Meeting Cedric Jennings
I was privileged to hear Cedric Jennings speak at Montgomery College on the evening of August 19, 2008. Prior to the event there was some talk about turnout. The college was on summer break—would there still be students to fill the auditorium? Would anyone else come? Having arrived early, I sat in my car working a crossword puzzle. At fifteen minutes before the start time I decided to wander over to the auditorium. To my surprise, it was packed! I barely found a seat! There were some students there, but the majority of the audience seemed to be made up of interested people from all over the county and beyond, all sparked by enthusiasm for Cedric’s book, A Hope in the Unseen.
When Cedric was introduced and came to the podium, I immediately understood the overflow crowd. He was an awesome speaker—honest and down-to-earth! Seeing Cedric Jennings and hearing his story firsthand was captivating. He expanded on some of the issues that had been covered in the book. He also brought the audience up to date on his life and plans. During the Q & A/discussion session, he applauded those who identified with his story as they shared their own. He also answered openly and honestly some of the difficult questions which were posed by audience members. It was a memorable evening, and I felt privileged to be a part of it.
I had read A Hope in the Unseen this spring, and found it to be a fascinating story of hope and courage. It also raised so many important issues: race, poverty, education, religion and more. These are important issues that I hope will spark conversations in communities around the state as many Marylanders experience this “must-read” book.
Jan Baird-Adams, Library Manager for the White Oak Branch of Montgomery County Public Libraries.