Meet VCU's Authors: Emilie Raymond
James Branch Cabell Library, second-floor Multipurpose Room (Room 250)
901 Park Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23284
Emilie Raymond, associate professor of history, talks about her new book, Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities and the Civil Rights Movement (University of Washington Press, 2015). Americans have come to expect that Hollywood celebrities—from Oprah Winfrey to Angelina Jolie, George Clooney to Leonardo DiCaprio—will be outspoken advocates for social and political causes. However, that wasn't always the case. As Emilie Raymond shows, during the civil-rights movement the Stars for Freedom, a handful of celebrities both black and white, risked their careers by crusading for racial equality and forged the role of celebrity in American political culture. Raymond shows how the "Leading Six"—Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Gregory and Sidney Poitier—not only advanced the civil-rights movement in front of the cameras, but also worked tirelessly behind the scenes, raising money for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legal defense, leading membership drives for the NAACP and engaging personally with workaday activists to boost morale.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street, and West Cary Street parking decks. For questions, please call Gregory Kimbrell, events coordinator, at (804) 828-0593.
For more information about the event, see the event listing from the VCU Humanities Research Center. For more information about all Humanities Research Center events, see the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences events list.
The Humanities Research Center and VCU Libraries present the "Meet VCU's Authors" series.
Image: Blue and golden paper marbling, book back cover, Germany, around 1880, scanned by Roman Eisele