Author’s rescheduled lecture is popular

Joanna Williams

Author Frank Dobson Jr. spoke to a packed room in Downing University Center about his latest book, which deals with race relations in the 1980s.

The lecture was part of Black History Month, but was cancelled in February due to inclement weather at the time.

Dobson discussed his book, Rendered Invisible, which is about racial struggles in 1980s Buffalo, N.Y. during the killing spree of Joseph Christopher.

The book is part history and part creative writing, as Dobson paints a fictional picture of people living in Buffalo at the time of the murders.

Dobson said he wrote the book because the murders have gone largely unnoticed compared to other similar events.

“When I look at the problems in the book, racism, classism and violence, I still see they plague us today,” he said.

He said that in order to combat those problems, “we have to…move outside our comfort zones.”

This was the first time Dobson, who is director of the Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University, spoke at WKU and he said was “pleasantly surprised.”

“It’s beautiful campus and there were great questions,” he said.

Hopkinsville freshman Denzel Mayfield said he enjoyed the lecture so much that he bought Dobson’s book afterward.

“I felt like it was enlightening and deep,” Mayfield said. “It caught my attention as soon as he started reading it. I loved how he combined fictional with reality.”

Ricardo Nazario-Colon, director of the Office of Diversity Programs, said that having Dobson speak at WKU is a testament to the amount of talent in the region.

“All of these stories are accessible,” he said. “We don’t have to go across the nation to get speakers. They are right down the street.”