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'Reflections' kicks off civil rights series

ALBANY -- The Albany Civil Rights Institute will launch its Monthly Community Night Series this week with "Reflections on 'The Lena Baker Story.'"

The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the institute's meeting room.

Presenting the program will be Lela Bond Phillips and Karan Pittman, coauthors of "The Lena Baker Story," which tells the saga of the only African-American woman to be executed by the state of Georgia in the electric chair.

The book, which has been recently turned into a movie, follows an impoverished Cuthbert woman's abuse, which led to her arrest and execution during the 1940s in a format that examines the case and the conditions surrounding it.

"To better understand the civil rights movement, we have to understand what life was like in the Jim Crow South," said Lee Formwalt, executive director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute.

For more information, visit www.albanycivilrightsinstitute.org.