Two Remarkable Young Writers on Being Black in America
This year, Arlington Public Library’s annual one-theme, one-community read focuses on race in America, as seen through the works of Jesmyn Ward and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – one born in the United States and the other who still calls Africa home.
The 2013 memoir focuses on five young black men lost to drugs, accidents, murder and suicide in her small hometown of DeLisle, Miss. The dead include her younger brother, killed by a drunk driver. “Time” magazine says “Men We Reaped” is “[l]avishly endowed with literary craft and hard-earned wisdom.” Ward is an English professor at Tulane University.
It’s the story of a Nigerian college student who rises to blogger fame describing what she calls the “Racial Disorder Syndrome” of her new American life. The New York Times named “Americanah” one of the Ten Best Books of 2013 and the Boston Globe called it “utterly transfixing… [u]nforgettable.” Adichie can be heard reading her essay “We Should All Be Feminists” on the recent Beyoncé track, “Flawless.”
Following news headlines from Ferguson, Mo., New York, Cleveland and other cities in 2014, the social media hashtag “#Blacklivesmatter” was named Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society.
Arlington Reads 2015 author events are free and begin at 7 p.m. in Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, Va. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.