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Pulitzer Winner to Speak at Mercer University on Feb. 9

February 1, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037,

MACON – Veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hank Klibanoff will speak at Mercer University’s Macon campus on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room of the University Center. The event is sponsored by Mercer’s Southern Studies Program as part of its year-long series of special events, “Remembering the Civil Rights Movement.” Klibanoff will speak about his work covering race in the South, in a presentation titled “The Race Beat: Then and Now.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

“The Southern Studies program is fortunate to be able to offer the Mercer and Macon communities the opportunity to hear Klibanoff speak,” said Dr. Sarah Gardner, professor of history and one of the series organizers. “As both a reporter of the movement and an activist who seeks justice for the victims of unsolved civil rights murders, Klibanoff testifies to the importance of bearing witness and acting on what he has seen.”

Klibanoff won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for history with the book The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation. Born in Alabama, Klibanoff grew up witnessing the civil rights movement, massive resistance and the evolution of race relations in the South. Those experiences, along with his 35 years as a newspaper reporter and editor in Mississippi, at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, were key influences as he co-wrote The Race Beat.  He is the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University and serves as managing editor of the Civil Rights Cold Case Project, which uses multimedia reporting to investigate unsolved racial murders that took place during the modern civil rights era in the South. 
“Hank Klibanoff has raised America’s consciousness about the civil rights movement and his book, The Race Beat, exposes how the press shaped the nation’s perception of the movement,” said Dr. David A. Davis, assistant professor of English and southern studies, and one of the event’s organizers. “Through his work on the Civil Rights Cold Case Project, Klibanoff continues to use the media to make a case for civil rights and prevent America from forgetting the people who died in the movement.”

A second lecture will be held this spring by Anthony Grooms at 7:30 p.m. on April 6 in the Presidents Dining Room. Dr. Grooms is a professor of English at Kennesaw State University and author of Bombingham, which won the Lillian Smith prize for literature and racial justice.

In addition to the lectures, the Southern Studies program is conducting a film series, co-sponsored by The Macon Film Festival, including three films focused on the civil rights movement. The film Ghosts of Mississippi was screened in October at the Cox Capitol Theater and Mississippi Burning was shown Monday, and 4 Little Girls will be shown on March 21. The screenings are $5 for general admission tickets and $3 for Mercer students.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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