Wil Haygood

Wil Haygood Wil Haygood

The American Presidency & Thurgood Marshall

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
6:30 p.m.
Armstrong Student Center Pavilion
Oxford, Ohio

Join us for this exciting event as journalist and author Wil Haygood ('76) debuts the trailer for a forthcoming documentary based on his 2015 biography of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Haygood, the Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Media, Journalism, & Film, will speak on "The American Presidency and Thurgood Marshall," followed by a question-and-answer session.

This event is free and open to the public.

Any recording or dissemination of, or access to, the trailer video is strictly prohibited.

Showdown book cover

"Wil Haygood helps us illuminate important moments and movements in American history and provides important perspective to continue our progress in the years to come."

—Miami President Greg Crawford

Tigerland Debut: Convocation 2018

Described as "one of our most accomplished alumni," Wil Haygood debuted his latest book, Tigerland: 1968-1969 A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing, in August 2018 at his alma mater. 

Miami's Class of 2022 was the first in the world to receive copies of the book due to a special arrangement with the publisher for an early delivery.

Haygood said he hopes his story will serve as inspiration to continue improving race relations in America. "I am of the mind that this book can help us understand why we are stronger together," said Haygood.


In August 2018, Haygood debuted his latest book at Miami's convocation. 

Tigerland: 1968-1969 A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing tells the story of two high school sports teams in Columbus, Ohio.

That year, despite tremendous odds, both the baseball and basketball teams at the segregated, all-black East High School won the state championships—an unprecedented feat in Class AA Ohio athletic history. Tigerland puts this spirited story of improbable triumph in the context of the racially charged late 1960s, which results in an inspiring sports story and a singularly illuminating social history.

Freedom Summer

This freedom summer 64 memorial, a joint project of the Oxford NAACP, Friends of the Mississippi Summer Project and Miami University, was dedicated April 7,2000. It honors the young volunteers involved in the historic voter registration drive of 1964 and symbolizes appreciation for the idealism of young people everywhere whose sacrifices have created a more just society.

Haygood, along with author and fellow alumnus Jeff Pegues, held a public conversation in fall 2017 through the lens of Freedom Summer, a marker year in U.S. civil rights and one with particular connection to Oxford.

The conversation is the first in what will be a series exploring the lasting effects of Freedom Summer, 1964, when about 800 volunteers converged for training at the Western College for Women—now Miami's Western campus—before traveling south to register black voters.

At that spot where the training happened, an outdoor monument was dedicated in 2000. It also honors three of the civil rights workers who lost their lives during that movement. For more information on Miami's role in Freedom Summer and how it permanently affected the fabric of this university, see Celebrating Freedom.

In November 2019, Miami alumni and others who participated in Freedom Summer gathered at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati to talk about the experience, as well as lessons to address voting rights and social inequality today.