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John Egerton on Ray Bradbury and Our Future

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Published on Jun 8, 2012

John Egerton is a noted American journalist, born and raised in the American South and has been preoccupied since his professional beginnings with Southern politics, culture, race relations and education. Egerton has written or edited some twenty non-fiction books and one "contemporary fable," and has contributed chapters to numerous other volumes, and scores of articles to newspapers and magazines. He has also been a participant in and writer for many projects and conferences dealing with education, desegregation, civil rights, and the American South, particularly its food. Among his best-known books are "The Americanization of Dixie," "Generations: An American Family," "Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History," and "Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation before the Civil Rights Movement in the South." Egerton was one of the founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and to their lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities. We are absolutely committed to providing youth, especially in underserved communities, with as many opportunities as possible to develop and publicly present their voices both live and in print, video, audio, and digital media.

In Future Break, Nashville's writers, musicians, & thinkers came together for 7 unique performances to determine the city's future 10 to 10,000 years from now. Presented by Southern in collaboration with the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Nashville Public Library, Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden at Cheekwood, and Dark Horse Theater, the performances were a series of staged monologues, readings, essays, songs, and spoken word pieces featuring more than 65 writers including Jody Nardone, Jerry Navarro, Minton Sparks, John Egerton, Bill Brown, Nashville in Harmony, Sam Davidson, Barry Scott, Kent Agee, MC Squared, Christine Mather, Rashad thaPoet, Ross Falzone, Phil Madeira, Stephanie Pruitt, Jackie Welch Schlicher, Cheley Tackett, Diallo, Joe Scutella, and Jene India. The performances were directed by Mary McCallum, Shawn Whitsell, Kelly Falzone, and Valerie S Hart.

Future Break expands on the success of Nashville Now: Spoken Word Census. In 2010, 55 writers convened to create a breathing portrait of Nashville, a literary arts census. Over three nights, they represented Nashville voices through a collection of essays, songs, and poems. Response to the series was so positive that Southern Word and participating writers and directors are growing the event this May to paint the future of Nashville into existence through words and songs.

Future Break is sponsored through the generous support the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Nashville Public Library, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and Cheekwood.

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