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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

February 15, 2000
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

Slaves in the Family Author to Give
Kent Lecture at Hopkins

Journalist Edward Ball, 1998 National Book Award Winner for Slaves in the Family, will deliver the Frank R. Kent Memorial Lecture at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the university s Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles Street in Baltimore.

Ball, a seventh-generation grandson of slave owner Elias Ball, said he wrote his award- winning book to get some common ground between white folks and black folks on the subject of slavery. Combining history with his own journey of self-discovery, Ball depicts violence and opulence, dynastic struggles and slave uprisings, heroism and shame. His is a story of interwoven lives and a man's effort to come to terms with his disturbing family legacy and the nation's past.

Prior to Slaves in the Family, Ball recorded, wrote and narrated The Other History, a 35-minute documentary for National Public Radio about the legacy of the plantations once owned by the Balls. It won the Society of Professional Journalists Best Radio Feature award for 1994.

Ball began his career as a freelance journalist in 1984, writing on film, art and architecture, and became a Village Voice columnist in 1990. He is working on a second book, the multi-generational saga of an elite black family to which he is related.

The Frank R. Kent Memorial Lecture honors a Baltimore journalist who served The Sun for nearly 60 years and was managing editor for 10 years. Kent is best remembered as one of the country's first daily political columnists, renowned for witty and insightful commentary on national political issues. His syndicated column appeared in more than 100 newspapers across the country. Kent retired in 1947 and died in 1958.

The Frank R. Kent Memorial Lecture began in 1965 with The New York Times James Reston. Past Kent lecturers include Frank Rich, New York Times columnist; Ben Bradlee, former Washington Post editor-in-chief; Marvin Kalb, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Press and Public Policy at Harvard University; and David Halberstam, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author.

The March 30 lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. For information, call 410-516-7157.

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