Julie Kabat - "Love Letter from Pig" at Pegasus on Solano

Apr 15 2024 - 7:00pm


Join us on Monday, April 15th at 7pm at Pegasus Books on Solano to celebrate the release of Julie Kabat's Love Letter from Pig: My Brother's Story of Freedom Summer, from the University Press of Mississippi. Kabat will read from and discuss this inspiring, deeply personal story about a tumultuous period in civil rights history. Books will be available for purchase & signing. 

About the book:

In the summer of 1964, the FBI found the smoldering remains of the station wagon that James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman had been driving before their disappearance. Shortly after this awful discovery, Julie Kabat’s beloved brother Luke arrived as a volunteer for the Mississippi Summer Project. Teaching biology to Freedom School students in Meridian, Luke became one of more than seven hundred student volunteers who joined experienced Black civil rights workers and clergy to challenge white supremacy in the nation’s most segregated state. During his time in Mississippi, Luke helped plan the community memorial service for Chaney, attended the Democratic National Convention in support of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and even spent time in jail for “contributing to the delinquency of minors.” This arrest followed his decision to take students out for ice cream. Through his activism, Luke grappled with many issues that continue to haunt and divide us today: racialized oppression, threats of violence, and segregation whether explicit in law or implicit through custom.

Sadly, Luke died just two years after Freedom Summer, leaving behind copious letters, diaries, and essays, as well as a lasting impact on his younger sister, nicknamed “Pig.” Drawing on a wealth of primary resources, especially her brother’s letters and diaries, Kabat delves deep into her family history to understand Luke’s motivations for joining the movement and documents his experiences as an activist. In addition to Luke’s personal narrative, Kabat includes conversations with surviving Freedom School volunteers and students who declare the life-long legacy of Freedom Summer. A sister’s tribute to her brother, Love Letter from Pig: My Brother’s Story of Freedom Summer addresses ongoing issues of civil rights and racial inequality facing the nation today.


"Julie Kabat has written a remarkable book. Love Letter from Pig introduces us to her brother Luke, a third-year medical student teaching in a Mississippi Freedom School. Through Luke we meet his students, thrilled at being exposed to new knowledge; family members, concerned about his welfare; and fellow Freedom Summer volunteers. Love Letter from Pig is about idealism and courage in the face of adversity, but mostly it’s about love."

- Paul Murray, civil rights veteran and Professor Emeritus at Siena College

"Drawing on a wealth of resources—her brother’s diaries and letters, periodicals and books, radio and television, and interviews, some made at the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer in 2014—Julie Kabat creates a compelling story about a significant period in the nation’s history and addresses continuing issues of civil rights and racial equality."

- Ann J. Abadie, coeditor of The Mississippi Encyclopedia

About the author:

Julie Kabat is a longtime member of North Chatham, New York Free Library’s Board of Trustees, and she chairs the Arts and Culture Program Committee. She has toured internationally as a composer, performer, singer, and storyteller. She previously worked for over forty years as a teaching artist in public schools.

Event address: 
Pegasus on Solano
1855 Solano Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707
Staff Pick Badge
Love Letter from Pig: My Brother's Story of Freedom Summer By Julie Kabat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496847232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Mississippi - August 23rd, 2023

Event Category: 
Solano Location