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Shirley Sherrod Headlines First Thurmond Black History Lecture

Shirley Sherrod.

Shirley Sherrod, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official who was fired and reinstated during a bogus Obama Administration scandal, will be the first speaker in a new lecture series named for DeKalb County CEO and Athens native Michael Thurmond.

Sherrod was the Georgia state director for rural development at the USDA in 2010 when conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart posted a video online that purported to show Sherrod detailing how she refused to help a white farmer in a speech to the NAACP. Sherrod was fired; however, the video turned out to be misleading and selectively edited, and the Obama Administration apologized to her and offered her a new position, which she turned down.

A short documentary on Sherrod’s work with black farmers in southwest Georgia, The Arc of Justice: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Beloved Community, will be screened at the event.

The inaugural Michael L. Thurmond Black History Lecture Series kicks off at the fifth annual Athens Area Black History Bowl Celebration Saturday, Mar. 4 at the Morton Theatre.

The program will honor Willie and Tommie Farmer of the Clarke County NAACP; radio talk-show hosts and parenting experts Valdon and Shirley Daniel; local radio personality Barbara “Lady B” Sims and Ivery Clifton, the first black dean at the University of Georgia.

The 1 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. For tickets, call 706-247-6777 or email