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|Book on civil rights leader topic of River Reads program|
The Ouachita Parish Public Library will host author Cleo Scott Brown on Friday, June 27, where she will showcase her book, "Witness to the Truth."
"Witness to the Truth" was chosen by the library as its River Reads book selection.
River Reads is the library's summer reading program for adults. It encourages all area residents to read the same book, and join in dialogue, discussion and activities to increase the understanding of the book's topic.
Brown's book tells the life story of her father, John H. Scott, a civil rights leader who fought for voting rights for African-Americans living in northeast Louisiana.
Brown will have a book signing 10 a.m. Friday at the Sterlington Memorial Branch at 305 Keystone Rd. She will also appear at the Carver Branch on 2941 Renwick St. at 11:30 a.m.
"We're thrilled that Ms. Brown has made time in her busy schedule to join us for these events," said library director Cheryl Mouliere. "She is well known as an authority and noted speaker on black history, as well as being an accomplished author."
Brown was recently award the HBO Beah Richards Spirit Award.
Scott, who was born in East Carroll Parish in 1901, led a 25-year struggle for voting rights. His efforts nearly cost him his life in the early 1960s. He convinced Attorney General Robert Kennedy to join his crusade, and eventually realized his goal with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. He died in 1980 at the age of 78.
"Witness to the Truth' is told in Scott's own words, recorded by his daughter, and chronicles almost 100 years of life in the rural South, including his grandparents' recollections of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the displacement of African-American farmers during the New Deal and the methods white southerners used to keep African-Americans under economic domination and away from the polls," according to a review published by the University of South Carolina Press in 2003.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune in its review said Brown's book was a "moving and powerful autobiography … a sterling example of the power of an individual voice raised in protest, of what happens when one person unwaveringly insists on what is right and just."
Brown is a graduate of Grambling State University and now resides in Goose Creek, S.C.
For more information about the library's River Reads activities and other summer reading programs, visit the library's web site at www.oplib.org, or call 327-1490.