Everything changed in spring 2020, when life around the world retreated behind closed doors and gender inequalities and systemic racism were brought to new and shocking prominence. Women of all backgrounds and experiences were disproportionately affected by the crisis. Essential debate and action was, for a time, silenced. Then we re-emerged in protest and started to rethink our fight for equality. So, what happens now? This book is a unique collection of essays, interviews, and fiction by feminist writers.
In End State: 9 Ways in Which Society is Broken and how we fix it, James Plunkett argues that this can be a moment not of despair, but of historic opportunity – a chance to rethink, renew, and reform some of the most fundamental ways we organise society.
Jess Phillips MP, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding, is joined by comedian Francesca Martinez, activist and author Gina Miller, and James Plunkett, Executive Director of Citizens Advice.
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This event took place on: 20 November 2020.
For this in conversation event, novelists Tracy Chevalier, Nikita Lalwani and Stephanie Scott will read extracts from their latest works, followed by a panel discussion led by journalist Yvette Huddleston.
The authors will discuss their books and their own experiences and how they chime with the historical and contemporary themes and figures featured in our current exhibition, Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights. The event finishes with a Q&A session between the panel and the online audience.
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This event took place on: 28 October 2020.
‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer.’ – Zora Neale Hurston
Over a career that spanned more than 30 years, Zora Neale Hurston published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles and plays. Today, her work unites readers across the world, yet she died penniless, buried in an unmarked grave.
Black Girl’s Book Club co-founders Natalie Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry – who cite Neale Hurston as the ‘the patron saint of Black women’ – chair a conversation with poets Jackie Kay and Salena Godden about Hurston’s writing life, and how she has become regarded one of the most significant Black woman writers of the 20th century.
Presented in association with the Royal Society of Literature. This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
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This event took place on: 12 October 2020.
Linton Kwesi Johnson is presented with the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize.
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature. In memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter, the prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit resident in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize in Literature speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.
Linton Kwesi Johnson was chosen by this year’s judges; The Guardian’s Associate Editor for Culture Claire Armitstead; Dialogue Books Publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove, and author Max Porter. The judges said of Johnson: ‘Linton Kwesi Johnson is a poet, reggae icon, academic and campaigner, whose impact on the cultural landscape over the last half century has been colossal and multi-generational. His political ferocity and his tireless scrutiny of history are truly Pinteresque, as is the humour with which he pursues them.’
The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty, selected by Linton Kwesi Johnson from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson.
This event is available to the audiences and users of public libraries through the Living Knowledge Network.
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This event took place on: 19 November 2020.
Hosted by the renowned literary activist, writer and playwright Khadijah Ibrahiim, this special event features poets and artists from Yorkshire. We’ll begin with a panel discussion exploring women’s voices, activism and the fight for a fairer world featuring guest poet Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan.
This is followed by the screening of new short films featuring emerging writers from Studio12 in Leeds that Khadijah recently led mentoring sessions with. The event finishes with a performance from The Sunday Practise – a leading grassroots jam session, poets, DJs, musicians and vibes night from Leeds that represents a wide cultural perspective of women poets in the UK.
This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
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With Eddie S Glaude Jr. A searing indictment of racial injustice in America, inspired by the life and work of James Baldwin.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr of Princeton University follows the increasingly politicised journey of 'the poet of the revolution' James Baldwin, in the years from The Fire Next Time in 1963 to No Name in the Street in 1972. This was the time of the Civil Rights Movement, when attempts to force a confrontation with the truth of America's racism was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
In his new book Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Today, Glaude suggests we can find hope and guidance for our own times, a new era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography with history, memoir and trenchant analysis of our moment, Begin Again bears witness to the difficult truth of race in America. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to bring about a more just future.
Glaude will be in conversation with Rob Berkeley.
Click here to purchase <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/begin-again-james-baldwins-america-and-its-urgent-lessons-for-today-eddie-s-glaude-jr/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><b>Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today<b></b></a>