Tonight at the Byham, acclaimed writer Wil Haygood will share his experiences chronicling the fascinating story of Eugene Allen (1919 – 2010), the longtime White House butler who captured audiences around the globe in the feature film, Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Haygood served as an associate producer for the award-winning 2013 film, which stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave and Cuba Gooding Jr.
A compelling portrait of Allen’s lifelong journey, from his birth in 1919 on a southern plantation to his 34 years in service at the White House, Haygood’s book also serves as a chronicle of the struggle for civil rights and a broad examination of the history of African Americans in film. The book, which quickly became a bestseller, was released in conjunction with the award-winning motion picture.
Co-presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and the Hill House Association, the event will also feature an audience Q&A with Haygood. The writer’s appearance is part of a series of special events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hill House in Pittsburgh.
Oakmont-based Mystery Lovers Bookshop will be on site at the event selling a limited number of signed copies of The Butler. VIP ticket holders will attend a pre-lecture reception and private book signing with Haygood.
The event also marks the beginning of a new phase for Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, which is welcoming its new executive director, Stephanie Flom, who succeeds Jayne Adair’s seven-year tenure in the position and takes over the reins of the organization on June 2nd. Since 2005, Flom has served as executive director of the Cooper-Siegel Community Library and Boyd Community Center in Fox Chapel.