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Powerful Visit with Anthony Ray Hinton

V.Parker
Students and faculty hung on every word spoken by Anthony Ray Hinton, author of The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row. Hinton was at St. Luke’s to share his harrowing story of nearly three decades spent in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Students in the 8th-12th grades gathered in the Seldin Performing Arts Center to hear Hinton testify to the injustice he experienced. Somehow Hinton managed to inject his story with humor and compassion. His impact on all was evidenced by the book-signing line that wrapped around the Fireplace Commons.

Below are a few comments shared after Hinton’s visit:

Grace Fitzgibbon ‘19: "Meeting Mr. Hinton in class allowed my peers and I to connect with him and his story on a more personal level. He not only had a positive outlook on life after spending 30 years on death row but was able to forgive those who wronged him, which has resonated with me ever since."

Dylan Johnson ‘20: "Meeting with Mr. Hinton was life-changing and brought tears to my eyes. Being able to hear and learn about a man's plight to seek freedom in a corrupt justice system was surreal. The one thing that really stuck with me was when he talked about his ‘friend’ who was on death row with him. Henry Hayes was a KKK member and was on death row for the lynching of a special needs black kid in Alabama. When talking about him he said, ‘if you can teach a man to hate, you can teach a man to have compassion.’ This quote stuck with me because people like Hayes are supposed to hate men like Mr. Hinton, yet Mr. Hinton knowing this still befriended Hayes. This just showed one aspect of Mr. Hinton's strong moral code to always love and deeply inspired me."

Head of Middle School Amber Berry: “Mr. Hinton’s visit helped me reflect on my privileged life. I had not been personally impacted by our judicial system. This allowed me to ignore issues I now feel compelled to face.”

Josephine DeMarco '23: "In spite of all of the terrible things that have happened to [Mr. Hinton], he still remains a good person."

Alex Holtzappfel '23: "I found the experience very amazing. What intrigued me most is that [Mr. Hinton] wants justice, not revenge."
 
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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.