BRIDGEWATER, Va. — Author, musician and screenwriter James McBride will speak about his latest novel during an endowed lecture at Bridgewater College on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The lecture, held in the Concert Hall at the Carter Center for Worship and Music, is part of Bridgewater College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.
McBride’s latest novel, Deacon King Kong, tells the story of a 1969 shooting in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the strange intersections of the lives of the characters involved in the shooting. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.
McBride’s landmark memoir, The Color of Water, rested on The New York Times bestseller list for two years and explored McBride’s search for identity as the son of a white Jewish woman and a Black man. The memoir is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the U.S. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was translated into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee. In addition, McBride wrote the script for Miracle at St. Anna and co-wrote Lee’s 2012 film Red Hook Summer. McBride also authored the novels Song Yet Sung and The Good Lord Bird, the 2013 National Book Award Winner for Fiction that has been adapted by Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum into a Showtime series bearing the same name.
Former President Barack Obama awarded McBride the 2015 National Humanities Medal “for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America. Through writings about his own uniquely American story and his works of fiction informed by our shared history, his moving stories of love display the character of the American family.”
McBride is a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People magazine and The Washington Post. His work has appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times.
In addition to writing, McBride toured as a saxophonist sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, among others. He also has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Pura Fé, Gary Burton and even for the PBS television character Barney. He received the Stephen Sondheim Award and the Richard Rodgers Foundation Horizon Award for his musical Bobos, co-written with playwright Ed Shockley. McBride has been featured on national radio and television in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
A native New Yorker and a graduate of New York City public schools, McBride studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. He received his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University at age 22. McBride holds several honorary doctorates and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7:30 p.m. The format for the event is a traditional lecture with a Q&A portion to follow. Attendees will have a special opportunity for a book signing with McBride from 8:30 to 9 p.m. A livestream of the event will be available at bridgewater.edu/mcbride.
In keeping with guidance from the CDC, Bridgewater College requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, properly wear face masks when indoors in public areas of campus.
This endowed lecture is sponsored by The Anna B. Mow Symposium.
AT A GLANCE
Endowed Lecture: James McBride
When: Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Concert Hall at the Carter Center for Worship and Music, Bridgewater College
Notes: This event is free and open to the public. The format for the event is a traditional lecture with Q&A to follow. In keeping with guidance from the CDC, Bridgewater College requires that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, properly wear face masks when indoors in public areas of campus. A livestream of the event is accessible at bridgewater.edu/mcbride.
Media advisory: James McBride will not be available for media interviews the day of the endowed lecture.
ABOUT BRIDGEWATER COLLEGE
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,500 students.