Anabranch to feature Moonlight star, Princeton scholar, children’s authors

André Holland

Anabranch, a two-day event celebrating literature and the humanities, features two distinguished Alabama natives – scholar Imani Perry and André Holland, star of films, TV and stage – who will discuss their respective careers and Alabama roots at Montgomery’s Capri Theatre April 11.

The kickoff of Anabranch is the onstage conversation between Perry and Holland, beginning at 6 p.m., which also will include their thoughts about 200 years of Alabama statehood and the usefulness of the humanities to the state’s future.

On April 12, Anabranch will hold a full day of free workshops for teachers and the public will be held on the campus of Troy University Montgomery from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Whitley Hall.

The Anabranch series of events are in association with the 14th Annual Alabama Book Festival, which will be held Saturday, April 13, at Old Alabama Town.

Imani Perry

Perry, born in Birmingham, is an interdisciplinary scholar of race, law, literature and African American culture. She is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.  Author of five books, Perry has published numerous articles on law, cultural studies, and African American studies as well.  One of her most recent books, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography.

Holland, born in Bessemer, is an actor and producer. Recipient of accolades for his performance as Kevin in the Academy Award-winning film, Moonlight, Holland is also well known for his work as sportswriter Wendell Smith in 42 (2013), as activist Andrew Young in Selma (2014), as Principal Jenkins in A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and, most recently, as the lead actor in High Flying Bird (2019).

Holland is also well known for television roles in The Knick (2014–2015) and American Horror Story: Roanoke (2016). On stage, Holland has starred in August Wilson’s play, Jitney (2017) on Broadway and in London in the Globe Theatre’s production of Othello (2018).

On Friday, the celebration of literature and the humanities continues with workshops on the Troy University-Montgomery campus, for which teachers can earn professional development credits and receive stipends.

Workshops include:

  • The Clotilda and Africatown
  • Writing for Young People I: Irene Latham and Charles Waters
  • Writing for Young People II: Bethany Hegedus
  • Alabama Story/Alabama Shakespeare Festival
  • Young Adult Writing I: Randi Pink
  • Young Adult Writing II: S.F. Henson

On Saturday, the Alabama Book Festival gets underway with a host of authors headlining the day in Old Alabama Town. In addition to the festival’s traditional concentration on fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature and poetry, there will be songwriters, philosophers, scholars and filmmakers in the mix.

Endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, Anabranch is funded in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a collaborative effort involving AHF, Troy University, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Landmarks Foundation and Old Alabama Town, the City of Montgomery, Alabama Public Television, Alabama Writers Forum, Alabama Library Association and Montgomery City-County Public Library.

For more information, go to www.alabamahumanities.com/anabranch or www.alabamabookfestival.org.