On Saturday, February 4, 2023, local author Penny Edwards Blue will provide a presentation and book signing of her recently published book, “A Time to Protest”: Leadership Lessons from My Father Who Survived the Segregated South for 99 Years. There will be two, 45-minute programs offered during the day, starting at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Both will be held at the Booker T. Washington National Monument Visitor Center.
“This book is a book of history—the history of America that helped shape my ancestors and father’s environments, along with my father’s stories of protest that helped shape mine and my siblings’ lives.” The book shares the many local stories of protest Penny’s father shared with all his children on an ongoing basis which helped to mold their work ethic, their drive for justice, education, politics and to help the underserved. The book underscores the many ways to protest: education, voting, self-respect, hard work--all that he and his wife instilled in their 10 children. However, the main theme is standing up and speaking out for what is just and right. “In order to be treated as first-class citizen, one must act as a first-class citizen.”
Penny was born in Rocky Mount, VA and raised on a tobacco farm in Union Hall. She returned home after obtaining a Mathematics Degree from Hampton University, an MBA from Duke University, a certification in project management and retiring from IBM as a Delivery Project Executive. Penny partially returned to her home to help care for her Dad who was 95 at the time and is the protagonist of her book. She published her book February 2020 just prior to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent worldwide protest that followed.
Penny is a founding member of the Friends of Booker T. Washington National Monument and has served as its President and VP. As a member of the park’s volunteer living history guild, she portrayed Jane (Booker’s mother) and is featured in the park’s orientation film “The Measure of The Man”. Penny is currently a business owner where she utilizes her talent as a speaker, consultant and trainer. Her memory for a love for history dates to her elementary school years.
All are invited to attend the presentation of “A Time to Protest”. The book is available for sale in the park’s Eastern National gift store as well as online and other area businesses where books are sold. The program is FREE, and no reservations are required. For more information, call the park at (540) 721-2094.
This program and booksigning will be held 2 times. It will be at 11:00 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m.