The Community Arts Council of Blount County and the Blount County Historical Society introduce an anticipated annual lyceum series with Auburn University Department of History Professor Emeritus Dr. J. Wayne Flynt. Flynt, a twice-nominated Pulitzer Prize candidate, has authored numerous award-winning works covering Southern, Florida, and, particularly, Alabama history. Beyond his scholarly works, Flynt has delivered distinguished lectures throughout the nation and battled for various social causes.
Born in Pontotoc, Miss., the son of Calhoun County and Pinson natives, Flynt lived in various Alabama and Georgia locales before completing public school. A graduate of Anniston High School, he received his undergraduate education at Howard College (Samford University) and his master’s and PhD degrees from Florida State University. He then returned to Samford, where he taught for 12 years before joining the Auburn faculty from which he retired after 28 years of instructional and administrative service. He conceptualized the Encyclopedia of Alabama and has become its founding general editor emeritus.
Flynt’s lecture topic draws on his friendship and long-time admiration for Alabama author Harper Lee, her internationally acclaimed To Kill A Mockingbird, and her more recent Go Set A Watchman. Of Flynt’s most recent work, Lee has written, “Dr. Flynt is one of our finest writers. Keeping the Faith tells us why.” His anticipated presentation should touch on commonalities of youth in small Southern towns and the conflict between perceived righteousness and the imperfect reality observed in maturing years.
The lyceum envisions exposing high school students to scholarly work while providing thought-provoking topics of interest to community residents. Flynt is to speak to Oneonta High School students on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 4, before his community address in the Oneonta City Council chambers at 6:30 p.m. that evening. Attorney Alex Smith and the historical society will host a 5:30 p.m. pre-presentation reception and book signing at The Little Brick Church.
Flynt will have available there for purchase copies of four of his works: Poor But Proud; Keeping the Faith; Alabama in the Twentieth Century; and Dixie’s Forgotten People.