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David B. Rice
National Humanities Ctr.
7 Alexander Drive
P.O. Box 12256
RTP, NC 27709
Ph: (919) 549-0661
Fax: (919) 990-8535

Timothy Tyson Lecture
at the National Humanities Center

News Release Date: February 5, 2005

Research Triangle Park, N.C.— Please join us at the National Humanities Center on Thursday, February 17, 2005, at 5 p.m. for a free public lecture by Timothy Tyson, "Miss Amy's Witness: Why the History of the Civil Rights Movement is (Mostly) Wrong."

In 1963, as the battle for the soul of America raged in the streets of Birmingham and in hundreds of other communities across the South, Jonesboro Heights Methodist Church in Sanford, North Carolina, shook to its foundations in a dispute over race. A retired schoolteacher, "Miss Amy" Womble, stepped forward with a lesson for her church and changed many hearts in her community. But for others, bullets and firebombs spoke louder than the voice of conscience.

Miss Amy's story is part of Blood Done Sign My Name, a book by Tim Tyson that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss calls "part memoir, part history, part detective story," which focuses on the 1970 "late-model lynching" of a young black man in eastern North Carolina and the racial conflagrations that followed in its wake. Tyson's narrative of that fiery summer brings blues truth, gospel fervor, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and Miss Amy's lessons still speak to us—but maybe for the wrong reasons, and perhaps in unpredictable ways.

Blood Done Sign My Name has been chosen as the 2005 Summer Reading Program selection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Tyson, who earned his Ph.D. at Duke University, teaches history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is the 2004-05 John Hope Franklin Senior Fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The National Humanities Center is located at 7 Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park. For directions or more information, call 919-549-0661 or visit the Center's Web site,

This event, free and open to the public, is supported by the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Educational and Cultural Outreach Endowment Fund.

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National Humanities Center
7 Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12256
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2256 USA
Phone: (919) 549-0661   Fax: (919) 990-8535
Copyright 2005 National Humanities Center. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 2005