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First Thursday Lectures are Back - ONLINE!

Thu, 08/13/2020

The successful Friends of the Waccamaw Library (FOWL) 1st Thursday Lecture Series returns for another much anticipated run in Fall 2020. The 1st Thursday Series has become one of the Library’s featured programs. Although the subjects of the presentations are eclectic, most highlight a facet of regional or Lowcountry culture, such as our area’s fascinating, diverse histories; elements of the coastal ecology; or the unique language, customs, literature, and arts inspired by the region.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, library meeting rooms are currently closed to public gatherings; as a result, the Fall 2020 1st Thursday Series will feature virtual presentations. Online presentations will provide engaging educational content for library patrons and community members during this time, while enabling folks to contribute to real-time Q&A sessions following each presentation by commenting on Facebook Live.

All 1st Thursday events begin at 10:00 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month (i.e., September 3, October 1, November 5, and December 3), and are free and openly available to the public online. To view the presentations live, go to the Georgetown County Library Facebook page at the scheduled date and time: You do not have to have a Facebook account to watch the presentations on the Georgetown County Library Facebook page. If you miss a presentation on Facebook Live, all four presentations will also be made available for viewing afterwards on the Georgetown County Library YouTube page:

The lineup for Fall 2020 features a strong lineup of speakers and topics: Georgetown County native Dr. Tracy S. Bailey discussing her debut novel, which explores Lowcountry Gullah culture; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes on the continuing story of the Emanuel Nine families; sociologist Dr. Shawn Bingham exploring about the radical countercultures of the Bohemian South; and Dr. Marjorie J. Spruill, a major historian of the woman suffrage movement, explaining the history of women’s right to vote in South Carolina, to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Specific dates, titles, and topics are included below:

  • Thursday, September 3: livestreamed at 10 AM on Facebook

“The Inspiring Stories Behind Writing Riverside Blues, A Gullah Tale

Tracy S. Bailey, Ph.D.

Tracy S. Bailey will talk about what inspired her to write Riverside Blues, A Gullah Tale, a novel featuring an  unforgettable and emblematic heroine in Mabeline. Born “absent of all God’s favor” but destined by the ancestors to “cross over,” this young woman travels from her Gullah roots in rural South Carolina on a voyage of discovery through the 1950s-1960s American South. A Georgetown native, Dr. Bailey is Founder/CEO of Freedom Readers, a literacy nonprofit that instills the love of reading in the next generation. She served as a Neiman Fellowship Affiliate at Harvard University and her fiction was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize.  

  • Thursday, October 1: livestreamed at 10 AM on Facebook

“The Unfinished Story of the Emanuel AME Church Shooting: The Hard Journey to Grace”

Jennifer Berry Hawes

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Post and Courier and author of Grace Will Lead Us Home, Jennifer Berry Hawes digs deeper to present the complex, ongoing struggles hidden beneath the headlines around the mass murder of nine African American church-goers by a white supremacist in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015. Hawes explores day-to-day difficulties of the Emanuel Nine families, now that the public outpouring of grief has receded, and how racial divisions remain within the Holy City, and beyond. The New York Times Book Review praised Hawes as “so admirably steadfast in her commitment to bearing witness that one is compelled to consider the story she tells from every possible angle.”

  • Thursday, November 5: livestreamed at 10 AM on Facebook 

“The Bohemian South”

Shawn Bingham, Ph.D.

Shawn Bingham is coeditor of The Bohemian South: Creating Countercultures from Poe to Punk (UNC Press, 2017), about various ways, past and present, that the American South has served as an epicenter for progress, innovation, and experimentation. From the southern influence on nineteenth-century New York to the 1990s Athens, GA music scene, to cutting-edge cuisines of millennial Asheville, NC, the bohemian South has long challenged traditional views of the region as a cultural backwater. Dr. Bingham is Director of the Honors Scholars College and Associate Dean at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

  • Thursday, December 3: livestreamed at 10 AM on Facebook

“South Carolina Women and the Right to Vote: 100 Years after the 19th Amendment in SC”

Marjorie J. Spruill, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor Emerita of History at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Marjorie Spruill is author of three books about women’s history, including New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States, and is editor of One Woman, One Vote, companion to the PBS documentary series about the movement for women’s voting rights. With degrees from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Duke University, and the University of Virginia, Dr. Spruill is a leading expert on the woman suffrage movement and a prominent historian of the American South.