The past is never far in present-day Charleston. Many elements of the city’s history are impossible to ignore; antebellum homes, historical markers, statues, plantations, and monuments, all loom large in the Holy City. Periodically, that history comes to life in more unique and unexpected ways, and next week, residents will have a chance to experience just that as one of Charleston’s most fascinating, but underappreciated tales will be discussed and celebrated with a direct descendant of the story’s protagonist.
On Friday, June 23rd, the Blue Bicycle Books Charleston Author Series Luncheon will center on author Cate Lineberry’s latest book, Be Free or Die (releases on June 20th), which details the incredible life of Robert Smalls, an enslaved man who earned his – and several others’ – freedom by boldly commandeering a Confederate steamer in the Charleston Harbor. This courageous act challenged many people’s views on African Americans, but was just the beginning of Smalls’ impressive life. He later fought for the Union, opened a store to serve the needs of freedmen, and became a South Carolina congressman.
During the luncheon, Lineberry will discuss her book with Michael Boulware Moore, the great, great grandson of Robert Smalls. Keeping with his family’s penchant for community service, Moore is the CEO of the International African American Museum.
The event will be held at High Cotton (199 East Bay Street) beginning at 11:30 am. Lunch is served promptly at noon. Tickets can be purchased here. Parking is available at the Cumberland Street Garage, other municipal lots or at meters on the street.