Author of epic poem on the black experience in America to speak at Fairfield University March 26


Russell Goings, the author of "The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic GriotSong," published by Karen Hunter Publishing, an imprint of Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, with images by Romare Bearden, will do a reading from his recently published book on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. in the DiMenna-Nyselius Media Room at Fairfield University. Admission is free and the public is welcome.

The book begins with two anonymous slaves running to catch the Freedom Train, where at journey's end they hope to find liberation. Interspersed in the book are imaginary and mythological people as well as "giants" such as Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, Hank Aaron, Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks. This multi-layered odyssey is strung together seamlessly by poetry and prose, blues and gospel, hymns and jazz, and work songs and prayers - generations of children keep coming who keep believing and asking, "Is this the day freedom will come?"

Russell Goings, who grew up in Stamford, is a former professional football player for the Buffalo Bills and a man of many firsts, including: the first African American branch manager of a New York Stock Exchange Firm; the owner of the first African American brokerage firm to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange; the first chairman and founder of Studio Museum in Harlem; and the first chairman and founder of Essence magazine.

Goings came to Fairfield University several years ago, determined to finish this extraordinary project. He studied under award-winning poet Kim Bridgford, Ph.D., professor of English at Fairfield (the 2007 Connecticut Poetry Circuit Poet and a resident of Wallingford) ,who wrote the introduction to the Children of Children Keep Coming. From her intro: "The Children of Children Keep Coming is a unique and profound contribution to American literature. It is extraordinary in its ability to place the Afro-American experience in the greater context of the universal experience of humanity itself." Goings credits Bridgford with helping to make this book possible and they have become dear friends. The New York Stock Exchange honored Mr. Goings in January by inviting him to ring the bell at the close of the trading day. An interview with Mr. Goings may be heard on WNYC in New York : http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/120111.

Questions about the program may be directed to Dr. Bridgford, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2795.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 20, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 261