Convention of Statesmen


Today is the Day!

It's a little hard to believe. Several years ago, when I began contemplating opening a publishing house, even I could not have imagined that the day would arrive when my publishing house signed Attorney General Mark Shurtleff as our first author. Stunning! Even more so, never could I have imagined that the great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott would fly in to help Mark celebrate the release of this incredible book about her ancestor. You will get the opportunity to not only meet and hear from Mark Shurtleff tonight, but also Lynne Jackson as she shares with us a little bit about Dred.

Today is the National Book Launch Party introducing Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story to the nation. Mark will be at the Barnes & Noble at The Gateway in Salt Lake City tonight. (Details at the end of this post.)

We, at Valor Publishing Group, really sat down and pulled together a real party. Something fun, entertaining, enlightening, inspiring, tasty and you'll walk away with a copy of one of the most important books of our generation to grace the shelves of your home libraries.

Really, this book has opened my eyes to so much and I truly have developed a deep and abiding respect for Dred Scott and have come to understand how important he is in the course of American history. Indeed, the long night of slavery which existed in the U.S. was but a small fraction of what existed around the world. But the greatest part of that travesty of justice, was that it ever existed in the United States of America at all...the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Mark Shurtleff has does an incredible job bringing into full living color the life and times of Dred Scott. Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story will educate and inspire you to remember who you are and that when something is really important, it is worth spending the rest of your days fighting for that very thing. With Dred Scott, his first wife was sold to another plantation and he never saw her again. Can you imagine the incredible heartbreak to have the one you love ripped from your arms and sold to another. It is virtually incomprehensible, not to mention monstrous.

But Dred Scott never gave up. He simply didn't. One day he met Harriet, the one woman who would stand by his side until his dying day, supporting and loving him as he fought for freedom and the right to be his own man. The sons of the family who had owned him when he was younger subsidized and fought that battle with him. When the infamous Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, one of the worst decisions the U.S. Supreme Court has ever handed down, and freedom was denied him, the Blow family sons bought the Scott family and promptly freed them.

I walked away from this book thinking to myself: Never give up. Never say die. Never walk away. Although Dred Scott was physically a small man, he was, and remains to this day, a giant among men. He is an inspiration to me and I am so glad that I was able to learn so much more about him and what was going on in America during that time.

Mark, I thank you for dedicating so much of your life to bring Dred Scott to the attention of the world. Thank you for fighting through the trials and obstacles of life and persevering. Dred Scott didn't give up and neither did you. Both of you are an inspiration to me.

Tonight, the festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. Here is the schedule:

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
The Gateway
6 Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT

5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Calvary Baptist Choir
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mark Shurtleff signs copies of his book Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story
7:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. Alex Boye’ sings “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?”
7:05 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. Connie Hall reads her winning essay “Stand Up for Freedom”
7:10 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Lynne Jackson speaks about Dred Scott
7:20 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mark Shurtleff reads 1st Chapter and Q&A
8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Drawing for Grand Prize and signing of any last books

I truly hope to see as many of my Blogland friends there as can come. This is a culmination, as well as the beginning of something big, of a longtime dream for me. Oddly, dreams really do come true as long as you're willing to work hard enough for them.

If you're not near the Wasatch Front, you may purchase your own copy through

Hardcover: 534 pages
Publisher: Valor Publishing Group; 1st edition (November 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935546007
ISBN-13: 978-1935546009
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 Stars - See all Amazon reviews (5 customer reviews) Sales Rank: #289,508 in Books

Purchase now.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.
Today is the Day! Today is the Day! Reviewed by Candace Salima on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Rating: 5