Burden: A Preacher, a Klansman, and a True Story of Redemption in the Modern South
Authors: Hargrave, Courtney
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Synopsis: The true story behind the film starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and Garrett Hedlund; written and directed by Andrew Heckler; produced by Academy Award nominee Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club)
A powerful, timely story about an African American reverend whose faith compelled him to help a KKK member leave a life of hate
“Honest, empowering, incredibly enjoyable, and unforgettable.”—Bret Witter, bestselling co-author of The Monuments Men, Dewey, and Stronger
In 1996, the town of Laurens, South Carolina, was thrust into the spotlight when a white supremacist named Michael Burden opened a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan in the community’s main square. Journalists and protestors flooded the town, and hate groups rallied to the establishment’s defense, dredging up the long history of racism and injustice.
What came next is the subject of the film Burden, which won the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Shortly after his museum opened, Burden abruptly left the Klan in search of a better life. Broke and homeless, he was taken in by Reverend David Kennedy, an African American leader in the Laurens community, who plunged his church, friends, and family into an inspiring quest to save their former enemy.
In this spellbinding Southern epic, journalist Courtney Hargrave further uncovers the complex events behind the story told in Andrew Heckler’s film. Hargrave explores the choices that led to Kennedy and Burden’s friendship, the social factors that drive young men to join hate groups, and the difference one person can make in confronting America’s oldest sin.