Outskirts Press Announces the Release of New Memoir, I Heard the Preaching of the Elders by Ritten Edward Lee


Ritten Edward Lee, a son of the Little Cahaba River, writes of his odyssey from choking coal dust, razor and knife fights, shootings and mayhem to Bach, Haydn, Beethoven and C. Wright Mills: from the coal fields of Alabama to Earlham College and beyond.

Outskirts Press Announces the Release of New Memoir, I Heard the Preaching of the Elders by Ritten Edward Lee

July 17, 2017 – Denver, CO and New York City, NY and Richmond, IN – The son of an Alabama coal miner, Ritten Edward Lee was the first of his family to graduate from college...eventually becoming the first African-American member of the Board of Trustees at Earlham College. His truly inspirational memoir—I Heard the Preaching of the Elders: An Odyssey: From the Coal Fields of Alabama to Earlham College and Beyond—has been published by Outskirts Press, the fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company.

The memoir focuses on Ritten Edward Lee’s life at Earlham College between 1946 and 1950, written at the urging of D. Elton Trueblood, a prominent and popular philosophy professor at Earlham. Lee grew up in Piper, Alabama, a coal mining camp, hardly more than a clearing in the woods, and Marion, Alabama, where he attended the historic Lincoln School.

He visited Earlham College in 1942 with the Little Chorus, a group of 22 singers from Lincoln, and fell in love with the college immediately because of its welcoming atmosphere, sense of community and spirit. After two years, four months and ten days in the Army Air Force, he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. He refused a basketball scholarship at Florida A and M and an opportunity to become a flight engineer on B-29s in order to attend Earlham in the fall of 1946. Powerful friendships evolved with several faculty members and many students, and eventually Lee received an Outstanding Alumni Award and was a member of the Alumni Council. Later, he became a member of the Board of Trustees at Earlham. Professor Trueblood told him, “You left this place a figure of significance.”

Lee’s odyssey is, indeed, from the coal fields of Alabama to Earlham and beyond. The influences from Lincoln School and Earlham shaped virtually all of his endeavors after leaving the institutions. Lee enjoyed a long and successful career in social work and was married to renowned concert mezzo-soprano and opera singer Betty Allen for 56 years. His story is a testament to the power of determination, education, and perserverance.  

For more information, visit the author’s website at outskirtspress.com/bookstore/IHeardThePreaching.

At 164 pages, I Heard the Preaching of the Elders is available online through Outskirts Press. It is also sold through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for a maximum trade discount in quantities of 10 or more, and is being aggressively promoted to appropriate markets with a focus on the memoir category.

ISBN: 978-1-4787-4745-1                             Format: 6 x 9 paperback                                Retail: $14.95        

Genre: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

About the Author: Ritten Edward Lee was born in Brighton, AL, and grew up in Piper and Marion, AL. He attended the famous Lincoln School (formerly Lincoln Normal School) and was heavily influenced by Quaker teachers Cecil and Frances Thomas. After a stint in the Army Air Force, he went to Earlham College and received his BA degree. At the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work, he was awarded an MA. For 56 years he was married to late concert mezzo-soprano and opera singer Betty Allen. He has two children, Juliana and Anthony Lee, and three grandchildren—Brittany O’Neal, twins Anthony Rittenhouse and Aaron Edward Lee. Mr. Lee lives in Mount Vernon, NY.

About Outskirts Press, Inc.: Outskirts Press offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services for authors seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining all their rights and full creative control. Available for authors globally at www.outskirtspress.com and located on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Outskirts Press, Inc. represents the future of book publishing, today.

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