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UNB Saint John’s Lorenzo Reading Series hosts author Douglas Gary Freeman

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 11, 2020

Category: UNB Saint John

Author Douglas Gary Freeman will read from Exile Blues on Saturday, Feb. 15, as part of UNB Saint John’s Lorenzo Reading Series.

In Exile Blues, when Preston Downs, Jr., a.k.a. Prez, slides down the emergency chute onto the frozen tarmac at the Montreal airport, little does he know that never would he return home to Washington, D.C., or to his adopted city, Chicago. Events had sped by after a dust-up with the Chicago police. With a new name and papers, he finds himself in a foreign city where people speak French and life is douce compared to the one he fled. This novel is inspired by true events.

Douglas Gary Freeman is an African American now living in Canada. He grew up in Washington, D.C., a segregated city known for police brutality. As a high school student and then at Howard University, he became involved in the civil rights movement and then turned to Revolutionary Black Nationalism. Inspired by Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, he went to Chicago, where he worked with a local South Side African American organization. Targeted by Chicago’s Red Squad for elimination, he had to fight for his life on a South Side street. The gun battle that ensued left an officer wounded and the author wounded and in prison.

The author began a long quest for justice weathering repeated and renewed threats to his life. He fled to Canada “illegally” and became Douglas Gary Joseph Freeman. Married with four children, he worked chiefly as a library professional in Toronto. Arrested on July 27, 2004, on an extradition warrant, after an 11-year successful struggle for justice, he was returned home to Canada in January 2015.

The Lorenzo Reading Series acknowledges the support of The League of Canadian Poets, the New Brunswick Literary Promotion Program, UNB Saint John, UNB Saint John Bookstore, and its private reading sponsors.

Douglas Gary Freeman will read from Exile Blues on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Saint John Free Public Library, (1 Market Square). All are welcome.

For more information contact Andrea Kikuchi at (506) 648-5782 or email lorenzo@unb.ca.