An Evening with Freedom Rider Hezekiah Watkins

Join us for An Evening with Freedom Rider Hezekiah Watkins on May 10, 6PM-7:30PM. Mr. Watkins will read from his new book Pushing Forward: The Story of Mississippi’s Youngest Freedom Rider. Book sale and siging to follow. The event is sponsored by the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, The Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and Le Datta Denise Grimes, Ph.D., LLC.


“In 1961, young Hezekiah Watkins was arrested at the Greyhound Bus Station in Jackson, Mississippi at the age of 13 where he was sent in a paddy wagon to Mississippi’s State Penitentiary, known as Parchman Penitentiary, and placed on Death Row. His crime? Allegedly participating with a group known as the Freedom Riders who had embarked on a journey from Washington D.C. to New Orleans to push for equal rights for African-Americans, while also desegregating bus terminals throughout the south. After spending five days at Parchman, Hezekiah’s life would forever be changed. He would continue his involvement in Mississippi’s fight for equality, resulting with him being arrested over 100 times more in the years to follow. These experiences guided him along a path to focus on improving the quality of life for African-Americans everywhere, eventuallly resulting in Hezekiah’s recognition by the 112th Congress of the United States for his service to Mississippi and to mankind. Pushing Forward tells the story of a young man who became a grown up overnight, and whose life continues to focus on serving a much greater cause.”


May 10th, 2023
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Carnegie Center
251 West Second St.

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to writers, lifelong learners, & the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 254-4175

Monday – Thursday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Sunday: CLOSED

Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM

Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED