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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.
In this intimate conversation with Polarbear (Steven Camden), Kevin Brooks and Jenny Valentine reveal their personal writing processes and the journey behind telling internationally best-selling stories for young adult audiences. This event is part of Storytalks, a series of talks from the UK’s storytelling experts programmed as part of Evolve, an imaginative programme of events and artworks within Devon’s Libraries. This event was livestreamed from Exeter Library on 15 August 2019. It is recommended for ages 13+.
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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.
This event will be available to watch again soon.
The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s.
As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about her new book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose.
Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle.
Bessie’s life was as tempestuous as it was extraordinary. Born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows alongside the likes of Ma Rainey. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies.
Smith’s life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of ‘bathtub gin’, got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Her gorgeous and powerful voice, unapologetic songs and bold personality have been an inspiration to many ever since.
<b>Purchase your copy of Jackie Kay's <i>Bessie Smith</i> <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/bessie-smith-jackie-kay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></b>
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Multiple Grammy award-winning entertainment icon Dolly Parton is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, author, businesswoman, the queen of country and a Glastonbury show-stopper. She was born in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Tennessee, the fourth of 12 children. Her father was a sharecropper who couldn’t read or write, but Dolly credits him as the inspiration for her Imagination Library, a book gifting programme devoted to giving children a love of reading, with over 100 million books distributed so far. Dolly’s prodigious musical output includes such classics as 9 to 5, Coat of Many Colours, I will Always Love You and Jolene. She also loves libraries, a lot.
Sara Cox celebrates 25 years of broadcasting by chatting to her all time hero Dolly Parton! Over her career Sara has hosted various shows on BBC Radio 1 and now has her dream job hosting Radio 2’s teatime show. She is also the host of the book discussion show Between The Covers as well as Back in Time and Love in the Countryside for BBC2. She had a Sunday Times bestseller with her memoir about growing up on the family farm Till the Cows Come Home and is currently working on her debut novel.
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>