Author to discuss justice with teens

Panel moderated by ASWSU director to discuss MLK, novel

ALANA LACKNER, Evergreen managing editor

BookPeople of Moscow will host author Claire Rudolf Murphy and a panel of teen leaders in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.

Murphy will read from her book “Martin and Bobby: A Journey to Justice” and discuss Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy’s leadership from 5-5:30 p.m. at the book shop. Following her presentation, three Moscow High School students will speak on the legacy of both King and Kennedy, as well as the leadership they are personally involved in.

Murphy said that she was excited to involve the students in this event.

“[The book] is young adult, so adults are very interested,” she said. “Most of the audience was adults. I wanted to bring teen leaders in because that’s really who I wrote it for.”

The three students she will feature are Emma Seckington, Nicole Xiao and Defne Yuksel. Quinton Berkompas, ASWSU deputy director of legislative affairs, will moderate the panel.

The students come from diverse cultural backgrounds and are leaders in their community.

Murphy explained that she grew up hearing about the Kennedys. Her family was very politically involved. She remembers the assassination of John F. Kennedy and how scary those times were. However, her inspiration to write the book didn’t come until 2013.

“I watched a documentary about Bobby Kennedy and it showed the footage of Bobby Kennedy giving the speech the night that Dr. King was killed,” Murphy said. “I never knew about this speech because back then we didn’t have the internet — it wasn’t broadcast all over … Growing up, I was unfamiliar with the civil rights movement close up, I was unfamiliar with segregation, I didn’t grow up in the south.”

Murphy believes the book has a message that still rings true today, despite its roots being in events that took place 50 years ago.

“You would read their quotes and say ‘oh my gosh, this applies to today,’ ” Murphy said. “What they’re saying about poverty and racial strife and how we need to come together not as white America and black America but as one America … I believe their speeches and their words resonate today.”

The event will take place on Jan. 21 from 5-6 p.m. BookPeople of Moscow is located at 521 S. Main St.


This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Quinton Berkompas’ name.