Long Way Down Play
Nov
4
4:00 PM16:00

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

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Long Way Down Play
Nov
4
1:30 PM13:30

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

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Long Way Down Play
Nov
3
4:00 PM16:00

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Nov
3
1:30 PM13:30

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Nov
2
7:00 PM19:00

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Nov
1
7:00 PM19:00

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Oct
28
1:30 PM13:30

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Oct
27
4:00 PM16:00

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

View Event →
Long Way Down Play
Oct
27
1:30 PM13:30

Long Way Down Play

long way down.jpg

Saturday, October 27, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Events for Young Audiences

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Age 12+

ON SALE: JULY 16, 2018

World premiere Kennedy Center commission

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors.

D.C.-area native Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he?

Most enjoyed by age 12 and up. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Stay after for a Deeper Dive
After all performances, special guest experts will engage audiences in a conversation that unpacks the themes presented on stage.

https://celeta-tillery-p2hl.squarespace.com/config/pages/5afcd655562fa78cc7e5654e

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Jabari Asim: We Can't Breathe
Oct
17
7:00 PM19:00

Jabari Asim: We Can't Breathe

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In Conversation with Wesley Lowery

Critically acclaimed writer Jabari Asim presents his collection of insightful and searing essays that celebrate the vibrancy and strength of black history and culture in America.

In We Can’t Breathe, Jabari Asim disrupts what Toni Morrison has exposed as the “Master Narrative” and replaces it with a story of black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. In eight wide-ranging and penetrating essays, he explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn’t depend on a narrative steeped in oppression but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories.

Jabari Asim was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. For eleven years, he was an editor at the Washington Post, where he also wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture and social issues, and he has been the editor in chief of Crisis magazine, the NAACP's flagship journal of politics, culture and ideas, since 2007. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts and the author of four books for adults, including The N Word, and six books for children.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter for the Washington Post who covers law enforcement and justice, and the author of They Can't Kill Us All: The Story of the Struggle for Black Lives. He was the Post's lead reporter in Ferguson, Missouri and covering the Black Lives Matter protest movement, and was a member of the team awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for the paper's coverage of police shootings. His reporting has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House
Oct
8
4:00 PM16:00

Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House

We are delighted to welcome back Baltimore resident and White House correspondent, April Ryan. She will be discussing an unprecedented inside view of the Trump White House and signing copies of her new book, UNDER FIRE: Reporting From The Front Lines Of The Trump White House.

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Jennifer Baker, Jason Reynolds & Hasanthika Sirisena: Everyday People
Sep
26
7:00 PM19:00

Jennifer Baker, Jason Reynolds & Hasanthika Sirisena: Everyday People

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The editor and two contributors come together to discuss Everyday People: The Color of Life, a dazzling collection of contemporary short fiction.

Everyday People is a thoughtfully curated anthology of short stories that presents new and renowned work by established and emerging writers of color. It illustrates the dynamics of character and culture that reflect familial strife, political conflict, and personal turmoil through an array of stories that reveal the depth of the human experience.

Representing a wide range of styles, themes, and perspectives, these selected stories depict moments that linger—crossroads to be navigated, relationships, epiphanies, and times of doubt, loss, and discovery. A celebration of writing and expression, Everyday Peoplebrings to light the rich tapestry that binds us all.

The contributors are an eclectic mix of award-winning and critically lauded writers, including Mia Alvar, Carleigh Baker, Nana Brew-Hammond, Glendaliz Camacho, Alexander Chee, Mitchell S. Jackson, Yiyun Li, Allison Mills, Courttia Newland, Dennis Norris II, Jason Reynolds, Nelly Rosario, Hasanthika Sirisena, and Brandon Taylor.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of Everyday People will benefit the Rhode Island Writers Colony, a nonprofit organization founded by the late Brook Stephenson that provides space for speculation, production, and experimentation by writers of color.

“A delight and highly recommended.” —Booklist

“Showcases the truth and fullness of people of color.” —Book Riot

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional, the creator and host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and a contributing editor to Electric Literature. She also works with the nonprofit I, Too Arts Collective. She is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow and Queens Council of the Arts New Work Grant winner. Her writing has appeared in Newtown Literary, where her story was nominated for a Pushcart Prize; Poets & Writers magazine; the Other Stories podcast; The Offing; and The Female Complaint anthology from Shade Mountain Press.

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Carol Anderson for One Person, No Vote
Sep
18
6:30 PM18:30

Carol Anderson for One Person, No Vote

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From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, the startling – and timely – history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin.

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of White Rage, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bourgeois Radicals, and Eyes off the Prize. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Politics and Prose & GW Present DeRay Mckesson
Sep
7
7:00 PM19:00

Politics and Prose & GW Present DeRay Mckesson

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Join DeRay Mckesson – the civil rights leader and host of Pod Save the People – for a timely conversation on social justice. DeRay will explore today’s issues and discuss the subtle structures and inherent biases that impact us all. He will examine the themes of his book ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM, a meditation on resistance and intimate portrait of the Black Lives Matter movement. DeRay will be joined by special guests for an unmissable conversation about inclusion, community, and progress.

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April Ryan - Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House
Sep
4
7:00 PM19:00

April Ryan - Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House

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Veteran White House reporter April Ryan thought she had seen everything in her two decades as a White House correspondent. And then came the Trump administration. In Under Fire, Ryan takes us inside the confusion and chaos of the Trump White House to understand how she and other reporters adjusted to the new normal. She takes us inside the policy debates, the revolving door of personnel appointments, and what it is like when she, as a reporter asking difficult questions, finds herself in the spotlight, becoming part of the story. With the world on edge and a country grappling with a new controversy almost daily, Ryan gives readers a glimpse into current events from her perspective, not only from inside the briefing room but also as a target of those who want to avoid answering probing questions. After reading her new book, readers will have an unprecedented inside view of the Trump White House and what it is like to be a reporter Under Fire.

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18th Library of Congress National Book Festival
Sep
1
8:30 AM08:30

18th Library of Congress National Book Festival

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The 18th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 1. The event is free and open to the public. NOTE: Visitors can expect enhanced safety and security measures when entering the Convention Center.

Author Stages

Amazing authors, illustrators and poets will make presentations on stages dedicated to kids, fiction, history, poetry, contemporary life and more. Many fascinating thematic programs and panel discussions will be offered throughout the festival. 

Family-Friendly Activities on the Expo Floor

The exposition floor on the lower level of the Convention Center will also offer a wide array of fun and exciting activities and programs for festival attendees of all ages. From the literacy corner reading space to special story times and a fun hunt for Waldo, festival sponsors will offer family-friendly activities throughout the day.

Keep Up with the Festival

To keep up with the most current news on the Library of Congress National Book Festival, follow us via one of the ways below:

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Robert W. Turner II - Not for Long: The Life and Career of the NFL Athlete
Aug
6
7:00 PM19:00

Robert W. Turner II - Not for Long: The Life and Career of the NFL Athlete

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As the public becomes more aware of the health risks associated with football, other aspects of pro ball are also coming under scrutiny. Turner, a research scientist in the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke who once played professionally, faults the NFL for a labor agreement that provides little job security and few health and retirement benefits, while its refusal to share power with players ensures that the system doesn’t change. Drawing on interviews with more than one hundred current and past NFL players, Turner shows that the league’s policies are directly responsible for leaving former players with chronic pain, financial ruin, and few marketable job skills.

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Michael Arceneaux - I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé — in conversation with Demetria L. Lucas Tuesday, July 31, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Jul
31
7:00 PM19:00

Michael Arceneaux - I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé — in conversation with Demetria L. Lucas Tuesday, July 31, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Bitingly funny and deeply incisive, Arceneaux’s essays chart the journey of a brave and outspoken Black man determined to claim his place in a society that seems to have no room for him. A writer and cultural commentator for venues including The GuardianNew York Magazine, MSNBC, VH1, and NPR, Arceneaux offers his distinctive sharp takes on sexuality, religion, race, and Beyoncé, interwoven with his own experiences. He movingly recounts growing up in Houston, coming out to his mother, being approached for the priesthood, and struggling with intimacy, fire ants, and, possibly, fleas. Arceneaux will be in conversation with Demetria L. Lucas, D.C.-based author and journalist who writes the popular online advice column, “Ask Demetria.”

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Ibtihaj Muhammad - Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream
Jul
28
3:30 PM15:30

Ibtihaj Muhammad - Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream

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From being the only African-American Muslim wearing a hijab in her hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, to being the first veiled American woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics, Muhammad has always stood out, as much for her prodigious talent as for her courage and faith. Though she started fencing at the late age of thirteen, she quickly pushed beyond state and collegiate championships to become a five-time Senior World medalist and Olympic bronze medalist. But her athletic triumphs are only one part of Muhammad’s prodigious achievements. Her memoir is an unflinching account of how she turned around the bias and opposition she faced from the beginning, earning a spot on TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People In the World, serving as a sports ambassador for the U.S. State Department, and inspiring the first hijabi Barbie.

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Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ - Stay With Me — in conversation with Tayla Burney
Jul
21
6:00 PM18:00

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ - Stay With Me — in conversation with Tayla Burney

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Now available in paperback, Adébáyọ̀’s electrifying debut novel was shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction and appeared on many Best Of 2017 lists. Set in the turbulent Nigeria of the 1980s, the narrative focuses on Akin and Yejide, who met at university and have been happily married for four years. To Akin’s family, however, the childless marriage is a failure, and they pressure Akin into taking a second wife. Shocked that her husband has broken their vow not to practice polygamy, Yejide does everything she can to get pregnant, but her success may be the death blow to her happiness. Told from both Akin’s and Yejide’s perspectives, this intimate and moving novel powerfully conveys the ambivalence of people caught between their own dreams and traditional Yoruba ways. Adébáyọ̀ will be in conversation with producer and writer Tayla Burney.

This event is in partnership with the Young African Professionals D.C. Network, a network of more than 10,000 young African professionals in the D.C. Metro Area with the mission of connecting young African professionals in the diaspora for career development and opportunity creation.

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The President’s Reading Series Presents: Colson Whitehead
Jul
19
6:30 AM06:30

The President’s Reading Series Presents: Colson Whitehead

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Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad, which in 2016 won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as The Noble HustleZone OneSag HarborThe IntuitionistJohn Henry DaysApex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. He lives in New York City.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Kyle Dargan, Celeste Doaks, and Denise Low, moderated by Christian Teresi - Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump's America
Jul
17
7:00 PM19:00

Kyle Dargan, Celeste Doaks, and Denise Low, moderated by Christian Teresi - Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump's America

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The voices raised against Trump and his ideology of hatred are diverse, powerful, engaged, and empathetic. Their individual experiences and social consciousness resonate through this important collection of poems written in resistance to xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and authoritarianism. Join contributors Kyle Dargan, Cave Canem and Hurston/Wright Legacy award winner, the author of books including Honest Engine, and associate professor of literature at American; celeste doaks, a journalist, author of the poetry collection Cornrows and Cornfields, and contributor to Not Without our Laughter; and Denise Low, former Kansas poet laureate and author of two dozen books of prose and poetry, including The Turtle’s Beating Heart and A Casino Bestiary, for a reading and discussion of poetry in the era of Trump, moderated by Christian Teresi, Director of Conferences at Association of Writers & Writing Programs.

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DC Jazz by Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble
Jul
17
6:30 PM18:30

DC Jazz by Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble

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The familiar history of jazz music in the United States begins with its birth in New Orleans, moves upstream along the Mississippi River to Chicago, and then by rail into New York, before exploding across the globe. However, the rich history of jazz in the nation’s capital is often overlooked. Some of the most important clubs in the jazz world have opened and closed their doors in Washington, DC, while some of its greatest players and promoters were born there like Duke Ellington, Chuck Brown and Charlie Byrd. Several DC institutions are imperative to the national support of this iconic American form of music, including Congress, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. A network of local schools, churches, informal associations, music venues and jazz clubs keeps the music alive today.

In DC Jazz, editors Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble present a collection of fascinating stories about the DC jazz scene throughout its history, including a portrait of the cultural hotbed of Seventh and U Streets, the role of jazz in desegregating the city, a portrait of the great Edward “Duke” Ellington’s time in DC, notable women in DC jazz, and the seminal contributions of the University of District of Columbia and Howard University. The book also includes three jazz poems by celebrated Washington, DC poet E. Ethelbert Miller. Collectively, these stories and poems underscore the deep connection between creativity and place.

MAURICE JACKSON teaches History and African American Studies at Georgetown University and is the author of Let This Voice be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism. He is a 2009 inductee into the Washington, DC Hall of Fame and was inaugural chair of the DC Commission of African American Affairs.

BLAIR RUBLE is a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Director of the Program's Urban Policy Laboratory. Previously, he served as the Center's Vice President for Programs, and earlier as the Director of the Kennen Institute while also coordinating the Center's programming in the Comparative Urban studies/Urban Sustainability Laboratory for 25 years. He has edited more than a dozen volumes, and is the author of six monographic studies, including Washington's U Street: A Biography

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Terrance Hayes - American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Jul
16
7:00 PM19:00

Terrance Hayes - American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

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Written during the first two hundred days of the Trump presidency, these charged sonnets mark “the umpteenth slump / In our humming democracy, a bumble bureaucracy.” Angry, sarcastic, and playful, Hayes explores, reinterprets, and riffs on the meanings of “American,” “assassin,” and “future.” Notable Americans he turns to include James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Toni Morrison, but he also has to reckon with “James Earl Ray Dylann Roof... /…George Zimmerman John Wilkes Booth.”  The author of acclaimed books including Hip Logic, How to Be Drawn, and the National Book Award-winning Lighthead, Hayes has consistently been one of the most innovative and technically accomplished poets, and here he brilliantly reinvents the Renaissance sonnet as a specifically “American sonnet that is part prison,/part panic closet …/that is part music box, part meat/grinder,” because, as he says, “when the wound/ is deep, the healing is heroic.”

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Vivica A. Fox: Everyday I'm Hustling
Jul
13
7:00 PM19:00

Vivica A. Fox: Everyday I'm Hustling

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Atlas Presents

Vivica A. Fox: Every Day I’m Hustling

Co-presented by Solid State Books

Vivica A. Fox brings her signature style, wit, and wisdom to the page in her new book Every Day I’m Hustling.

Vivica A. Fox is a dynamo who has created a lasting career on her own, through sheer, roll-up-your-sleeves DIY hustle. Every Day I’m Hustling is a personal book with a message Fox passionately believes in: that you make your own luck, that you never ever wake up in the morning thinking somebody’s going to call you and offer you that part or ask you out on that date that’s going to change your life, that you have to wake up and put on your longest eyelashes and fiercest heels and go out and make your life happen yourself.

The actress provides start-today strategies for success in business and “been there” lessons in love, buttressed with stories from her early family life all the way through to today. Always honest and alwaysfunny, Fox also tells behind-the-scenes tales from some of her biggest movies, such as Uma Thurman’s life-changing advice during Kill Bill and Will Smith’s downtime pep talk on Independence Day. And she maps out exactly what it took to come back with a role on the smash hit Empire and her own frisky show on Lifetime, Vivica’s Black Magic. She also shares her how-is-she-53? secrets to looking your best, no matter the age on your driver’s license.

Book signing with the artist following the performance

Praise for Every Day I’m Hustling

“Like her spot-on portrayals in front of the camera, she is totally entertaining as an author. Every Day I’m Hustlingis a feel-good fairy tale-like narrative in which the heroine, who comes from a humble midwestern family, works hard and accomplishes her dream. What separates this from other celebrity memoirs is Fox’s realness.” —Essence magazine

“Fox’s plainspoken prose is entertaining and her fans will appreciate her beauty tips, style secrets, and frankness about aging in Hollywood.” —Library Journal

“Fox does not hold back about the amount of hard work it takes to make it in Hollywood, or anywhere else. It was refreshing to hear the real stories of what it took to get there…. If you’re ready to get to the next level and want real advice about how to get there, pick up this book today.” —Her magazine

“More than a simple memoir, Fox also offers advice for overcoming the everyday struggles of life and career.” —ABC News

Vivica A. Fox is an actress, producer, and TV host. After getting her start in soap operas, most notably Generations, she went on to star in Independence DayKill Bill, and the hit FOX show Empire. She was also the recipient of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her work on the lifetime series Missing. Vivica lives in Los Angeles. 

Special thanks to Solid State Books

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Books Are Magic Presents Deray Mckesson
Jul
5
7:00 PM19:00

Books Are Magic Presents Deray Mckesson

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Join DeRay Mckesson - the internationally recognized civil rights leader and host of the podcast Pod Save the People - for a timely conversation on culture, social justice, and politics. Drawing from his own experiences as an organizer, educator, and public official, DeRay will explore the issues of the day and discuss the subtle structures and inherent biases that impact our communities. The conversation will also examine the core themes of DeRay's upcoming first book, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM: The Case for Hope, a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of the Black Lives Matter movement from the front lines. DeRay will be joined by special guests for a live, no-holds-barred conversation about inclusion, community, and progress designed to empower a new generation of leaders.

Every ticket includes a copy of ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM by DeRay Mckesson (a $25 value).

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Nell Painter - Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over
Jul
1
1:00 PM13:00

Nell Painter - Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school―in her sixties―to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, even as she comes to understand how they may be undervalued; and struggles with the unstable balance between the pursuit of art and the inevitable, sometimes painful demands of a life fully lived.

How are women and artists seen and judged by their age, looks, and race? What does it mean when someone says, “You will never be an artist”? Who defines what “An Artist” is and all that goes with such an identity, and how are these ideas tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference?

Old in Art School is Nell Painter’s ongoing exploration of those crucial questions. Bringing to bear incisive insights from two careers, Painter weaves a frank, funny, and often surprising tale of her move from academia to art.

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Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America
Jun
22
7:00 PM19:00

Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America

Rooted in his own powerful personal story, twenty-one-year-old Zachary Wood shares his dynamic perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions--in a world that sorely needs to learn to listen.

As the president of the student group Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, Zachary Wood knows all about intellectual controversy. From John Derbyshire to Charles Murray, there's no one Zach refuses to debate or engage with simply because he disagrees with their beliefs--sometimes vehemently so--and this controversial view has given him a unique platform on college campuses and in the media. 

But Zach has never shared the details of his own personal story, and how he came to be a crusader for open dialogue and free speech. In Uncensored, he reveals for the first time how he grew up poor and black in Washington, D.C. in an environment where the only way to survive was to resist the urge to write people off because of their backgrounds and their perspectives.

By sharing his troubled upbringing--from a difficult early childhood filled with pain, uncertainty, and conflict to the struggles of code-switching between his home in a rough neighborhood and his elite private school--Zach makes a compelling argument for a new way of interacting with others, in a nation and a world that has never felt more polarized. In Uncensored, he hopes to foster a new outlook on society's most difficult conversations, both on campus and beyond.

 

About the Author

Zachary R. Wood is a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal and a class of 2018 graduate of Williams College, where he served as president of Uncomfortable Learning, a student group that sparked national controversy for inviting provocative speakers to campus. His recent work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Nation, The Weekly Standard, Times Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed. A Washington, D.C. native, Wood currently resides in New York City.

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Maurice Jackson, Blair A. Ruble, Bridget Arnwine, and Judith Korey - D.C. Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, D.C.
Jun
17
1:00 PM13:00

Maurice Jackson, Blair A. Ruble, Bridget Arnwine, and Judith Korey - D.C. Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, D.C.

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The familiar history of jazz music in the United States begins with its birth in New Orleans, moves upstream along the Mississippi River to Chicago, then by rail into New York before exploding across the globe. That telling of history, however, overlooks the pivotal role the nation's capital has played for jazz for a century. Some of the most important clubs in the jazz world have opened and closed their doors in Washington, DC, some of its greatest players and promoters were born there and continue to reside in the area, and some of the institutions so critical to national support of this uniquely American form of music, including Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., are rooted in the city. Closer to the ground, a network of local schools like the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts, jazz programs at the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University, churches, informal associations, locally focused media, and clubs keeps the music alive to this day.

Noted historians Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble, editors of this book, present a collection of original and fascinating stories about the DC jazz scene throughout its history, including a portrait of the cultural hotbed of Seventh and U Streets, the role of jazz in desegregating the city, a portrait of the great Edward "Duke" Ellington's time in DC, notable women in DC jazz, and the seminal contributions of the University of District of Columbia and Howard University to the scene. The book also includes three jazz poems by celebrated Washington, DC, poet E. Ethelbert Miller. Collectively, these stories and poems underscore the deep connection between creativity and place. A copublishing initiative with the Historical Society of Washington, DC, the book includes over thirty museum-quality photographs and a guide to resources for learning more about DC jazz.

This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
Click here for more information.

 

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