Special guest Ron Stallworth, author of the book the “BlacK Klansman,” which inspired the Academy Award winning movie by the same name will be at the eleventh annual Literary Fiesta hosted by EPCC.
Stallworth is a retired police officer and was the first African American officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Photo courtesy El Paso INC.
Ron Stallworth signing the book he wrote at El Paso's Barnes & Noble bookstore at the west side.
During this time he secretly infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970’s, which became the inspiration for his book.
He was raised in El Paso and graduated from Austin High School before moving to Colorado Springs.
“My mother’s moving our family to El Paso was the best decision she ever made, as the city was a far cry from the poverty, gangs, and conflict in Chicago’s South Side, where I would have come of age if she had not left,” explained Stallworth in the book.
The event will be held at the El Paso Public Library on Oct. 19 and will feature a screening of the movie followed by a Q&A with the author of the book.
“El Paso Community College Literary Fiesta is an annual festival which celebrates literacy in the Borderplex.
The Fiesta strives to raise awareness of literary accomplishments, recognizes those supporting literacy in the community, and works to enrich readers of every age,” explained NPR host Marina Monsisvais.
Stallworth’s book “BlacK Klansman” details his infiltration and the actions he took such as sabotaging cross burnings, exposing white supremacist and even befriending the Grand Wizard of the Klan.
The book was published in 2014 and later turned into a film in 2018, directed by Spike Lee.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.
EPCC Literary Fiesta Coordinator, Janine Rudnick said, “The Literary Fiesta highlights books, writers, and readers with activities for people of all ages,” adding, “this is a great event for parents to bring their children to because of the wide variety of activities.”
The Fiesta will start with the awards ceremony where they are also recognizing William and Mary Ana Clark for the 2019 Community Spirit Awards.
William and Mary Ana Clark are the owners of the Literarity Book Shop on 5411 N. Mesa St. and have hosted many El Paso writers in the two years since it opened.
Their next event is a reading and signing by Daniel Chacon for “Kafka in a Skirt” on Oct. 20.
Find out more on their Facebook Page at Literarity Book Shop.
The award ceremony will be followed by the movie screening and Q&A with Stallworth.
For the children, there will be readings, a haunted house and a children’s activity corner.
Readings will be done by Donna Munoz, Paul Garcia and Mark Negrete.
EPCC authors Jasmin Ramirez, Francisco Carrasco, Roberto Santos, Richie Marrufo and Richard Barakat will also be there, holding workshops and readings.
The event will be at 501 N. Oregon St. from 12:30 to 5 p.m. The Literacy Fiesta is free and open to the public.