Professor Emeritus, Department of History
Dr. Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn, author of eleven books, and one of the most recognized and honored scholars of Southern history, politics, and religion has also published his memoir Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives in which he writes about his experiences in the Civil Rights movement. The September 15, 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church was key in shaping Flynt’s views on the movement, confirming for him that those against civil rights were wrong and those who supported the movement were right. Flynt notes that being seventy allowed him some freedom in writing. “I’m retired, I don’t give a hoot what anybody thinks about me…nobody can get me fired because you can’t fire someone from retirement.”
As an historian, Flynt understands the sharp contrast between writing for academia and writing memoirs. “[With history] you’re tied to your sources, tied to facts.” A teacher, believes Flynt, is always a teacher, and can be a teacher in so many different ways—through writing, through lectures or through his or her memoir. It is Flynt’s ultimate wish to leave a legacy. “I’d sort of like for somebody to believe…somehow Alabama’s a little bit better because I was a teacher and wrote about what I experienced and how I changed.”
To learn more about Keeping the Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, click here.