Join us for a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist John Archibald, as he discusses his new book, Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution. Joining him is his brother, Murray Archibald. Together they will explore the question posed by John in the book: Can a good person remain silent in the face of discrimination and horror, and still be a good person?

John Archibald had seen his father, the Rev. Robert L. Archibald, Jr., the son and grandson of Methodist preachers, as a moral authority, a moderate and a moderating force during the racial turbulence of the ’60s, a loving and dependable parent, a forgiving and attentive minister, a man many Alabamians came to see as a saint. But was that enough? Even though Archibald grew up in Alabama in the heart of the civil rights movement, he could recall few words about racial rights or wrongs from his father’s pulpit at a time the South seethed, and this began to haunt him.

In this moving and powerful book, Archibald writes of his complex search, and of the conspiracy of silence his father faced in the South, in the Methodist Church and in the greater Christian church. Archibald writes of this difficult, at times uncomfortable, reckoning with his past in this unadorned, affecting book of growth and evolution.

John Archibald is a current Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He is a columnist for the Alabama Media Group. His columns appear in The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, the Mobile Press-Register, and its social brand, Reckon. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2018.

Murray Archibald is an artist and co-founder (along with longtime CAMP Rehoboth Executive Director, co-founder, and husband Steve Elkins) of CAMP Rehoboth. He has served the organization in many ways since its creation in 1991. From 1993-2018 he was President of the Board of Directors of CAMP Rehoboth. He served as Creative Director, and following Steve’s death, as Editor in Chief of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and Executive Director of CAMP Rehoboth. He is co-founder and producer of the annual Sundance Benefit. He is a past President of Sussex County AIDS Council, and has served as Lay Leader of Epworth United Methodist Church. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society. In 2013 Murray and Steve were awarded the Order of the First State by Governor Jack Markell.

This event is co-sponsored with CAMP Rehoboth.

We invite you to support the author by purchasing a copy of their book from Browseabout Books. Call-in orders are accepted at (302) 226-2665 or you can stop by the store to purchase a copy. For store hours, please visit their website. Each copy purchased comes with a signed archival bookplate.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting. To register, go to

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email the library at

Closed captioning is available for this session.