Renowned Historian to Present at Georgia Writers Museum | Community

“I don’t know much about the story” are the lyrics to Sam Cooke songs that many of us can identify with. Yet, we know, “those who do not learn history are destined to repeat it”.

Georgia Writers Museum has a remedy for this dilemma. On Tuesday, August 2, renowned historian Dr. “Cully” Clark will come to the rescue with his “Meet the Author” presentation on his book, “The Birth of a New South: Sherman, Grady, and the Making of Atlanta. Admission is $10 and the event will take place at the museum at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.).

Dr. Clark will be introduced by Mark Smith, owner and CEO of Smith Communications. Contact Georgia Writers Museum or to make a reservation.

Did you know that General William Sherman contributed $2,000 to the regeneration and development of Atlanta after the Civil War? Sherman loved the South and considered himself a Southern gentleman, despite being born in Ohio. I bet you didn’t know that Henry Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution in the 1880s, was a mastermind for making connections, but his opinions were too inconsistent to be considered intellectual.

According to Dr. Clark, there are no two names more associated with the rise of the New South than Sherman, the destroyer, and Grady, the chief architect of the New South. Henry Grady advocated for a more urban South, but also had a vision for improved farm life. Considered the “great reconciler” between North and South, Grady’s famous “New South” speech resonates through the ages. General Sherman financially supported Grady’s efforts in organizing the Piedmont Exposition of 1887, a step toward opening larger-scale markets for Atlanta and Georgia. Although Grady died young at age 39 in 1889, one cannot go far in Atlanta today without coming across his name on the streets and public buildings.

Dr. Culpepper (Cully) Clark is Dean Emeritus of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. He served as dean of the college from 2006 until his retirement in 2013. From 1996 to 2006, he served as dean of the College of Communication at the University of Alabama. Clark earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from Emory University and a doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina. A Southern historian, Clark’s published work has focused on the new Southern movement, civil rights, and communication.

Dr. Clark is the author of “The School Gate: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama», named a remarkable book by the New York Times book review. He also founded and edited a series, Studies in rhetoric and communication, in which more than thirty titles appeared. He is a past president of the Southern States Communication Association and lives with his wife in Stone Mountain.

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