Book signing and lecture with Ezra Greenspan

William Wells Brown: An African American Life

William Wells Brown Book CoverDate: February 12, 2015

6 p.m. Reception
6:30 p.m. Lecture with book signing to follow

Location: DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

About the book: Born into slavery in Kentucky, raised on the Western frontier on the farm adjacent to Daniel Boone’s, “rented” out in adolescence to a succession of steamboat captains on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the young man known as “Sandy” reinvented himself as “William Wells” Brown after escaping to freedom. He lifted himself out of illiteracy and soon became an innovative, widely admired, and hugely popular speaker on antislavery circuits (both American and British) and went on to write the earliest African American works in a plethora of genres: travelogue, novel (the now canonized Clotel), printed play, and history. He also practiced medicine, ran for office, and campaigned for black uplift, temperance, and civil rights. Professor Greenspan’s new book sets Brown in the richly rendered context of his times.


Ezra Greenspan is the E.M. Kahn Professor of English at SMU, the author of numerous books, and the editor of William Wells Brown: A Reader. Copies of William Wells Brown: An African American Life will be available for purchase.

For more information about the DeGolyer Library, see

This event is free and open to the public.