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ACCLAIMED AUTHOR JERALD WALKER TO SPEAK MARCH 3 AT HCC

Jerald WalkerBRIDGEPORT – Jerald Walker, author of the acclaimed Street Shadows: a Memoir of Race, Rebellion and Redemption, will speak at Housatonic Community College Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

 In the book, Walker, professor of English at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, recounts his renunciation of the “thug life” he embraced at a teenager on Chicago’s South Side in favor of the middle class life his parents had always dreamed of for their children. By turns humorous, angry and poignant, the memoir dramatically captures one man’s pursuit and embodiment of the American Dream: the effort to rise above obstacles such as racism and poverty through hard work and determination.

“To be a success, I’d had to draw heavily on a heroic tradition of survival that began in slavery, when people like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass laid the blueprint for resilience, toughness and courage for their descendents to follow,” Walker write of his upwards journey from the streets. “There have always been examples of blacks overcoming racism’s obstacles, yet there’s this tendency by some to focus more on the obstacles than the overcoming.”

Publisher Random House says of the book: “An eloquent account of how the shadows of the past need not determine the present, Street Shadows is the stirring story of two Americas – one of narrow vision and limited possibilities, the other expansive and inspirational – embodied in one man.”

Walker’s talk, which is free and open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. in the Events Center in Beacon Hall,

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport, 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Arena at Harbor Yard.