Place, Personal, Political: Blackness on the Map and the Mind

You are viewing content from Facing Race 2020.
Tuesday, 11/10
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Where we are can fundamentally shape who we are and what we become. For decades, Black writers have examined the complex influence that place has on their identities, particularly around race. From James Baldwin in Paris, to Piri Thomas in Harlem to Jaquira Diaz in Miami, place and movement featured prominently in the personal stories that offer deep political meaning. Whether the influence is one of growing up in criminalized communities in the US, the particular impact of race on migration, or the reality of global anti-Blackness, the stories bear out a deep thread of how the personal is political.

Nadia Owusu, in her forthcoming memoir Aftershocks, “grapples with the fault lines of identity, the meaning of home, black womanhood and the ripple effects, both personal and generational, of emotional trauma.” Marlon Peterson’s Bird Uncaged, to be published in 2021, "exposes the hollowness of the American Dream… and reveals the many cages — physical and metaphorical — created and maintained by American society.” In his 2019 What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker, Damon Young, “pulls readers into his world, showing them his vulnerability, hitting them with unflinching honesty about the state of race relations in this country.” In a live, moderated conversation with Racial Justice Reads founder, Rosana “RC” Cruz, these three authors examine the themes of identity, belonging, family, survival and resilience.