If you read Harper Lee’s classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird, back in middle school, chances are that the characters in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel–Atticus Finch, Scout, Dill, and Boo Radley–have stayed with you. The book, which was published 50 years ago this year, represents a trying period in American history, when segregation and racism was still widely tolerated, despite a growing sense that such treatment was unjust. Lee brilliantly captures the simmering conflict during the ’30s which would finally erupt during the civil rights movement.
Harper Lee was a native of Monroeville, Alabama, where she spent her summers with another iconic novelist, Truman Capote, who served as the model for the character Dill. This weekend, the Alabama Humanities Foundation will kick off a 50th anniversary celebration of the book with a series of lectures and events.
“TKAM 2010” begins this evening with a panel discussion with leading legal, civil rights, and literary scholars about the book’s influence over that past 50 years. It also marks the opening of TKAM 2010: To Kill a Mockingbird–Awakening America’s Conscience, an exhibit of original works of art inspired by the book and its themes at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The exhibit will be free and on display from April 10-May 14, then it will move to the Stonehenge Art Gallery in Montgomery, Alabama, and be on display from May 18-21. Montgomery’s historic Capri Theater will screen the Oscar-award winning film starring Gregory Peck on May 20.
Visit the AHF website for a complete list of events, which also include an art auction and the screening of a documentary film, Our Mockingbird.
If you’re interested in seeing Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, this April and May they will host their annual theatrical production of the book in the town courthouse. For more information and ticket availability, call +1 251 575 7433.
Image: To Kill a Mockingbird 50th-Anniversary Commemorative Portrait Nicolosi • Mixed media, acrylic on canvas
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