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Authors of book on race, class and desegregation to speak as part of Brown vs. Board of Education commemoration

ATHENS, Ohio (April 14, 2004) -- William Drennen Jr. and Kojo Jones Jr., authors of "Red, White, Black & Blue: A Dual Memoir of Race and Class in Appalachia," and Dolores Johnson, the book's editor, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at 194 Irvine Hall on the Ohio University campus. The trio will present "Desegregation in Appalachia: Race, Class and Choice Before and After Brown v. Board."

The book is a collection of memoirs written by Drennen and Jones that trace the journey of two friends – one white, one black – who were separated as youth by segregated schools in Charleston, W.Va., in the 1950s to the Brown v. Board decision, which brought them back together. However, both men first had to overcome the barriers of social segregation to reconnect. The book illuminates the intense thoughts and feelings the two friends experienced as they dealt with issues of race, segregation and learning to understand.

Drennen, Jones and Johnson, a Marshall University professor of English, will discuss what happened back then, how the issue of color has affected their lives and their feelings on race and overcoming the issues surrounding it. A book signing and reception will follow the discussion. The book was published this year by Ohio University Press/Swallow Press.

This event is part of Ohio University's Brown v. Board of Education commemoration of the landmark decision handed down on May 17, 1954, that made segregation in schools unlawful. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/brownvboard/.

The event is sponsored by the Brown v. Board of Education Commemoration Committee, the Department of African American Studies and the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee.

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Media Contact: Jillian Lewis, (740)589-5001, or Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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