In the heat of the civil rights campaigns in the 1960s, Jonathan Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising and secure career within the academic world, moved into a poor neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher.
He has since devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity within our public schools to every child, regardless of racial origin or economic level.
His book, Death at an Early Age, provides a description of his first year as a teacher and received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy and Religion. It has sold more than two million copies since first being published.
His other major works include Rachel and Her Children, Savage Inequalities, and Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996 — an honor previously granted to the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King.
In 2005, Kozol wrote a powerful exposé of conditions he found in nearly 60 public schools in 30 different districts, titled The Shame of the Nation. It was included on the New York Times best-seller list the first week of its publication.
He recently published Fire in the Ashes, a powerful and stirring culmination of stories about the children of the poorest urban neighborhoods in the United States. Fire in the Ashes follows these children from infancy, through the struggles of adolescence, and into young adulthood. Their stories are painful and heart-breaking at times, but others are thrilling and dramatic tributes to the courage and audacity of fascinating children who refuse to be defeated by the gross inequalities of U.S. education and, arrive at last at gloriously unpredictable and triumphal victories.
Visit Kozol's website: www.learntoquestion.com
This event is part of the 2012 Literary Festival.
This event is sponsored by the Holleran Center for Community Engagement and made possible by the support of the United Way of Berks County and The Wyomissing Foundation.Start Date: 10/10/2012 8:00 pm