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Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell to Speak at Festival

Lee Sentell, longtime Director of Alabama Tourism and newly published author, will be one of the featured speakers at the annual Monroeville Literary Festival, scheduled for March 4 & 5, 2022.

Mr. Sentell’s book, The Official United States Civil Rights Trail: What happened here changed the world, published by Alabama Media Group, highlights more than 100 locations across 15 states where fearless activists played pivotal roles in the fight for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.

Designed to bring to life the stories and history of the American civil rights movement, the 128-page hardcover book showcases iconic photographs captured by former Southern Living photographer Art Meripol, now published in print for

the first time. The historic photos, paired with more than 200 images of the landmarks today, underscore the transformative experience of the trail and its endured relevance.

“While the world is still healing from recent events in the fight for racial justice, cultural tourism is more relevant than ever,” said Author and Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell. “Travelers are visiting the trail in record numbers to connect with the stories of courage and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of the events that took place during the movement.”

Monroe County Museum, in its first year as organizer of the Monroeville Literary Festival, is honored to have Sentell as a participating author. Aptly, he is on the schedule preceding the presentation of the 25th annual Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year to this year’s recipient, Pulitzer prize-winning writer Cynthia Tucker. The 7th annual Truman Capote Prize for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of Literary Non-Fiction or the Short Story will be presented to Rheta Grimsley Johnson.

All author presentations over the 2-day Festival are free to the public, although advance registration is required, and will take place in the courtroom made famous by the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. The opening gala reception on Friday night and the Saturday luncheon are ticketed events. Registration and tickets are available through Eventbrite or by calling the Museum at 251-575-7433. Additional information may be found at

Monroeville Literary Festival is made possible in part by a grant from Alabama State Council on the Arts.

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