SEPT. 28, 2016

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Each year at Guilford Technical Community College, the English faculty chooses a book for ENG 111 students to read as part of the All-College Read, an annual tradition at the college. This year the faculty has selected the book, “Picking Cotton,” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronal Cotton.

A New York Times Best Seller, “Picking Cotton” is a true story based in Burlington, N.C. The memoir recounts the story and details of Thompson-Cannino’s sexual assault, which led to the false conviction of Cotton; he served 11 years before he was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. A few years after Cotton was released, the two met in person and formed a friendship that changed their lives.

The themes of “Picking Cotton” center on sexual assault, race, injustice and redemption. Throughout the semester, additional educational opportunities, such as lectures and film showings, are provided to students to further examine topics related to book. In October, GTCC will host the following free events to promote discussion of the book’s themes as part of the All-College Read series. All of the events are open to the public.

Film Showing: “The Trials of Darryl Hunt”

What: An award-winning documentary chronicling Darryl Hunt, who in 1984 at age 19 was falsely accused of the rape and murder of a Winston-Salem newspaper copy editor.

When: Noon Wednesday, Oct. 12

Where: Percy H. Sears Applied Technologies, auditorium, Jamestown Campus, 601 E. Main St., Jamestown


Mark Rabil

Mark Rabil

Lecture: Mark Rabil, attorney for Darryl Hunt

What: Mark Rabil has been the director of the Innocence and Justice Clinic since 2009. His advocacy led to the release and exoneration of Darryl Hunt after 19 years of incarceration.

When: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19

Where: Joseph S. Koury Hospitality and Careers Center, auditorium, Jamestown Campus, 601 E. Main St., Jamestown


Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at


— Carla Kucinski/GTCC