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Brad Herzog featured speaker at JCRC's Grits and Bagels brunch


Brad Herzog

Author Brad Herzog will be speaking about his most recent book, "My Mantelpiece: A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice" on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. at the JCC auditorium. This program is brought to the community by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

"My Mantelpiece" is a memoir co-authored by Brad Herzog and Carolyn Goodman, a civil rights activist and the mother of Andrew Goodman, who along with James Chaney and Michael Schwermer, traveled to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to participate in protests and register black voters. The three were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, which became a historically galvanizing moment for the civil rights movement and was the subject of the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning."

Herzog had been interviewing Goodman since 1996 when she read an article he had written about her for their mutual alumni magazine from Cornell University. She continued to share her story with Herzog until 2007, when she passed away at the age of 91. Goodman's son David asked Herzog to write the book, and he decided to time its publishing with the anniversary of the Freedom Summer. The forward is written by Maya Angelou, and represents her last written words.

About the book, Herzog says, "It is written in the first person, these are her words. I spent many hours interviewing her and she spoke lyrically and metaphorically. I got to know her voice and her personality."

The book includes poems and letters written by Goodman. She was a passionate activist all her life, and after Andrew's death, "she devoted the rest of her life to perpetuating his spirit, so that he would not have died in vain," says Herzog. 

In order to carry out this work in her son's memory, she and her husband started the Andrew Goodman Foundation, which focuses on youth activism as well as civil and voting rights. The proceeds from the book will go to the Foundation.

Brad Herzog is the author of over 30 books for children and five books for adults, which include three critically acclaimed travel memoirs about his travels through small-town America. Herzog is a freelance magazine writer, who has been honored several times by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Herzog was a finalist for Best Books 2009 and won a Mom's Choice Award for his children's book, "S is for Save the Planet." Herzog will be spending Nov. 3 and 4 at the Jewish Academy of Orlando doing presentations and class readings. He will guide the 4th-8th grade students through the process of creating one of his "ABC" books about the Jewish Academy of Orlando.

The Grits and Bagels program, featuring Brad Herzog, will be held Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 pm in the auditorium of the JCC. Admission is free but RSVP is requested. The program is hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando and is sponsored in part by The Florida Humanities Council and Landry's Restaurants.

For more information about Grits and Bagels, please contact Lisa Sholk at 407-261-3175 or lsholk@jfgo.org.


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