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tv   Farah Jasmine Griffin Read Until You Understand  CSPAN  January 17, 2022 8:00pm-8:52pm EST

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upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and strong small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications all in with these television company support cspan2 as a public service. >> up next on book tv columbia universities jasmine griffin set the writings of black authors and public intellectuals that address issues of equality and freedom. then from a recent brooklyn book festival discussion on the legacy book publisher emma set of cells the work of the lake novelist and later georgia tech university professor and pulitzer prize-winning author marsha examines the role fast food franchises have played an african american entrepreneurship and economic empowerment since the late 1960s. and now, ferret jasmine griffin. >> i am the program directorf at town hall. on behalf of the staff at town hall sale and our friends at elliott bay books, it is my
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pleasure to welcome you to tonight's virtual presentation with sarah at jasmine griffin. we get underway at like to acknowledge your institution stands on the territory of the people we thank them for our continuing use of the natural resources of theiran ancestral homeland. thank you all for tuning in online. townhall is proud to be a community focused organization or we can share ideas and creativity both in the beautiful townhall space and virtually. townhall will continue to produce virtual content as we launch into the new season including our weekly podcast in the moments. many of our past talks are available in a video or podcast form an additional immediate library. town hall is adding new events and podcast every day. upcoming events upcoming abolitionist author turned out with nikita oliver and darnell fell more and what's up with the white women authors with karina clerks.
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visit our website to join our e-mail list get the latest updates and more programs are added throughout the season. if you share in townhall's vision for robust community engaged in the art of science and culture were everyone has a voice, please consider supporting us tonight by donating or becoming a member visit our website for more information.'s but back to this evening's events tonight's presentation about 60 minutes including q and a. to streamliner audience experience we have changed a platform for our events. please use your phone or computer to enter apps.meet.ps backslash griffin. drop this in the chat will make it to the q&a portion we will remind folks again or to go we cannot guarantee we will be able to address every question but will try to get many as possible. please keep your questions concise and in the form. click the cc button in the bottom right corner of the video player for the program will be available for re- watching immediately following
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the event.th this work is made possible for your support and the support of our sponsors are arts and culture series is supported by the seattle arts and culture finally townhall is a member supported organization so i would like to thank all of our members watching from home. lastly you want to dive deeper into this evening's topic by purchasing a copy of fare is a book. please use the link of the chaplin to pick up your copies through elliott bay books. ferret jasmine griffin was in our culture of the african-american and african studies department at columbia university where she is also william b ransford professor of english and comparative literature. she ise the author of numerous books and the recipient of the 2021 guggenheim fellowship ritual is in new york griffin's new book and read until you understand, profound wisdom of black life and literature is the subject of this evening's talk. please join me in welcoming
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ferret jasmine griffin. >> thank you so much. i am thrilled to be here but i wish i was actually in seattle , one of my favorite places on my favorite parts of the country. but thank you tonight for joining me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my new book, read until you understand profound wisdom of black life and literature. oh talk a little bit about the book and then i will do a reading. then it look forward to having conversations with you all. i had three goals when i wrote this book, one most importantly i wanted to sharely my passion for body of literature written by african-american writers and to offer a way, the only way, but one way reading them that might illuminate our understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our time, issues around race, democracy, things like that,
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protests. i wanted to honor the many teachers in my life in person, and on page. especially my very first teacher, my father who died when i was nine years old. in the writing of the great, great writer tony both having shaped my life and my learning in ways for which i am forever grateful. and thirdly, i wanted to give a gift to booklovers, to readers with this book which is about books. and i hope the work of literature itself. my father was my first teacher in philadelphia, philadelphia the still recognizable philadelphia negro even though for us it was the late 60s and early 1970s. and on long walks throughoutt
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the city to independence mall's, past the mother bethel ame church and other historic sites, he introduced me to the history of the founding of this nation and our city's role in it. he told me stories of founding fathers like thomas jeffersonan and benjamin franklin. but also founders for the free african society and richard allen, and its lessons ranged widely into the ideas of black america thinkers from frederick douglass to angela davis. voracious lover of books and jazz music, my father was rarely without a paperback book in his back pocket. and an album on the stereo or what we better yet called the record player. his philadelphia was music filled reaching back toa the era of bebop, is eagle sp,
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including john cole train and billie holiday on through rhythm and blues and the newly emerging sound of philadelphia. his book collection included works of history, fiction, biography, current events. and when he died i inherited all of his books and albums, and the love of learning filtered through so much of the life he bequeathed to meet. under the careful guidance of my mother, i lost myself into the pages in sound he left behind. this was my inheritance. it was my legacy. little did i know at the time that it also become my life's work. this moment of loss, seeking and remembering constitutes the genesis of my own intellectual pursuit i was a starting point for my book
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which brings together a lifetime of reading and close to three decades of teaching african-american literature, theory, culture, and history. but it also reflects the influences of my father and my philadelphia upbringing, especially during the last decades of the 20th century. so it combination of memoir, historical examination, literary analysis i've tried to demonstrate showed the ethicsd of care to me and my mother following my father's death. even in that community itself was underty siege. and i hope in doing so, that i have honored so-called ordinary working class people who forged an extraordinary heritage passed on ways of knowing. finally, throughout the pages
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of reading until you understand, a series of questions and suggested answers emerged. what might an engagement with an urban cultural legacy alongside black literature into a lesser degree music and visual art teach us about this nation and our quest for democracy and belonging. and beyond that, beyond the concept of race and nation, what might engaging these ideas teach us about the fullest blossoming of our humanity? i believe all americans indeed all freedomin loving people should have exposure to an understanding of black writing as well as its related art. and what it offers and what it pretends for a way forward. my book is organized around ten concept themes anded ideals.
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legacy, mercy, black freedom and the idea of america, justice, rage and resistance, love, death, joy, and self-determination, community and grace. and each chapter i open with the kind of autobiographical meditation perhaps some cultural commentary that might be informed by some mixture of history philosophy, politics, might turn to autobiography is both to tell a singular story and to note the ways that story is but a thread in a larger fabric of black american life in the united states. one that connects generation like my fathers and mine. in this way, my book both examines and contributes to the tradition of writing that i
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is always place great value on critical insights of autobiography and on the ways of communicating history and culture. the richness of the work i write about blended with stories from my own family and community rest ignite with and amplify the notion of literature as equipment for living and demonstrates the ways the humanities help to give us materials to live with, to accompany us on our journey with others on this planet. i tried to reveal how people have lived for generations with style, grace, brilliance, in the face of persistent crisis and catastrophe. i began writing this book during and shortly after the 2016 presidential election. i completed the first draft of it in the midst of a global
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pandemic and an uprising to advance black freedom. throughout that time, the stories that i tell, the literature that i share in the values that deposit remain urgent and i think necessary. i share with you now a bit from the second chapter titled question of mercy. t it begins reflecting on the days following my father's death in march. if we did not experience mercy at the hands of the police, perhaps because we had not the days and weeks following my father's death was awash with the warmth, generosity, indeed mercy of my family and neighbors. at least that is how i remember them.
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and though consumed by grief, my mother and i were the beneficiaries of a love and kindness so deep as to defy description. our family and neighbors protected and provided for us. i experienced this as a thick blanket covering us in holding us closer. we did not have a church community because we were notbe church members but in fact we were not even christians. though there were many self-proclaimed christians among those who cared for us. they're muslim, jehovah witnesses, freethinkers and doubters as well. they gave us the necessary distance while standing vigil and watched over us ready to address our needs. anonymous envelope with cash gifts were split their mail slot part of mother suspected these may have come from one of daddy's friends, perhaps my godfather, a handsome
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streetwise man who knew she would never accept money if offered. the city had mistakenly torn down a fence ofor our yard leaving the back of our roadhouse exposed and easily accessible to predators. however, during the days of my father's hospitalization and the weeks that followed, until defense was replaced a big dog sat watching just outside the dining room window writing each night as darkness descended and leaving at the break of day. had his own or instructed him to stay there and keep a watch over the young widow and her child? we never knew. the streets outside held danger but somehow we did not experience. my cousins, uncle, self-appointed godfathers werede reputation guaranteed no intruder would dare enter our home. elders carefully monitored our
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commerce coming and going always quick with the greeting and offering the food and solace. gestures of kindness and greeted us in the form of an extra tomato from a guarding or plant clipping or pitcher of iced tea. inside our home a quiet filled the empty hole left by my father's absence. and in that quiet, i read and wrote, did homework and sometimes listened to my father's records, soothing instrumental jazz mostly mildly occasional vocals of lady and started a diary and began a lifelong habit of letter writing. my aunts could not provide me with enough of boxes of stationary or little books with keys. my mother shared her stamps for letters that i sent to activists like the black panther party headquarters in
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oakland, artist, black models naomi sims and beverly johnson. and many of them like johnson and the journalist ed bradley, gregory hines, wrote back. i wrote stories and poems about my father, about my parents love story, characters i had invented. andcompulsion to read write address my loneliness seemed to release something close to euphoria in my head. and writing i found if not joy , than contentment. in reading i found information through social worlds that my imagination undisciplined reading both discomforted and well-being. i read mario's the godfather and billie holiday and brilliant duffy lady sings the blues both books readily available because the movies that have been made m from them
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were released at this time. tom sawyer because my father had chosen huckleberry finn to reach me atha bedtime. navy blue hardback children's biography of frederick douglass. anthologies of poems and profiles of historic figuresas like hannibal, makeda queen of sheba. slowly we incorporated our loss no longer experienced as crisis but now as a quiet emptiness at the core of our existence. we carried it o with us as we reentered the world would meet my mother to factory work in me too ever broadening educational opportunity. they were always guided by what would daddy have wanted? having been the beneficiaries of mercy by god and our people is something we cherished, held dear, and extended to others. and mercy made the possibility
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of redemption and renewal. we had little expectations that whites would grants. in fact be held tightly to the belief that it was best to avoid ever being in need of their mercy. i do not recall anything about mercy in e my early reading. but many years later as i came to teach literature by african-american writers, i noticed it appeared again, and again. writers such as wheatley, charles chestnut, would leave us with more questions about it than answers. phyllis wheatley was an african enslaved prodigy of a rlgirl poet hers is a litany of first. in 1773 she became the first black person, the first enslaved person and the third woman to publish a book of poems in the colony. her most famous work is also her most controversial one.
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on being brought from africa to america. i quote it here, to us mercy brought me from my pagan land, top my soul to understand there is a god and there is a savior too. once i redemption or from our sable race was scornful i their color is a diabolic diet. remember christian, negro, black as cain may be refined and join the angelic a train. celebrated and reviled eventually, this poem has had many lies initially celebrated as evidence of african's capacity for intellectual pursuits, evidence genius exist among the darker races. later it was reviled by black
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thinkers because of his representation of africa and it expressed gratitude grossly pretrade. wheatley seems to assert that neither human violence nor greed brought her from africa to america. these are but the vehicles for an act of mercy granted by god. in enslavement is the price paid for salvation, foron conversion, for christianity. when the poem is revisited in the 1980s, we moved finally from the opening i to the clothing one. christianity gives her the authority to challenge racism and claim equality. she speaks as an equal to those she addresses and offers them a challenge. here, she may be set to initiate a black prophetic tradition in the americas seeking truth to power and
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issuing an admonition. however, in order to be granted a hearing sheba the absurdes terms to her african pagan, slavery is an act of mercy. this seems to be a major dilemma of the black artisan intellectual in the west. in order to be heard by those who oppress you, you must first accept the false premise that justifies your oppression. the enslaved understand that their masters assume slavery is justified. the masters think they are acting mercifully. they do not believe themselves to be acting unjustly. they are in the position to grant mercy to their slaves. when in fact the slaves deserve is justice.
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i have always been struck and haunted by the word mercy wheatley's poem. over 200 years, after wheatley encountered thehe concept in walston i heard in the other historic colonial city, philadelphia. lord have mercy was both a plea and an assertion and insistence. it was a request made of god by someone in need of kindness, consideration, respect from the difficulties of life. it was sometimes shortened to have mercy or simply mercy. in this instance it was not entirely sacred.as if someone was pitiful or dressed in poor taste, or had delivered a poor performance for the call for mercy was more like god please help this untalented soul they are not
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going to get a break from their fellow human beings. and of course there was marvin gaye imploring mercy, mercy me. things ate what they used to be, no, no. his was the most eloquent plea for god's consideration in the face of human made ecological disaster. the most common understandings of mercy has to do with god's compassion for humankind. but mercy is also the compassionate human beings grant to one another who is within their power to harm or punish. finally, mercy is compassion and forgiveness toward someone whom deserves a a punishment. in all of these instances, mercy is granted to someone who has not earned it. i wheatley's poem mercy brings her christianity and
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christianity grants are the authority upon which to challenge white christians. this is the calvinist notion of the fortunate fall. however, if mercy is defined as big spurred the punishment you deserve, who actually is in need of it? the african child? or those who capture and enslave her? that chapter goes on to consider the notion of mercy as well as charles chestnut and closes with a reflection of what the meetings of mercy might be in relation to freedom. and it is followed by a chapter on freedom in the various ideas of america. but i will not read those, i
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hope you will buy the book and you'll get to read them yourself. thank you. >> thank you so much farah. it was so lovely to hear your read. we're going to transition into audits q and a. if you are watching make sure ask your questions the link we have below pretty can also put them in the comments on youtube if that's easier for you. i wanted to kind of start out you talk about obviously black literature and all those ideas you had to give us a nice marvin gaye quote and i really love that. i wanted to know if you are looking to anypo contemporary black music artists with the iswits and they have the chair in the same type of vein? >> i don't so much. i do have an entire in the
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jukebox that was there and thatat music on the jukebox are tons of other musicians. at closes on two phenomena of the pandemic the be nice club quarantine kind of dance party hehe djd. and hundreds of thousands of people logged in during the early days of the pandemic. and the battle between jill scott in philadelphia while
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does not talk about the lyricshe of their music talks about the capacity of thathe music. and to create community and offer healing. even as we were sort of quarantined and alone we were still with others as we participated in that.a and that was in the tradition of a certain kind of black artistry. >> host: i'm so excited to read thattr chapter. as a pandemic you said you'd finish the first draft in the midst of it all. can you talk a little bit of the significance of that? like where you work? >> in some ways i finished it because of the pandemic. i'm the chair of the departmentas i was traveling all over the world is on my way to london when things shut down
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suddenly all those hours i would spend in airports while i continued to teach and have meetings like going to campus and all of that i got more time. and also it was quiet. but quiet in a very mournful way. i was in new york there was so much death here. it really did find its way into the opportunity, the time in the opportunity for me too finish. but also really made thebo questions i was raising and talked about all the more urgent in some ways. and it made some of the things very difficult to write. i completed a chapter on rage and resistance right after george floyd. and i'll back into the chapter
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on death. during that part of the pandemic when we were losing so many people. and so i think it would be a very different book in many ways. the book would have been the same things are probably a lot of books like that. >> we have a question here. how considerable it was her father's collection of books andd music albums? were there any big surprises in there? >> what a great question. my father mostly had paperback books. not library books i may not hardback books.o and they were so diverse. there be a book ofbe french grammar he was always teaching himself for it he went to
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school he got an associates degree. but for the most part he taught himself. so think books like french grammar or some old book about jewish mysticism or something were very much surprises to me, books on anthropology because i realize now those are some of the early books about africa and he was trying to learn about the continent of africa. it's interesting, w they were not conventional bookshelves in our house. we had a small little roadhouse. so he had taken all the dishes of the china closet and those are filled with book books. a clothing closet upstairs in the room that was full of books. they would be some fiction, some sociology, there were always books of american history. and interestingly enough, i do not think i was so surprised by what i found but what i
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found help me solve mysteries. this is why he like this or this is why he did this, and i loved find the ones that had handwriting in them. not so much surprises, just mystery solved may be. [laughter] >> host: what was one of the things she found out looking through his collection? >> his love of french. it's interesting like as much is identified with my father and mostly i pursue things he pursued, i did not pursue french i decided to study spanish i thought i was a more practical studying spanish than french. think that was one of the surprises for me. and those were some that weird book that was falling apart that it realize later was a
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book on judaism or judaic mysticism. i would never have expected to find that in his collection but there it wasn't looked like it was something he might has bought at a used book sale or something. >> excellent. has there been any kind of new literature that you have read and it's like oh he would love this. and it brings some of that wisdom. speech at more than saying he would have loved this what happens when everything's i don't know that he read, as i wondered what would he have thought of this? mostly i wish i could talk toou him about it. i don't have a sense of what he would have thought. i would love to talk about ray right about autobiography, i would love to talk to him about that. because some of the reading was asked of the same much of
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obama's autobiography is biographical reading coming to a sense of identity and a sense of him self as a thinker, writer, political figure three books. a lot of the books i would love to have spoken to him about that. i would love -- but i have loved nothing more than to introduce him to tony because he had not read tony, i would've loved to introduce him to her work. more lately to ward. so mostly that's what it is. not that i have a sense of what he would have thought. but conversations i wish i could have with him. >> so, do you feel like there is a piece of black literature that is especially important what do people not teach that
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they should teach? >> i don't know if it's that people don't teach, i think it for people who have not taking a course. maybe they are writers who they don't get exposed to. i have a chapter here that's mostly about the 19th century poet and abolitionist francis ellen watkins harper. she is in the chapter on resistance because i try to bring, i wrote this during the height of the black lives matter protest to show there's a whole history protest. again, she was a philadelphian she moved to philadelphia and philadelphia it was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. i talked about the campaigns, the excitement and fugitive slaves coming through and how courageous were the quakers in the black abolitionist dealing
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or fighting the people who would come and try to take them back. and harper, devoting herself to the antislavery cause h because someone is taken back a free man and kidnapped and stolen and sold and enslaved and he died. then she writes one of her most famous poems and buried in a free land. i talk about that poem but also when she would give her talks on the abolitionist circuit she would read the poem. and she sent the poem when john brown, after harper's ferry, shepe wrote letters to john brown. she befriended his widow. she sent the poem 20 black men who was with him and it was found amongst his possessions after his execution. until i tried to make about literature that people might not be exposed to, really come alive and make it relevant to our moment.
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in that chapter by comparing harper to some of the young women who were most eloquent during the protest in the spring of 2020, they were sort of like her daughters in some ways. >> host: that is so beautiful. >> i also have to say i fell in loveis with francis harper one of the college student. iud discovered her said she was in philadelphia and daddy didn't know anything about her i could've taught him, i could've taught him about her. >> host: have you been back to philadelphia recently? >> my mother is there, i spent the early part of the pandemic diverse three or four weeks there with her. i have nieces and nephews there. i am in philadelphia quite regularly, rarely more than two weeks in my not there.of and i wrote portions of the book in philadelphia too. so yeah.
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>> keeping those that's good. as far as things they've taken from your student jim and teaching so long i'm sure there are so many things they have brought up, what is something you have taught one of your students you didn't think you are teaching them that they brought to you? >> guest: that's a great question of fact is not something i've thought of something they taughtet me. african-american novels or novelists in the question ofls justice. my teaching is often the basis my scholarship is my basis right teaching. in my teaching informs my scholarship. to the chapter in this book on justice came out of teaching that course brick taught at both as a graduate course in an undergraduate course. my students would say things
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like there is nothing about -- you've given us all these different books i was teaching everything from first and charles chestnut to james baldwin and they would say, there are no books about black vigilantes. vigilante okay i better go find that. on so i teach that lyncher's for instance. are the spooky set by the door. but i would not have done that had they not asked me for that. and each one of those if i would go through, taught that course over a number of maybe four years, and each time syllabus was tweaked and changed a little. that tweaking and changing was a result of what my students asked me or brought to me. that is one example. another example is i want to taught a course on writings about black girls. it was both fiction the or
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fiction the bluest eye, and worker sociology introduce the night course. it was a most remarkable course i had the most wonderful students. they said to me we have to have an extra class at the are you kidding? it is in may. [laughter] i have never have a student ask for an extra class. but they wanted an extra class. and i said why? they said we have to talk about i don't know what to say about it just came out. the books we read spoke directly to that project i could never teach this again without having beyoncé on the
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syllabus. so, they have always done that. i am a better teacher, i've better courses because what they ask of me and inquire of me. and teach. >> that is excellent i love that bringing that into very current events that is awesome. >> on the one that i taught you something you see your moment different from what you read and now you can teach me about your moment. there is a reciprocity in that relationship. >> host: i want to classes. you talk at all about black narratives and fantasy work question we talk a lot about novels and fiction. >> in this book i do not. although it is interesting i have taught for years i've
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taught beutler. during that first year, that spring we were all forced home, i changed my syllabus henry ended the class with octavia butler's parable of the sower. it was so incredibly moving to read that book during this global pandemic that none of us could have imagined. when we left in march we thought we are going on spring break and we're going to see each other in a week and we didn't. reading that book that was set at the time she rode it was i set in a not too distant future but for us it was like this is our president right now. but it is speculative fiction. it was really remarkable
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reading it and in some ways itn could have been a realistic fiction we could have beent reading simply could not really speak to the weirdness of our moment. we had to move beyond realism in order to really speak to what we were all experiencing and going through. and they also change their assignment that semester. and rather have them only write a critical paper had them also do creative projects that responded too and some of the most interesting ones were the ones that responded to the secular chert fiction of octavia beutler. we went and this time it has to be so much more building community through that literature and what they're going through. >> guest: i think my book is very much about community.
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it is about primarily i could say the community that nurtured and cared for my mother and me after my father's death. but it's also about the community of readers. there will be people who are drawn to the book because they like the authors i write about. they were only people who do not know the office i read about pretty felt they feel welcome in the community of readers to pick those books up. and i think if nothing, this. we have been through his taught us even more about the need for community andty connection. and as alienating as it has been stirring into a computer was alienating in the beginning, i think it is also created kinds of community at the same time all over the world. that is also one of the things when i write about the musical
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events like the bose work community building. >> host: there is another question here, do you feel you understand now or is it all still a mystery? i'm not sure what they mean by now. >> so, people asked me that question about read until you understand. read until you understand is not a destination, it is a process. and so truthfully it means i will be reading for the rest of my life. and one of the things i know is the more i know, the more i read, the more i know i don't know. the more i know how much i don't know. it also might thirst for knowing grows. it is just a matter for me of always trying to understand,
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always trying to reach it. even with the books i talk about here, i have one understanding of them now after years of reading and teaching them. and i also know that each time i read them i have a different understanding or a see something i did not see before. or i identify with something differently. and so when i am 75 years old, and i am rereading this or i am reading something completely new, i know i would say i hope but i know i will still be discovering something. it is a constant, to read is to be in a constant state of discovery. the answer is do i understand? no. [laughter] i understand a little more and i am still trying to
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understand more. >> host: goodness. alright, i'm going to give you one last question. what is on your to read list? >> oh my goodness. >> it is so vast. i just read a new novel by dale jones a first novel in my 20 years i just finished that. i am reading the nigerian author new novel and reading that now i picked up jeffers love song and i did not want to put it down but i had to release other things of that sitting there waiting for me too read. birx unbound i want to read that. i have so many things there's a new book about roe v wade i want to read that i just saw this ask about the woman who brought the lawsuit.
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so yes, there is a whole stack. [laughter] the whole stack and i want to read all of that. sue and i'm sorry got one more question coming in i'm actually really, really curious about. thank you for sharing your to relist you are making my longer which is great. so, for some has months to read poetry what poets you recommend? like that is aat great question that is a great question. so, i love jeffersons now known because this epic novel she has written is known as a poet. she has a book that came out before this novel called the age which is about phyllis wheatley inspired bybo phyllis wheatley. i think that is a wonderful book. i recommend it to everyone.
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i love her problems but also her memoir. i love nikki finney. i like original dwayne betts, l i like elizabeth alexander. i think we are in a moment of and have been for the last ten years or so, of a real kind of a wealth of extraordinary poetry. and so i would say pick up a book, even if you do not understand it you might find yourself nonetheless drawn to the images and the language. and one final thing, i follow this twitter account. i do not who it is it's called creep poets. they will share bits of her
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poetry i guess translated from ancient greek. and every day they share it. if i cannot get any other poetry in i get it in through that twitter account. i recommend that. [laughter] picks i'm going to go follow that now, that is great. thank you so much. >> thank you for the opportunity i so enjoyed it. still it is there anything else in the last words you want to give even a plug obviously for your book? >> guest: i hope people read the book pretty hope they enjoy it. it is a gift for readers. and then, pick up some of the books i talk about if you have not read them and take a look at those as well. oh, i forgot to save thes, poets one of the last works i talked about briefly is the poet rita dove. it is the most amazing poet in the world. >> okay perfect it's on my list. well, thank you so much farah. thank you so much for sharing
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this with us. for all of you joining us from home, thanks for tuning in. if you like to buy book, copy affairs book which you aptly should you can do through our bookseller partner elliott bay. it's in the chat below. if you want to find more town s hall events but should go to town hall seattle.org. you can also donate there. this is a member organization so if you would like tonight l make sure to look into her membership options. other than that have a lovely evening everyone and good night. ♪ ♪ >> weekends on cspan2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's story and on sunday book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for cspan2 comes from these television companies and more. including spark light. >> the greatest child on earth is a place to call home.
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at spark like it is our home too. right now we're all facing our greatest challenge. that is space bar quite as working around the clock to keep you connected. we are doing our part so it's a little easier to do yours. >> spark light on the television company support cspan2 as a public service. >> good evening afternoon almost evening. i'm the associate director of public at the schomburg center for research and black culture for those who do not of the schomburg center's dedicated to the collection,on preservation and interpretation of global black a experiences where public archive all you need your library card to access collections by james baldwin, my and many other folks. i'm so excited to join tracy, lucy, jennifer, herb, or this conversation today because much of what almost taught us about is the schomburg is about unearthing

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