5/11 - A SINGING ARMY by Kim Ruehl w/ Bob Hutton

Mail_8 Mon, 04/12/2021 - 2:48pm

Union Ave Books and University of TN Humanities Center welcome Kim Ruehl to present her new book A Singing Army: Zilphia Horton and the Highlander Folk School. Kim will be joined in conversation by Bob Hutton, Senior Lecutrer in the UT History Dept. This free virtual event takes place on Tuesday, May 11th @ 7:00pm (Eastern) on Zoom. You MUST register at the following link to attend.

Register Here


Zilphia Horton was a pioneer of cultural organizing, an activist and musician who taught people how to use the arts as a tool for social change, and a catalyst for anthems of empowerment such as "We Shall Overcome" and "We Shall Not Be Moved." Her contributions to the Highlander Folk School, a pivotal center of the labor and civil rights movements in the mid-twentieth century, and her work creating the songbook of the labor movement influenced countless figures, from Woody Guthrie to Eleanor Roosevelt to Rosa Parks. Despite her outsized impact, Horton's story is little known. A Singing Army introduces this overlooked figure to the world.

Drawing on extensive archival and oral history research, as well as numerous interviews with Horton's family and friends, Kim Ruehl chronicles her life from her childhood in Arkansas coal country, through her formative travels and friendship with radical Presbyterian minister Claude C. Williams, and into her instrumental work in desegregation and fostering the music of the civil rights era. Revealing these experiences--as well as her unconventional marriage and controversial death by poisoning--A Singing Army tells the story of an all-but-forgotten woman who inspired thousands of working-class people to stand up and sing for freedom and equality.

About the Author

Kim Ruehl is a writer, editor, and folk music advocate based in Asheville, North Carolina. She has written for Billboard, NPR Music, Seattle Weekly, and various others. She was also editor of No Depression — the roots music journal — for nine years. She was instrumental in bringing the magazine back to print as a high-end, ad-free quarterly journal, and ended her run there in 2017 as editor-in-chief.


Event date: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
A Singing Army: Zilphia Horton and the Highlander Folk School Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477318256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Texas Press - March 23rd, 2021