by Erin Z. Bass
Deep South‘s 50th anniversary celebration of the publication of “To Kill A Mockingbird” last weekend was a big success. The highlight of the event – a panel discussion on themes from the book – brought up some serious issues about race, being different and whether a situation like Tom Robinson’s could happen today. And the audience, made up of men and women who lived through the Civil Rights movement to local students, wasn’t afraid to speak up and contribute.
There were some lighter moments too. Panelist Charles Cravins, an assistant disctrict attorney in St. Landry Parish, wore a blue seersucker suit and admitted he knew it was out of season, but couldn’t see talking about Atticus Finch without one. Jack Reedy, our panelist who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, spoke about a woman in his town of Inverness who baked cakes for the kids just like Miss Maudie did, and our panelist from UL Lafayette’s English Department, Dr. Mary Ann Wilson, did a great job of discussing “To Kill A Mockingbird” and Harper Lee in relation to other Southern literature and characters like Huck Finn.
If you weren’t able to join us, watch the video below to see parts of the discussion and find out why “To Kill A Mockingbird” is still so relevant to all ages today. And see photos here.