by Kathryn Hill, President, The Levine Museum of the New South
In elementary school, Kathryn Hill itched to move beyond the first shelf of the library books. When she finally reached the second shelf, a new world awaited her: biographies of historical figures. The lives of women such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, and Dorothea Dix led her to understand that history was all about stories. She realized that her own life “needed to be about something”—and that it could be.
by Jamie Lathan
, 39, teacher and school administrator, husband, father, son, brother, friend.
As I grew up in rural South Carolina in the 1980s, baseball was my favorite hobby and pastime. For most of my 7 year Dixie league/recreational league baseball career (ages 5 to 12), my dad was my coach. I don’t remember watching baseball on television because we only had three to four channels and did not have cable.
On my first baseball team, I was the only black player; and then after that most of my teams were majority black. At this time I only had vague notions about race, although I knew that I was black. Because both of my parents…
by Joan Hinde Stewart, President Emerita, Hamilton College
In this video, Joan Hinde Stewart recalls the first book she ever checked out of a library — a biography of Joan of Arc — a memory triggered by an experience in her sixties. She describes the fascination she felt about Joan of Arc from an early age and the conflict she felt about reading this biography, as it was unsanctioned by the Catholic church.
As she notes, however, “I became positively besotted with The Maid of Orleans. I could do nothing but think about Joan. That’s the way she is. She grabs you, and no matter how well you know…
by Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker
In this short video, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns recalls having Robert Penn Warren read a passage from his novel All the King’s Men
during the production of the Huey Long portion of his documentary series “Ken Burns’ America.” He notes that it is voices like Warren’s that have helped animate his work, bringing to life his own journey and that which he has tried to share through his films.For Burns, this particular passage fromAll the King’s Men—about dirt, creation, and man’s place and purpose on Earth—is a…