January 11, 2016 "Word Warrior" Richard Durham Is Subject of Book Discussion

Durham Chronicled Significant Moments in African-American History

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
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Posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007, Richard Durham's trademark narrative style kept listeners engaged by chronicling fascinating characters and evoking sharp images of pivotal moments in American and African-American history and culture.

Award-winning radio producer Sonja D. Williams illuminates Durham's extraordinary career in her book “Word Warrior” (University of Illinois Press, 2015), which draws on archives and hard-to-access family records, as well as interviews with family and such colleagues as Studs Terkel and Toni Morrison. She will discuss and sign her book at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event is being hosted by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Library’s Manuscript Division (where Williams did much of her research) and the Daniel A.P. Murray Association. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Durham was a pioneer among black journalists, both as a dramatist and a star investigative reporter and editor for black newspapers the Chicago Defender and Muhammed Speaks. He also created the acclaimed radio series “Destination Freedom” and “Here Comes Tomorrow” and wrote for such popular radio programs as “The Lone Ranger."

Williams is a professor in the Howard University Department of Media, Journalism and Film in Washington. She has worked as a broadcast journalist and media trainer in the Caribbean, Africa and the United States and has received numerous awards, including three George Foster Peabody awards for significant and meritorious achievement.

The Library of Congress, the nation's first-established federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 160 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its website at loc.gov.

The Library of Congress Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.


PR 16-013
ISSN 0731-3527