University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
March 14, 2011
Contact: Joy Crawford-Washington, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6211

USA Professor and Students to participate
in Southern Literary Trail Festival 2011


Dr. Kern Jackson, director of African-American Studies at the University of South Alabama in the College of Arts and Sciences, will discuss the influence of Mobile native Albert Murray, a noted author on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. at the Ben May Library in Bernheim Hall. The event is free and open to the public. This is just one of a number of statewide events involved with the Southern Literary Trail Festival.

Also accompanying Jackson during his talk will be Barbara Baker, Jay Lamar and Paul Devlin of New York City. Baker and Lamar co-edited the recent book “Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation.” Devlin writes in the book about his personal association with Murray, whom the “New York” magazine recently named as one of Manhattan’s cultural icons over the age of 90. Devlin will discuss Murray’s extensive art collection.

Two of Jackson’s students from his introduction to African-American Studies class Travis Davis and Elijah McLaughlin will provide readings from Murray’s “Trading Twelve’s,” the collection of letters that Murray exchanged with fellow writer and friend Ralph Ellison.

Davis, a native of Mobile is a senior majoring in history and McLaughlin of Montgomery is a junior majoring in social work. They are honored to be selected as dramatic readers, highlighting Mobile native Albert Murray.

The official festival of the Southern Literary Trail, features a tri-state and three-month celebration with plays, free programs, musical performances and film showings that showcase the south’s heritage as home to the country’s best writing and storytelling.

For more information about events listed on the Southern Literary Trail call William Gantt at (205) 297-8849, or e-mail him at


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