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John Brown to James Brown @ 6:00

October 18, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Ed Maliskas is the author of “John Brown to James Brown – The Little Farm where Liberty Budded, Blossomed, and Boogied.” He chronicles three discrete and momentous events in black history – one military, one political, and one social – that occurred within a stone’s throw of each other on one improbably-located agricultural outpost, “The Kennedy Farm” in Western Maryland October 18, 2018 @ 6:00 pm. Please join us! Call the library to reserve your seat 304-535-2301

  • Abolitionist John Brown trained his troops for the raid on the federal arsenal at nearby Harpers Ferry, touching off the Civil War and precipitating the end of slavery.


  • The politically influential Black Elks purchased the property as a memorial to Brown and operated it as their headquarters during the height of the civil rights movement.


  • Thousands of young dancers (primarily but not exclusively black) attended performances by the giants of rhythm and blues: Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Marvin Gaye, Ike and Tina Turner, the Drifters, Little Richard, and scores of others.


The book details how Maliskas came to learn of the story and how he came to appreciate the historical connectedness of the three major pieces of the fascinating story of what is surely America’s Number One Black History site. He interviewed over one hundred now-older African-Americans who graciously related to him their stories of what Maryland State Senator Joanne C. Benson described as “a village, a refuge, a family.”


Short Biography

Ed Maliskas holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois. During his matriculation there, he performed in the popular inter-racial soul band “Eddie and the Sensations” whose principal booking agent was Irving Azoff.

In addition to being a valued teammate for 1960s trivia, Maliskas has earned master’s and doctorate degrees (Gordon-Conwell and Knox Theological respectively). He also has entirely scripted an as yet unpublished limited series for television about the Wright Brothers.

Maliskas and his wife Judi live in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he teaches high school history at Broadfording Christian Academy. He also is involved in a movement to facilitate the entirety of John Brown’s Farm becoming restored and recognized as an important American History and tourism site.


October 18, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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