24th Annual Coral Springs Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee is excited to announce Wil Haygood as the keynote speaker for the 24th Annual MLK Celebration. Acclaimed author and journalist, Wil Haygood has been a Washington Post journalist since 2002.
Haygood’s front-page story for the Post in 2008 about longtime White House butler Eugene Allen is the inspiration for “The Butler,” a big-screen movie directed by Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels and due to be released next fall. The movie stars Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Redgrave and Robin Williams. Haygood is an associate producer of the movie.
At the Washington Post, Haygood covered Hurricane Katrina for 33 consecutive days and also reported on Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Previously, he wrote for the Boston Globe, where he became one of the youngest foreign correspondents at the paper, traveling to India, the Arctic, Mexico, Europe and Africa.
Haygood, the author of five books, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has earned a National Headliner Award, Sunday Magazine Editors Award and National Association of Black Journalists and other journalism awards, plus distinction for feature writing and national and foreign reporting. He also has been an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.
In 2009, Haygood’s Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Parade and The Washington Post. The biography was also named runner-up for the first ever ESPN-PEN Literary Sports Writing Award. In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Music Biography Award, the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and the Nonfiction Book of the Year Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. His other books are Two on the River, about a journey down the Mississippi River; King of the Cats: the Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., named a New York Times Notable Book; and The Haygoods of Columbus: A Family Memoir, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award.
Haygood is currently writing a book about former Supreme Court Justice and Brown vs Board of Education lawyer, Thurgood Marshall. In 2010, Haygood received the first star on the Lincoln Theatre Walk of Fame in his hometown of Columbus. Mr. Haygood currently resides in Washington, D.C.
The City of Coral Springs welcomes Mr. Haygood to our community to inspire us towards reaching our 2014 goal of “Living the Dream Through Service”.