Press Release


Contact: Jessica Lacher-Feldman
Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections

“William Bradford Huie @100” Exhibition, Film Screening, More!
A Year-long Celebration and Collaboration

TUSCALOOSA, AL.  (October 12, 2010) – The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library is proud to announce the opening of “William Bradford Huie @100.”  The exhibition will open on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 with a reception at 5:30 pm.

The exhibition features materials from the William Bradford Huie Papers, donated to the library in 2009 by Huie’s widow, Martha Hunt Huie.  A film based on Huie’s fictionalized autobiography — Elia Kazan’s Wild River (1960), starring Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick — will be screened in its original format on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa, with doors opening at 6:30 for a pre-screening reception, and the remarks and the film beginning at 7:30 pm.

William Bradford Huie was born in Hartselle, Alabama on November 13, 1910. He attended The University of Alabama where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1930.

Huie worked for various publications in Birmingham, Cullman, and New York before joining the United States Navy in 1943.  Huie wrote over 20 books, with six being adapted into films.  Huie is most remembered for his “nose” for a story, his tackling controversial subject matter and for practicing “checkbook journalism,” a common practice today, to find the truth in his stories. He wrote for Look magazine on the murder of Emmett Till and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., which later turned into books, Wolf Whistle and He Slew the Dreamer respectively. Other works penned by Huie include The Americanization of Emily, the Execution of Private Slovik, the Revolt of Mamie Stover, the Strange Case of Ruby McCollum and Three Lives for Mississippi.

William Bradford Huie passed away on November 20, 1986.  He was posthumously inducted into the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame in 1998.  “The William Bradford Huie @100” exhibition commemorates his life and work though the artifacts and research materials housed at the Hoole Library, while simultaneously celebrating the anniversary of his 100th birthday. Martha Huie and Wayne Greenhaw will speak at the opening reception of the exhibition on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010.  Martha Huie, an artist, UA graduate (Master’s of Art Education), teacher, mother, and grandmother to two UA students, will share some personal stories about her life with Huie, in a conversation with Huie’s longtime friend, Wayne Greenhaw.  Also a UA graduate, this veteran journalist and author will share personal stories about this truth-seeker, William Bradford Huie. Greenhaw will also return in the spring to UA for a talk and signing on his latest book, Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama (Lawrence Hill Books, 2011).

Wayne Greenhaw received his BS in English at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.  He attended the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and he completed graduate studies as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Greenhaw has taught journalism at Troy State University and Alabama State University and  journalism and creative writing at Auburn University at Montgomery.  Through the Alabama Arts Council he conducted a creative writing program at the Maxwell Air Force Base Federal Prison.

The following evening, Wild River, will be screened at 7:30 pm at the historic Bama Theatre, 600 Greensboro Avenue with introductions to the film by Don Noble, professor emeritus of English at The University of Alabama. Noble wrote the introduction to the 1996 UA Press edition of Huie’s first novel, Mud on the Stars. Wild River is based in part on this book, as well as fellow University of Alabama graduate and prolific author, Borden Deal’s novel, Dunbar’s Cove. Jeremy Butler, Associate Professor of Telecommunication and Film at UA will offer some insights into the controversial director Elia Kazan and Wild River’s place in American Cinema.  Wild River is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It was added to the National Film Registry for its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance, and with the recent attention of the new Scorsese documentary on Kazan, Wild River was screened at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles on October 14, 2010.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library is located on the second floor of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall, 500 Hackberry Lane, and is part of The University of Alabama Libraries. The library is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm with Thursday evening hours until 9 pm when the University is in session.

In addition to these two events, there will be a high school Journalism Boot camp at the Bryant Conference Center on November 3rd, and on the evening of November 3rd, a play, William Bradford (who he?) Huie: Voice of the Voiceless, written and directed by UA faculty member, Billy Field, will premiere on stage at the Bama Theater.

Other exciting events are being planned for the spring 2011 semester including interdisciplinary faculty and graduate-student led discussions and readings which tie into Huie’s work and its impact and contribution to issues such as Civil Rights, Journalism, 20th century film, and other aspects of American culture.

Collaborating partners in this exciting WBH@100 venture include University Libraries, New College, The College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communication and Information Sciences, the departments of Journalism, Telecommunication and Film, American Studies, History, English, and the program in Creative Writing, African American Studies program, the Bankhead Visiting Writers Series, The Summersell Center for the Study of the South, the Americanists interdisciplinary Faculty group, The Alabama Center for the Book, Tuscaloosa Arts Council, and the Southern Literary Trail.  Groups or individuals with an interest in William Bradford Huie and his work are encouraged to contact Jessica Lacher-Feldman, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama.

For more information on the William Bradford Huie @ 100 project, visit and find us on Facebook and Twitter.