AHS Events

A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History 40th Anniversary

Location: Athens Regional Library

Date / Time: 10/21/2018 3:00-5:00p



Athens Historical Society and Athens Clarke County Library are proud to present "A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History 40th Anniversary" with Michael Thurmond! 

Join us Sunday October 21, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Athens Regional Library Appleton Auditorium

Mr. Thurmond's presentation will cover the rich Heritage and History of African-American Athenians, on the 40th anniversary of the publishing of his book A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History. 

 Raised as a sharecropper's son in Clarke County, Georgia, Michael Thurmond graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religion from Paine College and later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law. He also completed the Political Executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since Reconstruction. During his legislative tenure, Thurmond authored major legislation that provided more than $250 million in tax relief to Georgia's senior citizens and working families. Thurmond received a gubernatorial appointment to lead the state Division of Family and Children Services and direct Georgia's historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative Work First program, which helped more than 90,000 welfare dependent Georgia families move from dependence into the workforce. In 1997, Thurmond became a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The following year, he was elected Georgia labor commissioner. During his three terms as labor commissioner, Thurmond’s most significant achievement was the construction of a $20 million school for children with disabilities at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute. Thurmond’s latest book, Freedom: Georgia’s Antislavery Heritage, 1733-1865, was awarded the Georgia Historical Society’s Lilla Hawes Ward. In 2004, The Georgia Center for the Book listed Freedom as one of The 25 Books All Georgian’s Should Read. He serves on the University of Georgia Libraries Board of Visitors. In 2016 he won a landslide victory to become chief executive officer of DeKalb County, one of the most diverse counties in the Southeast. He is married to Zola Fletcher Thurmond, and they have one daughter, Mikaya.

Join us after the program for a reception with light refreshments. 




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