at https://www.crowdcast.io/. You can watch through your browser and are not required to download any software (though mobile apps are also available). You can access this event through Eventbrite.


All books purchased will be shipped for no additional charge to the address provided during checkout. Books will ship after the event.

*We will do our best to mail your books promptly, but this depends on how the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold.

Refund Policy:

  • You may request a full refund prior to ticket cutoff.
  • If you miss the live event, you have up to 48 hours to watch the replay (at the same link) before it's taken down.
  • If you order any books and they don't arrive within 2 weeks of the event, please contact us at info@fiction-addiction.com.
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