The University of Southern Mississippi will open its 2017-2018 University Forum series with a free concert and lecture from famed author and composer James McBride.
McBride and the Good Lord Bird Band will perform at the Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg Campus on Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in an event that is open to the public.
In 2013 McBride won the National Book Award for "The Good Lord Bird," and the American Music Festival's Stephen Sondheim Award and American Arts and Letters' Richard Rogers Award for his compositions.
His presentation, "The Good Lord Bird: Faith and American Slavery," will examine America's slavery past and continuing struggles with racism with the Good Lord Bird Band playing music from the time period as a backdrop for the novel.
“This promises to be a truly remarkable event that will bring together literature, history, and music,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of University Forum and an associate professor of history at USM.
The Good Lord Bird is the story of a young boy born into slavery that joined John Brown's anti-slavery movement.
In 2015 President Barack Obama presented McBride with the National Humanities Medal for "humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America" and for "his moving stories of love" that "display the character of the American family."
The event is presented by the Southern Miss Honors College.