A Century of Black Film with Wil Haygood


Haygood event and book cover

March 8, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. EST

The Starr Center and the Rose O’Neill Literary House welcome Wil Haygood, an acclaimed journalist, bestselling author, and former Starr Center Fellow, for a return visit to Washington College. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall and be followed by light refreshments.

Haygood will discuss his recent book Colorization: 100 Years of Black Films in a White World, which examines the struggles and triumphs of Black actors and filmmakers as a window into Black culture, civil rights, and racism in America. A New York Times reviewer praised Haygood as a “master craftsman,” while Publishers Weekly described Colorization as “an engrossing account of a vital but often slighted cinematic tradition, full of fascinating lore.”

Haygood is the author of eight additional nonfiction books, including The Butler (2013), the story of long-serving White House employee Eugene Allen, which was later turned into an award-winning film. Haygood’s biographies of Thurgood Marshall, Sammy Davis, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., and Sugar Ray Robinson have each made significant contributions to the way Americans remember twentieth-century culture and politics. 

During his year-long residency at Washington College’s Starr Center, Haygood researched and revised his 2018 book Tigerland, the story of two teams of Black athletes from a segregated high school in Columbus, Ohio, and their improbable state championship victories amidst stark racial divisions of the late 1960s. During the spring of 2017, Haygood taught a Washington College course on memoir writing for the English department, as well as connecting with other parts of the College and the local community. Several hundred copies of Tigerland were donated to students at Kent County High School, whom the author met with across several days of events and conversations.

The recipient of numerous fellowships and literary awards, Haygood was recently honored with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in recognition of a writing career that demonstrates enduring literary value, advances peace, and increases understanding between and among individuals.

As part of his return to campus, on March 9, Haygood will introduce Spike Lee's classic 1989 film Do the Right Thing at 7:00 p.m. in Norman James Theatre. This event is part of the monthly Washington College Film Series, hosted by the Communication and Media Studies Program.