Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-10-08


Sharon L. Davies, author of Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America, the non-fiction account of a 1921 murder in Birmingham, will speak at Samford University Thursday, Oct. 14. Free to the public, her talk will be at 12 noon in the moot court room of Robinson Hall law building.

Rising Road chronicles the murder of Catholic priest James Coyle by Methodist minister Edwin Stephenson and the subsequent trial, which involved future U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black as part of the defense team.  The account provides an in-depth examination of the consequences of prejudice in the Jim Crow era.

Davies teaches criminal law at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Her talk is sponsored by the Cordell Hull Speakers Forum series of Samford’s Cumberland School of Law and the Samford history department.  A reception will follow her remarks.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.