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Event Series Event Series: The Forum

The Forum with Leta McCollough Seletzky: The Kneeling Man (In-Person)

October 1, 2023 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

In the famous photograph of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, one man kneeled down beside King, trying to staunch the blood from his fatal head wound with a borrowed towel.  

This kneeling man was a member of the Invaders, an activist group that was in talks with King in the days leading up to the murder. But he also had another identity: an undercover Memphis police officer reporting on the activities of this group, which was thought to be possibly dangerous and potentially violent. This kneeling man is Leta McCollough Seletzky’s father. 

Marrell McCollough was a Black man working secretly with the white power structure, a spy. This was so far from her understanding of what it meant to be Black in America, of everything she eventually devoted her life and career to, that she set out to learn what she could about his life, his actions, and his motivations. But with that decision came risk. What would she uncover about her father, who went on to a career at the CIA, and did she want to bear the weight of knowing? 

Join Malcolm Clemens Young for a conversation with Seletzky about her book, The Kneeling Man: My Father’s Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and her quest for the truth about her father. 

“Get comfortable, because once you start reading you will not be able to put this book down. The Kneeling Man is a spellbinding account of a daughter piecing together her father’s mysterious role witnessing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. With gorgeous prose and emotional honesty, Leta McCollough Seletzky brings us on her journey to uncover deeply hidden family secrets and better understand our own.” —Jennifer Taub, author of Big Dirty Money and Other People’s Houses 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtubeand Apple Podcast channels.   

Buy The Book The Kneeling Man 

Watch

A short clip from The Kneeling Man with Leta McCollough Seletzky 

About the Guest

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow whose work has been featured in The Atlantic; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; and elsewhere. Her essay “The Man in the Picture,” published in O, The Oprah Magazine, was selected as a Notable Essay in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019. An alumna of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School, she is the author of the father-daughter memoir THE KNEELING MAN. 

About the Moderator

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.    

About The Forum

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors, and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum Online.

Give to Grace

You can help us bring the arts to life at Grace with a gift today to The Forum. Click here to give.   

Become a GraceArts Member

Love engaging dialogue? We offer a special cultural membership program, GraceArts, focused exclusively on the arts and well-being. GraceArts allows a wider community to belong to and support Grace, with discounts and benefits on a robust schedule of events. Learn more and join!

Details

Date:
October 1, 2023
Time:
9:30 am - 10:30 am
Series:
Event Categories:
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Venue

Grace Cathedral
1100 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
415-749-6300

The Forum with Leta McCollough Seletzky: The Kneeling Man (In-Person)

In the famous photograph of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, one man kneeled down beside King, trying to staunch the blood from his fatal head wound with a borrowed towel.  

This kneeling man was a member of the Invaders, an activist group that was in talks with King in the days leading up to the murder. But he also had another identity: an undercover Memphis police officer reporting on the activities of this group, which was thought to be possibly dangerous and potentially violent. This kneeling man is Leta McCollough Seletzky’s father. 

Marrell McCollough was a Black man working secretly with the white power structure, a spy. This was so far from her understanding of what it meant to be Black in America, of everything she eventually devoted her life and career to, that she set out to learn what she could about his life, his actions, and his motivations. But with that decision came risk. What would she uncover about her father, who went on to a career at the CIA, and did she want to bear the weight of knowing? 

Join Malcolm Clemens Young for a conversation with Seletzky about her book, The Kneeling Man: My Father’s Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and her quest for the truth about her father. 

“Get comfortable, because once you start reading you will not be able to put this book down. The Kneeling Man is a spellbinding account of a daughter piecing together her father’s mysterious role witnessing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. With gorgeous prose and emotional honesty, Leta McCollough Seletzky brings us on her journey to uncover deeply hidden family secrets and better understand our own.” —Jennifer Taub, author of Big Dirty Money and Other People’s Houses 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtubeand Apple Podcast channels.   

Buy The Book The Kneeling Man 

Watch

A short clip from The Kneeling Man with Leta McCollough Seletzky 

About the Guest

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow whose work has been featured in The Atlantic; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; and elsewhere. Her essay “The Man in the Picture,” published in O, The Oprah Magazine, was selected as a Notable Essay in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019. An alumna of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School, she is the author of the father-daughter memoir THE KNEELING MAN. 

About the Moderator

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.    

About The Forum

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors, and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum Online.

Give to Grace

You can help us bring the arts to life at Grace with a gift today to The Forum. Click here to give.   

Become a GraceArts Member

Love engaging dialogue? We offer a special cultural membership program, GraceArts, focused exclusively on the arts and well-being. GraceArts allows a wider community to belong to and support Grace, with discounts and benefits on a robust schedule of events. Learn more and join!

Sunday

October 1, 2023
9:30AM - 10:30AM
Grace Cathedral
Register Today

In the famous photograph of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, one man kneeled down beside King, trying to staunch the blood from his fatal head wound with a borrowed towel.  

This kneeling man was a member of the Invaders, an activist group that was in talks with King in the days leading up to the murder. But he also had another identity: an undercover Memphis police officer reporting on the activities of this group, which was thought to be possibly dangerous and potentially violent. This kneeling man is Leta McCollough Seletzky’s father. 

Marrell McCollough was a Black man working secretly with the white power structure, a spy. This was so far from her understanding of what it meant to be Black in America, of everything she eventually devoted her life and career to, that she set out to learn what she could about his life, his actions, and his motivations. But with that decision came risk. What would she uncover about her father, who went on to a career at the CIA, and did she want to bear the weight of knowing? 

Join Malcolm Clemens Young for a conversation with Seletzky about her book, The Kneeling Man: My Father’s Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and her quest for the truth about her father. 

“Get comfortable, because once you start reading you will not be able to put this book down. The Kneeling Man is a spellbinding account of a daughter piecing together her father’s mysterious role witnessing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. With gorgeous prose and emotional honesty, Leta McCollough Seletzky brings us on her journey to uncover deeply hidden family secrets and better understand our own.” —Jennifer Taub, author of Big Dirty Money and Other People’s Houses 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtubeand Apple Podcast channels.   

Buy The Book The Kneeling Man 

Watch

A short clip from The Kneeling Man with Leta McCollough Seletzky 

About the Guest

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow whose work has been featured in The Atlantic; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; and elsewhere. Her essay “The Man in the Picture,” published in O, The Oprah Magazine, was selected as a Notable Essay in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019. An alumna of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School, she is the author of the father-daughter memoir THE KNEELING MAN. 

About the Moderator

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.    

About The Forum

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors, and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum Online.

Give to Grace

You can help us bring the arts to life at Grace with a gift today to The Forum. Click here to give.   

Become a GraceArts Member

Love engaging dialogue? We offer a special cultural membership program, GraceArts, focused exclusively on the arts and well-being. GraceArts allows a wider community to belong to and support Grace, with discounts and benefits on a robust schedule of events. Learn more and join!

Sunday

October 1, 2023
9:30AM - 10:30AM
Grace Cathedral
Register Today

Sunday

October 1, 2023
9:30AM - 10:30AM
Grace Cathedral
Register Today

In the famous photograph of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of Memphis’s Lorraine Motel, one man kneeled down beside King, trying to staunch the blood from his fatal head wound with a borrowed towel.  

This kneeling man was a member of the Invaders, an activist group that was in talks with King in the days leading up to the murder. But he also had another identity: an undercover Memphis police officer reporting on the activities of this group, which was thought to be possibly dangerous and potentially violent. This kneeling man is Leta McCollough Seletzky’s father. 

Marrell McCollough was a Black man working secretly with the white power structure, a spy. This was so far from her understanding of what it meant to be Black in America, of everything she eventually devoted her life and career to, that she set out to learn what she could about his life, his actions, and his motivations. But with that decision came risk. What would she uncover about her father, who went on to a career at the CIA, and did she want to bear the weight of knowing? 

Join Malcolm Clemens Young for a conversation with Seletzky about her book, The Kneeling Man: My Father’s Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and her quest for the truth about her father. 

“Get comfortable, because once you start reading you will not be able to put this book down. The Kneeling Man is a spellbinding account of a daughter piecing together her father’s mysterious role witnessing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. With gorgeous prose and emotional honesty, Leta McCollough Seletzky brings us on her journey to uncover deeply hidden family secrets and better understand our own.” —Jennifer Taub, author of Big Dirty Money and Other People’s Houses 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtubeand Apple Podcast channels.   

Buy The Book The Kneeling Man 

Watch

A short clip from The Kneeling Man with Leta McCollough Seletzky 

About the Guest

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow whose work has been featured in The Atlantic; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; and elsewhere. Her essay “The Man in the Picture,” published in O, The Oprah Magazine, was selected as a Notable Essay in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2019. An alumna of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School, she is the author of the father-daughter memoir THE KNEELING MAN. 

About the Moderator

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.    

About The Forum

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors, and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum Online.

Give to Grace

You can help us bring the arts to life at Grace with a gift today to The Forum. Click here to give.   

Become a GraceArts Member

Love engaging dialogue? We offer a special cultural membership program, GraceArts, focused exclusively on the arts and well-being. GraceArts allows a wider community to belong to and support Grace, with discounts and benefits on a robust schedule of events. Learn more and join!