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LUNCH WITH BOOKS: Rev. Stephen Wright, First African American Graduate of Linsly School

February 15, 2022
12:00pm - 1:00pm

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In observation of Black History Month, Rev. Stephen Wright, the first African American to attend and graduate from the Linsly Military Institute, class of 1972, will discuss his experiences as a student. Now a resident of Maryland, Rev. Wright will be joined at the event by other early African American students of Linsly, including, William Gummer, Dorian and Michael Lee, Jeff Potts, Eddie Tyree, and Scott Allyn Thomas.

Founded in 1814, the Lancastrian Academy opened at 13th and Chapline Streets in Wheeling as its founder, Noah Linsly, made provision in his will for the creation of a school. The second building at 15th and Eoff Streets was loaned to the new state of West Virginia for its capitol from 1863 to 1870. By 1877 the academy became a boys' school known as Linsly Military Institute, adopting the dress and the discipline of a military school. Beginning in 1927, Linsly moved to its current location at Thedah Place. The military structure ended in 1978 and The Linsly School became co-ed in 1987.

In addition to being in-person in the Library auditorium, this program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's LWB Livestream page Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for Rev. Wright in the comments box. He will answer them during the live broadcast. 

Tuesday  |  February 15, 2022 at noon
LWB LIVESTREAM: Rev. Stephen Wright, First African American Graduate of Linsly School


PRESENTER BIO: The Rev. Stephen Wright attended Linsly Military Institute from 1968 to 1972 and worked as a steelworker with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. from 1973 to 1985. In 1969, he was elected the first vice president of the West Virginia Baptist State Youth Convention. He has a B.A. from Washington Baptist Seminary and since December of 1998, has been the pastor at First Baptist Church of College Park, one of the oldest African-American congregations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

FEATURED BOOK: Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America, Tanner Colby (Viking, 2012) [  Check out this book from the Library  |  Purchase a copy online through to support local book stores or visit to find this book in a bookstore near you.  |  Purchase online through Amazon ]

book coverAlmost fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, equality is the law of the land, but actual integration is still hard to find. Mammoth battles over forced busing, unfair housing practices, and affirmative action have hardly helped. The bleak fact is that black people and white people in the United States don't spend much time together—at work, school, church, or anywhere. Tanner Colby, himself a child of a white-flight Southern suburb, set out to discover why.

Some of My Best Friends Are Black chronicles America's troubling relationship with race through four interrelated stories: the transformation of a once-racist Birmingham school system; a Kansas City neighborhood's fight against housing discrimination; the curious racial divide of the Madison Avenue ad world; and a Louisiana Catholic parish's forty-year effort to build an integrated church. Writing with a reporter's nose and a stylist's flair, Colby uncovers the deep emotional fault lines set trembling by race and takes an unflinching look at an America still struggling to reach the mountaintop.

Lunch With Books Livestream starts at noon on Facebook and YouTube.

Subscribe to the Lunch With Books Youtube channel or like us on the Lunch With Books Facebook page or to receive notifications of our upcoming LWB broadcasts. To receive emails about our upcoming programs, visit our News page, click the "Subscribe" button to sign-up for our news blasts or download our free OCPL Connect app from your smartphone's app store. 

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"Lunch With Books" is the library’s flagship program for adult patrons. These lunchtime programs feature authors, poets, musicians, historians, and more every Tuesday at noon. Bring lunch (to the Library Auditorium or your computer), feed your brain!

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