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William Wells Brown: How I got My Name

  • William Wells BrownWhen? - February 26, 10:50 a.m.
  • Where? - Gearheart Auditorium, Prestonsburg Campus

The Library Seminar Series and the Campus Environment Team of Big Sandy CTC is proud to present the Kentucky Chautauqua Program William Wells Brown: How I got My Name. The performance is free and open to the public. It will take place on February 26 at 10:50AM in the Gearheart Auditorium on the Prestonsburg Campus of Big Sandy CTC. For further information about this performance, please contact Judy K. Howell at (606) 889-4750. 

William Wells Brown is considered the first published African American novelist and playwright. He was born to an enslaved mother in either 1814 or 1815 in the Mt. Sterling area of Montgomery County or in Lexington. Brown experienced the dissolution and sale of his own family and witnessed the harsh and brutal separation of other families within the institution of slavery. After years of failed attempts to escape slavery for which he was jailed and beaten, in 1834, Brown finally escaped to a life of freedom.

William Brown Wells went on to become a public advocate of the abolitionist and temperance movements. His memoir, Narrative of William Brown Wells, a Fugitive Slave, Written by Himself, had a direct influence on the abolitionist movement. In 1853, he published Clotel; or the President’s Daughter and in 1858, a play The Escape, or a Leap for Freedom.

William Brown Wells is portrayed by Virgil Covington, Jr. of Georgetown. Covington received a bachelor of arts in psychology from Wittenberg University, a master’s in education and guidance counseling from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and Rank I in education administration from Eastern Kentucky University. He has been a public school teacher, guidance counselor and principal for more than 35 years.

Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of Kentucky Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from: The Brown-Forman Corporation, the Carson-Myer Charitable Foundation, the Cralle Foundation, Eastern Kentucky University, the Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Mountain Telephone, Paducah Bank, PNC, and Toyota Manufacturing North America, Inc.

Kentucky Humanities is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit kyhumanities.org or call (859) 257-5932.