Come celebrate the paperback release of The Long Songs of W.E.B DuBois with author, Honoree Fanonne Jeffers & Jacqueline Allen Tremble.
When: May 10 at 7PM CST
Where: Virtual via Crowdcast
How: Register on this page or head over to register on Crowdcast directly using this link. If you register using our website (with or without purchasing the book) and not Crowdcast, you will register a Crowdcast watch link at least 24 hours before the start of the event.
About the Book
“My life had its significance and its only deep significance because it was part of a Problem,” W. E. B. Du Bois once wrote. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood these words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother, the descendant of slaves and tenant farmers—Ailey carries the weight of this Problem on her shoulders.
The daughter of an accomplished doctor and a strict schoolteacher, Ailey is raised in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. Growing up, she struggles with this duality, a battle for belonging that shapes her identity. On one side are her exacting parents and her imperious, light-skinned grandmother Nana Claire, to whom skin color is paramount. On the other, Ailey feels the pull of the “deep country” of her mother’s land-tending family, whose forebears endured the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow.
But how can Ailey live up to everyone’s expectations when half of her family rejects the truth of a fraught racial history, while the rest can’t ever seem to break away from it?
About the Author
Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a fiction writer, poet, and essayist. She is the author of five poetry collections, including the 2020 NBA-nominated collection The Age of Phillis. She was a contributor to The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward, and has been published in the Kenyon Review, Iowa Review, and other literary publications. Jeffers was elected into the American Antiquarian Society, whose members include fourteen U.S. presidents, and is Critic at Large for Kenyon Review. She teaches creative writing and literature at University of Oklahoma.
About the Moderator
JACQUELINE ALLEN TRIMBLE lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is a professor of English and chairs the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. She a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow (Poetry), an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow and a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including The Griot, The Offing, The Louisville Review, and Blue Lake Review. American Happiness (2016), her first collection, published by NewSouth Books, won the Balcones Poetry Prize. Trimble's next collection, How to Survive the Apocalypse, is forthcoming from NewSouth Books in fall of 2022.