Announcing Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral

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Jul 152015

In case you missed it, Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral is out! It’s my first book, so I’m very excited. I’m even more excited because it is the true story that inspired my 2010 film Get Low, and it took a long time to get here.  Here’s a summary:

This book tells the incredible true story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale, a feared hermit who attracted ten thousand strangers to the funeral he held while still alive in 1938. Author Scott Seeke had begun researching Get Low as an outsider, a New Yorker married into a skeptical East Tennessee family. By the time Get Low arrived in theaters ten years later, he had earned their trust. They opened doors that allowed him to finally learn why Bush had his funeral while he was still alive, and why so many people came. He found the moving story of a man trapped by his culture and past, desperate to rewrite his life’s story before it was too late. Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral shows that any outcast can find acceptance, and any label can be overcome, all masterfully told by Get Low writer Scott Seeke.

A picture of the crowd at Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral, June 26, 1938. From the Roane County Banner.

Many parts of Bush’s story were so unbelievable that I just had to shake my head. That was also something I did a lot of when trying to navigate my way through the community around him because I was often lost. Through my many missteps, I came to appreciate for East Tennessee’s distinctive character and culture. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where you’re a stranger for five minutes and a newcomer for fifty years, or where old timers still spin yarns for hours on end with barely a pause in between. There is no place like it, and there has never been anybody quite like Bush.

Uncle Bush, date unknown. Credit to Frank Huggins.

And now you can read that story for yourself. You can also keep checking back here to find out where and when I’ll be speaking, because dates are starting to fill up. It’s exciting, and I’m glad you’re on the journey with me.

Charleston Shootings and Racism in America

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Jul 132015

In this sermon I’m tackling both the racist murders in Charleston and our response. The gloves come off in this sermon, which is based on Mark 6:1-13.

The nine victims of the Charleston racist attack. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, center, was the same age as me.