Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
Janis F. Kearney’s newest book, “Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton, From Hope to Harlem,” will be introduced with a book launch, a panel discussion with students and interviewees, and a book signing on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Clinton Presidential Center.
The program begins at 12:45 in the Great Hall Room. Kearney will sign books from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and a panel discussion is planned for 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Kearney, a University of Arkansas graduate, is the daughter of Southeast Arkansas sharecropping parents and one of 17 siblings. The writer, lecturer and oral historian is also the former publisher of the Arkansas State Press Newspaper and served as personal diarist to former President Clinton.
Kearney interviewed nearly 100 people in compiling her latest book, which is published by Writing Our World Press. The book focuses on America’s first “race president” and his unique connection with African-Americans, along with the environment that helped shape his life.
Kearney describes the book as part historical narrative and part oral history. The interviewees include Clinton, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, baseball great Hank Aaron, women’s rights icon Dorothy Height, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Levering Lewis.
Kearney met Clinton in the early 1970s shortly after he served as a University of Arkansas law professor. In 1992, Kearney took a sabbatical from her newspaper to work in the Clinton/Gore campaign. When Clinton was elected president, she was asked to join the White House press office in January 1993. She served in the White House a personal diarist to the present for six years.
Kearney moved to Chicago after leaving the White House. She began a two-year W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship at Harvard University on Sept. 11, 2001. The fellowship centered around the research and interviews that led to this book.
Kearney published her memoir, “Cotton Field of Dreams,” in January 2005.
For more information, visit www.writingourworldpress.com.
The Old State House Museum will feature a book-signing with Bill Woodiel, a Mountain Home historian who provide significant research for the museum’s “Yokes on the Trail of Tears” project. The book is titled “Stone Songs on the Trail of Tears,” from the University of Arkansas press.
The book-signing will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Old State House Museum at 300 W. Markham St.
“Yokes on the Trail of Tears” is a month-long photo exhibit documenting the sculpture installation of Pat Musick. The artist says in a museum press release that the project is “tribute to the Cherokee who made that tragic trek through Arkansas in the late 1830s.”
During 2002, Musick and others assembled and disassembled the sculpture made of oak, steel and stone along the Benge Route, one of the four routes the Cherokees traveled when forcibly relocated to Indian Territory. The artist and crew made a total of 23 separate installations, documenting each stop with photographs made by Gerald P. Carr. These photographs and research documenting the project make up a book, “Stone Songs.”
Admission to the book-signing and reception is free. For more information, call 324-9685 or visit www.oldstatehouse.com.