Author Wil Haygood To Speak At Fairfield University's MLK Ceremony

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Journalist Wil Haygood, author of "The Butler" is set to speak at Fairfield University's MLK, Jr. Convocation in January. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Journalist Wil Haygood, author of "The Butler" is set to speak at Fairfield University's MLK, Jr. Convocation in January. 

The 2014 MLK, Jr. Convocation will present a lecture from Haygood, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public. Haygood is an acclaimed Washington Post reporter whose recent book “The Butler: A Witness to History,” chronicles the life of Eugene Allen, a black man who served as a butler for eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan.

The book was released in tandem with the motion picture “The Butler,” starring Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Cuba Gooding Jr. Free screenings of “The Butler,” of which Haygood is associate producer, will also take place as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration activities.

"Wil Haygood had an early hunch that Barack Obama would win the 2008 election, and when he did he wanted to publish an article about a black person who had worked in the White House as a servant, someone who had come of age when segregation was so widespread, so embedded in the culture as to make the very thought of a black president inconceivable," representatives said. "He struck gold when he tracked down Eugene Allen, a butler who had served no less than eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan — and in so doing became a “discreet stage hand who for three decades helped keep the show running in the most important political theater of all.” The result was "The Butler: A Witness to History," a portrait of Eugene Allen’s lifelong journey, from his birth in 1919 on a southern plantation to his years in service at the White House; it is also a broader examination of the history of African-Americans in film."

Other events taking place during Fairfield University's MLK Jr. Convocation include a Memorial March through the campus, a day of service and a pre-convocation performance with the Fairfield University Glee Club. 

For more information, contact Fred J. Kuo
director of Student Involvement at fkuo@fairfield.edu, or 203- 254-4000 ext. 3733; or Kris Sealey, associate professor of philosophy, ksealey@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000, ext. 3020.

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