Thomas Wiggins, AKA Blind Tom, was a legendary 19th-century African American pianist who has been largely erased from the history books. Born a slave, Tom was a stage sensation who performed for the likes of Mark Twain and President James Buchanan. As Jeffery Renard Allen’s Song of the Shank explores from Tom’s boyhood and the rise of his performing career, the inscrutable savant is buffeted by opportunistic teachers and crooked managers, crackpot healers and militant prophets. Through it all, Tom stands at the quiet center, a mystery that others project onto, a man who speaks for himself but cannot be understood.
Books will be available to purchase the night of the event and Mr. Allen will be autographing copies.
$5 students/seniors & $7 general admission