Author Talk: Pellom McDaniels III's The Hemp Breakers
Pellom McDaniels has never held to a narrow path. While playing football for the Kansas City Chiefs in the ’90s, he founded an afterschool program designed to help children “cultivate a voice” through art and community involvement. Later, he moved into academia at Emory University in Atlanta and broadened his reach through his work as an author and curator of art.
McDaniels returns to Kansas City and the Library to discuss his latest book, The Hemp Breakers, in which he uses an innovative amalgam of poetry, music, historical narrative, and archival materials to examine the arc of African American life. It tells the story of a man named Blue, from his roots in Africa to his time as a Union soldier and later life in Kentucky.
McDaniels, who earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Emory after retiring from the NFL in 2000, is the faculty curator of African American collections at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. He spoke at the Central Library in May 2014 about his Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy.
Book signing will follow the discussion.