Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 12, 2021

Author Hubbard to speak as part of Southern Lit series

Southern Lit Alliance will feature Chattanooga author Rita Lorraine Hubbard during the next installment of its South Bound Lecture series March 18 at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

Hubbard will discuss her craft and the variety of books she has written, including “African Americans in Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes” and the children’s books “The Oldest Student” and “Hammering for Freedom.”

This event is free to the public, but donations are suggested. Register at southernlitalliance.org/virtual-south-bound-rita-hubbard.

Hubbard is a former special education teacher of 11 years and holds a master’s degree in school psychology. Her books include educational materials and books for children, with a particular focus on the history of Black Southerners.

In “African Americans in Chattanooga,” Hubbard shows how African Americans have shaped the history of Chattanooga as far back as the 16th century and teaches her readers a slew of history, including how the city became the site of one of the first integrated police departments in the South and the hometown of the first African American appointed to lead counsel on a Supreme Court case.

“The Oldest Student” tells the story of Mary Walker, who was born into slavery in 1848. She was freed by age 15 and married by 20. She worked numerous jobs throughout her life to provide for herself and her family, including cooking, babysitting and selling sandwiches for her church, but she never learned to read – until the astonishing age of 116.

“Hammering for Freedom” tells the story of William Lewis, who was born into slavery in Chattanooga. According to the book, he learned the blacksmith trade as soon as he was old enough to grip a hammer and proved to be an exceptional blacksmith, earning so much money fixing old tools and creating new ones that he was able to free his family.

Southern Lit Alliance is a longstanding literary arts organization in Chattanooga. The organization is funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and Arts Build.

Source: Southern Lit Alliance