Thursday, February 11;
Reception: 6:30 p.m.;
Program: 7 p.m.
Thompson Library;

“Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson” is the third in a trilogy of biographies by author Wil Haygood about pivotal African-American figures that includes Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Sammy Davis, Jr. In each book, Haygood delivers a comprehensive biography and compelling case for their cultural importance. Haygood will discuss his books and the art of writing the biography in this free program. Following the program, Haygood will sign copies of his books, which will be available for sale.

Haygood spent nearly 20 years traveling around the world to conduct research and write what has now been called an acclaimed trilogy of African American lives. Critics have hailed the author of “King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.,” “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr.” and “Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson,” for what they proclaim to be the “cultural importance” he brings to these biographies. “King of the Cats” was a New York Times Notable Book. “In Black and White” received the Richard Wright-Zora Neale Hurston Legacy Award, the ASCAP Deems Taylor Outstanding Music Biography Award, and the Nonfiction Book of the Year award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. “Sweet Thunder,” published in 2009, was named “One of the best books of the Fall Literary Season” by the New York Post.

Haygood was born in Columbus, Ohio, and is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He was a national and foreign correspondent for the Boston Globe for 17 years. In 2002 he joined the Washington Post. He has received writing fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the James Thurber Foundation. Among his journalism honors are the Sunday Magazine Editors Award, the Missouri Journalism Award, the New England Associated Press Award, the National Headliners Award, the National Association of Black Journalists Award for feature writing. He has also been a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and resides in Washington D.C.