‘Black Russian’ Author Wows Audience with Book, Storytelling
CLARKSDALE – “For two hours, you could hear a pin drop,” said one guest at Friday night’s lecture on “The Black Russian” by its author Vladimir Alexandrov.
“I’ve never experienced a crowd that large, that quiet,” continued another member of the audience at the Cutrer Mansion.
All praised the author not only for his writing expertise but also for his storytelling.
The crowd exploded in applause afterward and swarmed the Yale professor with questions about his fascinating biography of Coahoma County native Frederick Thomas.
Born the son of former slaves near Dublin, Miss, Thomas emigrated to Russia where he became a flamboyant and wealthy business success, lost a fortune during the Russian Revolution and reinvented himself again in Turkey.
After spending six years in archival research, traveling, and writing, Alexandrov is on the road again with the published books.
“The Black Russian” stack for sale at the Cutrer Mansion disappeared in a flash.
He’s signed books in Jackson, spoken to Archives and History, at Oxford Saturday, and rumors abound about a Mississippi Historical Marker for the Frederick Thomas’ birthplace off Highway 49 near Dublin and Tutwiler.
In the Friday night audience were Svetlana Akimov and Ivan Akimov, both natives of Stalingrad now living in Cleveland who exchanged conversations in Russian with the author before the talk.
Another smiling guest, was John Glaze of Memphis, who read an advance article about the lecture, and loved attending the event.
Welcoming guests was Sarah Crisler-Ruskey, director of Carnegie Public Library.
Historian Judy Flowers of Dublin, who assisted the author researching court records about the Thomas family, introduced the speaker. Other sponsors of the event welcoming the crowd were Coahoma County Higher Education Center director Jen Waller and Coahoma Community College’s Chef Brennon Warr, director of CCC’s culinary arts program, who prepared appetizers.