Courtney Hargrave

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Biography

Courtney Hargrave is a former magazine editor turned professional coauthor who has written numerous New York Times bestsellers. Her latest work, Burden: A Preacher, A Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South, was published by Convergent/Penguin Random House in August 2018. Burden is soon to be a major motion picture starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and produced by Academy Award nominee Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club).

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Schedule

12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room F
Book Talk
Burden: A Preacher, A Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South

1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


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Burden: A Preacher, a Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South

THE TRUE EVENTS THAT INSPIRED THE UPCOMING MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Forest Whitaker, Garrett Hedlund, Andrea Riseborough, and Usher; written and directed by Andrew Heckler; and produced by Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club)

A harrowing true story about the modern Ku Klux Klan and an act of compassion that shook a community in the Deep South.

In 1996, the town of Laurens, South Carolina, was thrust into the international spotlight when a white supremacist named Michael Burden opened a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan on the community's main square. Journalists and protestors flooded the town, and hate groups rallied to the establishment's defense, dredging up the long history of racial violence in this formerly prosperous mill town.

What came next is the subject of an upcoming major motion picture starring Forest Whitaker, Garrett Hedlund, Tom Wilkinson, Andrea Riseborough, and Usher Raymond. Shortly after his museum opened, Michael Burden abruptly left the Klan at the urging of a woman he fell in love with. Broke and homeless, he was taken in by Reverend David Kennedy, an African American preacher and leader in the Laurens community, who plunged his church headlong in a quest to save their former enemy.

In this spellbinding Southern epic, journalist Courtney Hargrave further uncovers the complex events behind the story told in Andrew Heckler's upcoming film, Burden, which won the 2018 Sundance Audience Award. Hargrave explores the choices that led to Kennedy and Burden's friendship, the social factors that drive young men to join hate groups, the intersection of poverty and racism in the divided South, and the difference one person can make in confronting America's oldest sin.

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