When Mary Verrill first met Thea Bowman during a literature class that Bowman taught at Viterbo University, the relationship changed her life forever. And she wasn’t alone. Dr. Bowman’s legacy looms large as a civil rights activist, pioneering educator, and outspoken pioneer within the African-American Catholic movement. Verrill was inspired to introduce a new generation of students, many of whom attend schools named after Dr. Bowman, to her life and legacy. So she decided to write a book: Thea Bowman: A Story of Triumph. Originally written for middle grade readers (Grades 6-12), she soon realized that Bowman’s life was so vast that she needed to expand the audience to anyone interested in learning about a pioneer who overcame every obstacle she faced.
In our conversation, we covered the following topics:
- Who Thea Bowman was and why she wanted to write about her
- How she’s used grassroots marketing to spread the word about the book to the large network of individuals and institutions that have been inspired by Dr. Bowman’s work.
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