THURSDAY LUNCHEON SPEAKER
Ishmael Reed will speak about, and read from, his latest work, The Complete Mohammad Ali. More than just a biography, it is also a history of the sport and business of boxing, Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, the 1960s civil rights movement in the United States, and a myriad of other associated topics.
A novelist, journalist, and playwright, Ishmael Reed has been cited by critics as among the greatest contemporary African American literary figures of his generation. Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing.