tv Panel Discussion on Race CSPAN August 28, 2016 6:30pm-7:33pm EDT
>> [inaudible conversations] good morning welcome to the mississippi book festival. a little housekeeping first. silencesilence their cell phoneu would in terms of books outside the capitol building on mississippi st. there are a number of booksellers who will have the adjacent to mississippi st. is also the signing tent. in the back page of the brochure
you will see the fantastic schedule. authors will not necessarily be on immediately after the panel suggests check the author name and time on the brochure. we are delighted to have c-span broadcasting live this morning so welcome to jackson. the panel will also be shown at october so if you want to review it again. thank you for the state legislature for the use of the facilities today and also the authors and moderators for being with us this morning. the first panel was sponsored by the university of mississippi friends of the university library. now i will introduce the panel moderator this morning from mississippi who received her ba from stanford university and from the university of michigan. she served as the resident in mississippi and was the author of the novel where the line we
goboth won the national book awd for fiction. she's also the editor of this new book just out this month. we are at work as the associate professor writing at tulane university she lives in mississippi. so welcome, thank you. >> i am really happy to be here and with the turnout. this is one of the biggest crowds i've ever seen on a panel that i've done, so that's great. welcome to the mississippi book festival. i'm going to tell you a little bit about the collection first and then introduced the panelists and get started with questions.
so i can see in the wake of trayvon martin it's still desperate for conversations and finally turned to james baldwin, sharp, brutally honest. next time a letter to his nephew and have an essay on religion i found a voice that affirmed by value and despair that so many years ago encouraged me to keep trudging forward. i goofed to create such a document for a generation to gather and preserve new places to reckon on the american streets and to serve as witness. here with me today are four of my fellow contributors are the honorary jones and lehman.
the editor at large mobs top metropolis a new york city activist visiting fellow at the institute for advanced studies and culture at the university of virginia and visiting scholar for public knowledge at new york university. he writes about culture and the arts and is currently at work on a book walking. i'm sorry i'm reading these out of order. [applause] the honorary poet, writer and critic has received fellowships from the national endowment of the arts and the foundation through the library of congress. she's the author of four books and poetry and is at work on a fixed exploration of the life and times of the 18th century
poet. [applause] jones has been published in npr, scratch magazine. she's received fellowships from penn center usa and is currently a candidate in fiction and scholar in the program for writers at warren wilson college. [applause] finally, lehma laymon is the auf long divisions the essay collection how to slowly kill your self and others in america and a forthcoming memoir called
heavy, kiese laymon. [applause] >> so, let's jump right in. i thought i would lead by asking a question about james baldwin. why not. when i was searching for a brighter on the contemporary american black experience, he felt inevitable. he was an expatriate most of his adult life and died nearly 30 years ago. so my question for you all is what makes the writing continues to resonate and do you turn to him as i do for comfort and solace? >> the first thing i should say is i was recently promoted to full professor. [applause][a
my colleagues might be watching this morning. james baldwin i have a very involved relationship with him because my father was friends with him and so when i first encountered his name, i encountered it as my dad mentioning they hung out in the village together and everything and then i met him when i was 14 and i remember his assistant coming up behind him and tracing the code and i thought that's going to be me, right? but as an adult and graduate anl school, his words.
[inaudible] talking about the 60s, but if we hadn't loved each other we wouldn't have served the riots. timtime and again that's when i returned and he writes with vibrancy. it is this belief in the potency of love and tend to think here is another moment is this vibrant, cohesive, forcefulnothr thing just to see more deeply and to not only one of the
wonderful things about him is that he argues for humanity and people treated less than that so he's never in search of an enemy and is continually recognized and how much the degradation of how we can ourselves and what it means to argue as a human beinga complex and that we are never let off the hook for the remin responsibility of the race there are criticisms that doesn't preclude the responsibility to love and ou love doesn't preclue
us criticizing people. it's a potent love and how it should undergird a [inaudible] >> i think baldwin's word has resonated with me ever since i read it but it designates more during the presidential election because that's when we see the most magnificent lie to us and one of the things the work encourages me to do at this moment particularly when we have
the right hearkening back to this path on the left rallying the american exceptionalism that still seems to disregard the experiences of a lot of us on this panel he was and is saying that american is rooted in deception and dishonesty and there is no way to get from point a to b.. particularly in the political seasons when we see america on display i think that his work i a reminder of what we could be. >> when i think of baldwin he is very much attached to my childhood i grew up in harlem and as the child interested inbi the arts it was a beautiful
time. there was a reclamation of our heroes especially our literary. there was a time when langston hughes, these people were not far off ideas. they were not people i discovered in college. they were part of my elementary school so when i learned about baldwin it felt like i was walking into a place i wanted to be the rest of my life. he felt like as well as the others a supreme example of the kind of harlem i wanted to be and the artist i wanted to be in the world and things i wanted to do for myself and community. >> i have another question for you all.
you think that it's heartbreak in the history of the world but then you read the books that taught me of the things that tormented me most were the things that connected me with all the people who were alive who had ever been alive. so my question was that experiencexperienceparticipatinn as writers we all write in isolation and we are published individually. what felt different about it as a reader and a writer how does e it feel? sputnik i was born on july 23. i share a birthday with monica lewinsky. it's a motley crew.
one of the things as a poet who does historical research what i find interesting now at 49 is the way that younger folks look at baldwin but we need to take him in his historical context. we look at him as one of the great prophets. but in the contemporaries one of the things that someone who does history, it sticks out like a sore thumb because it's about tt be 18th century and i'm sure some people are flipping through like what does this have to do with police brutality. the thing that struck me is that you want the first people that suffered is that the 18th
century is a black wives matter. the british were the police force. there were all these other black men who were agitating for is th liberty and for citizenship. i'm writing about black men and a couple of people were like why are you writing about black men, but i do think history is important because when youhi reconfigure the present, you also reconfigure the past so that's what i think about baldwin.
he was then celebrated as a profit during his time, but his words are very timely all youop have to do is: social media and constantly see these quotes by him. i found this interesting because the movement despised him. now we are all realizing he was like abraham. >> you have four walls and can feel like you are writing in a void.but the furthermore confident writer it might be that same silence
handed out to the response. one of the marvelous things about being in this book is to have the war responding. one of the things i come back ty again is [inaudible] escape that sense of solidarity and speaking of friendship and the definition when i was looking at us, you so this book did that and said my experiences are not my own.en so there is a sense of
solidarity and friendshiparity thinking this is how we would survive. since yoto have your experienced in a place that is challenged and have that affected but when he was writing to his nephew and he got into this issue of innocence he said see what's going on and people can speak to your grandmother's integrity. she has seen all these things. the things here is that book multitude of witnesses saying here's what it's like.
here's what it' it's been like d here are some possibilities and here are some of the limitations imposed. we tried to improvise cockfight come in here we are in the multitude of richness and more than anything it reminded met that what happens to us is not the entire story of who we are. we are more than what has happened to us and so reading this book became a potent reminder of the end it wasso parked friendship, part testimony, part inspiration. >> during the baltimore uprisings, i witnessed a lot of that on twitter and i would be
about one, two, 3:00 in the morning and i did a lot of that with another contributor in the book and there wouldn't be much to say except i can't believe this, i can't believe this is happening. now in hindsight i realize how o much damage watching hour after hour after hour with the footage did but i felt like i wanted to be a witness to that at the time and so when i see my name again with all of these others it really does feel like i want to support you in this way because even after we close our browsers and laptops we still have to go out into the world and navigate
it affirmed for me tha confirmee all going through this kind of up here on this level i know people are here for me. >> i think public expressions are part of the reason we are still here. when i saw my name in the book and i got the hardcover, i was just -- i'm from jackson. you are the greatest writer in the world so i was like i made it. [applause]
[laughter] >> i felt the same way. and we got paid. >> the second thing i felt during the process when people ask me to use the word often i say no because i don't have the word to write the essay so with this particular an anthology when she said do you want me and some other folks i was like there are a lot of differentke things they could have given that i wanted something that speaks to this nuance. and i can say a lot of people have asked me and i would have
anthologized piece. i wouldn't have felt comfortable with what was on either side of peace and i think that these folks provided massive amounts k of history.of histo i think tha that's pushed againt this notion of the endangered mail so it sounds like it -- it felt like it found its way home. i'm really thankful and happy. >> can i just say one littleapp. thing because i told myself i would never be on another race panel. because i just got tired ofl. explaining how bad it was to be a black person because that isn't the entire experience.
but when you asked, i said all right. when my agent came to me and said okay, i'm on it and then they said you are getting paid. okay then. [laughter] thank you for those groceries, by the way. i appreciate that. [applause] can i see this quickly because i haven't had an opportunity toe] thank you all in person but i'd like to thank you all for agreeing to be a part of this. i am really proud of it and i'm so happy that we were able to come together to do this because i think it is a great book. so thank you so much. [applause]pers
i hope you don't get mad at me when i ask you this question. does this anthology provide more answers or questions? the second part of the question is what questions are you sitting with right now? i think that's what kiese laymon said about representing black joy is important if we recall that germinal.
i hope i don't make anyone mad asking this question. why is it always black people that are a race and white people do like they have a race. my question as i finished this, because we are the ones that invented race. emmanuelle and david invented race and we are living with the wages is interesting to me when i teach my students and i say to them when you write a story, why is it that no one has a race until the covered person walks into the room.
i'm curious why aren't there any books where white people examine, and even now i could feel people flinching in the room. if you say african-american or native woman but if you seeif white woman, people start jumping like you are accusing them of something. i'm not accusing anyone of somei anything. i do wonder why it is that this is our burden to discuss. i welcome the challenge, but i would like my brothers and sisters, lgbtq etc. to examine what race means and not from
this place where it explains who they person. i would love to have a real intellectual engagement with what that means. and i'm curious why hasn't it happened. that is why question. >> it's hard to answer. i have encountered different people that have read their bo book. one of the things about the book in the voices in the past and present trying to play the profit if the different ones meet you in a different place and so i remember the first time
the question is more the answers and what it looks like that than in the collection is a conversation with all these others that began emerging. .. essays, suddenly these questions began emerging. what might joy look like when we think of lineage. how should we think of lineage, how, how is heritage an important part in important inheritance that ought to be celebrated. how do we write about family, what issues we belong in with identity. with love? >> certainly we have found them all emerging.
it is a traffic thing about the book is things are emerging because of the conversation in the book. so i wrote an essay before and i thought all this is marvelous. and suddenly a question thatall emerges because of this book and it happened with individuals. so from essay to essay for myself thinking i have more questions and more answers. her wonderful sense of how to deal with this. but also even as a writer one of the things it did was it started giving me answers has a way to write myself out of differentdi problems. or ways to write myself and problems. i recognize that this has not been a problem for me as a writer. and. and actually it is a shortcoming. so how do you as a writer dealha with terrible pain, but write about it in a way that does not become burdensome. it doesn't feel like a way that you cannot
extract yourself from under. so there are some answers there and to say here are some ways to confront head-on but still recognize that our human it see doesn't reduce us to one response, there is joy,s come complexity, complexity on trend confusion. as i write one of the things is how i write and try to bring people's attention to the ways in which a group in which people have often been marginalized, often often had limitations put on them. i remember they kept insisting that in limitations and adhere to the expectation, here's what you have been told that you're
capable of or incapable of. part of the reason i'm writing this to you, readiness for you is to show you that you can transcend that. it is no wonder in his first line that i begin this five times and to rip it up because of this difficulty. and how to wife say here are all of the different ways in which the world has seen you in that are reductionistic. i want to write in a way to let you transcend all of these forces, all this relentless, this relentless, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. in these different frustrations that are in a place in front of you commented and on top of you. so one of of the questions i i have is how do i convey all of that but at the same time convey the amazing and propositions that people have executed to get around it. highway right in a way -- how do
i write in a way that you can put someone in yourself and someone's shoes. where than anything is the question that has not since i've written the book is how do we forcefully make the case for humanity in but at the same time appealing to our common humanity. what are are the ways in which we can point to which but also not pointing on the other side of the bridge. what are are ways that a firm very strongly forcefully in a human case people who are like, white, at the same time make it clear to others that it is not an attempt to exclude. that by dictating others you have thereby degraded yourself.
>> as i was writing, the question that stayed with me, the question that continues to stay with me is what happened to sandra bland. it is not something i could shake. shake. i think about it every day. as a woman who travels a lot for work and often alone, when i am going from state to state or wherever i am at time ice thinking, am i going to get bacn home. i'm thinking this woman left a job interview and never made it home. that is the question for me. what happened to her. what happened from the moment she was put in that car until she showed up in the morgue. when justin invited me to bebe part of this anthology and i was really, really going through my work and deciding what to do, i know that justin knows that i write speculative fiction. the most natural thing for me
was to contribute a speculative paul because i wanted to really work with the perceived ambiguity. to me it is not really that ambiguous what happened. but this notion of ambiguity i wanted to work with. i also also wanted to work with the black joy. for me when i think of the south i think of it being ines charleston, south carolina with my cousins in the summertime. i wanted to work with these things and look at what perceived or is, what reels core is, what supernatural or is. to me it is horrifying, it is nothing short of a horror story to think that a woman could be pulled over and within hours be dead. so the question for me is, what happened in that cell.necess i had a feeling that other writers would not necessarily, they do not do genre work so i was not expecting poems thatt were of us booklet of nature. for me it was important to have that there.
that was the best way for me to address this. for my art and for what i am trying to do, this felt horrific, like the worst possible outcome for the actual reality as a woman who travels. was always on the go, who is a load. that i could be pulled over and i could be stopped, and then what, and then what? the idea that there could be a recording, and actual recording, yet no indictment. what does that really mean? what are we up against? when ever i am reading the poem or reading through the anthology, i still think about sandra bland. we have to keep that in the front of keep that in the front of our minds as we continue our work. an an entire life and lives are lost. and recorded. yet, and isn't that every horse story. there is a recording but there is no real closure at the
end of that. so for me, that is a persistent question.qu >> so, for me i want to answer that question and also speak to being in the space here today. this space.questi morrison wrote two decades ago that she wonders what happens to the imagination of a black writer who is constantly conscious of representing their race to a group of people who consider their self racist. it is not a rhetorical question. she is literally asking what happened to black writers who are constantly forced to deal with reckon with, carry the weight of what i will call, the worst of the white folk. so after i read the anthology, i thought a lot more about that question.race t
being in the space today i am forced to think about this question because of the audience and also because of the history of this space, right here right next to that plague. which means a lot. the flag it means a lot.ere net the easiest thing for me to do is to talk about the worst of the white folk and what james baldwin had already done which is to teach white to folk that they are white. that is the easiest thing for mh to do. feeding this anthology encouraged and reminded me that there is other work to do. that
is heavy work. dealing with our being in the space, next to that, in the space where lots of black bodies have been terrorized and that terror has been sanctioned. it is important, crucial work for us to do it for me in particular to do. if i am doing that work sometimes i'm if i am doing that work sometimes i'm not talking about one, my relationship to abuse, the way that i have been abusive, i'm not talking about my relationship as a survivor and victim of sexual abuse. i'm not talking about the ways i have themo. emotionally abusiveo others, or misogyny. i'm not talking about all of these things. reading the anthology encouraged me to understand that sometimes when folk asked me to write about what it means to be black which is really themabuset wanting me to say what it feels like to be white. i can say use at google. and that that i need to get to work. in uncovering, explain, the nuances of all of the other things that make me, that might have little to do with white, desire to terrorize bodies like mine. i hope you understand i'm saying. reading this anthology. reading this anthology how make it to the answer again.esire to i need nudges to get back to
this answer. that telling white folk out messed up they have been to us is not always what needs to be done. they need to hear that, but as writers and artists i might not i might not need to tell them that all the time. when i do that i'm actually not loving myself in ways that i need to weigh myself, not loving my mother and grandmother and the children i don't have. i. i think the anthology encouraged me to do that work. >> i think it is time for questions now. is is that correct?t yes, from the audience i don't know exactly where you should go. there is a a podium yes, please use the microphone so we can use your question. >> questions. >> i'm scared. [laughter] >> a good morning. i want to thank you for being here and i also want to thank the professor and we sent the warmest regards. he wanted make sure i told you that. i wanted to contextualize the fight this time with two other books which is tana he see
coats. >> ta-nehisi coates book. you guys are essentially dealing with the white supremacy in 2016. so my question is as appointed short story writer is, that while i agree, my thesis was on james baldwin and he'sba talking about love as a humanistic approach, my question is, in 2016 these problems still exist. is there ever a time when black folk have to come if weo are not going to reevaluate black nationalism as the answer, self-determined. because what's interesting isth that 80% of black people that ie
are employed by white employers, only 20% of people are employed by african-american employees which means we can't feed ourselves because we can apply yourself. so would not an answer to white supremacy be at some point a reconsideration of what came out of the black lives movement is self determinism on how black people take control of their own institution. >> wow. that was deep brother. wow. why is it always me that has to make somebody mad in them room. that was a brilliant question. i do think there are several vectors to what you have said. i do think economic self-determination is really important. who i as someone who is descended from my mother's side from a georgia liarecropper sharecropper who lived off the land, i just remember all of my uncles hunted and fished, all of them kept
gardens, even my mom and her sisters cap garden but the men cap gardens too. so very quickly, yes, i think that vector is something we need to explore. black masculinity is as a problematic play that we need to ongoing work. i think about what brother garnett has talked about in terms of love. as a black woman who loves my black brothers, i do not want to blow up any bridges to them. but but i do want to challenge them to talk about black masculinity in the way that acknowledges that they can have pain without
foregoing strength. that there is pain and acknowledging that. when we talk about economics as the key. this is probably what is going to ear tape people. we have to think about the factn that west african economy of the 18th and 19th century was based upon the trans atlantic slave trade.nd that was not brought in to africa. that was in a collaborativeth effort with your pains. that does not mean white people in the room that mitigate the european ugliness of brutality against us. you can acknowledge something. we can chew gum and
rubber tummies at the same time. right. but i think that basing everything on economics is a bit problematic. what i would like to say to also connect to what brother garnett has said is that to me the key to dismantling white supremacy is humanity. not whining to them, white folk, please love us. i am loved by god and that's who i worry about. i do not enter into a room of black people, white people, or, white people, or anybody else caring that they love me. i tried to spread love but if they don't love me, i am okayy because i know who my master is. but i do feel that humanity is the key to acknowledging our common humanity and that seems like a coup by our moment. but it is is very complicated. t when you think about slavery you think about the fact that at the same time that the transatlantin slave trade was going on,
imperialism was going on. and then the intellectual apparatus of dismantling, not only black humanity, but native, indigenous humanity. so what you are talking about is that you are able to treat people badly because you do not think that, you think there once up above orangutan. you can sell sell a woman away from her baby because she doesn't feel as strongly about her baby as a dog feels about his puppy. but when you dismantle people's humanity, then what it does is make you feel better about treating them badly in right now, we are seeing what is happening with donald trump. yes, yes, i said his name inis
mississippi. and what we are seeing is thethe fact that you get all of these disenfranchised poor white people who do not understand, it is not the colorful that are keeping you from having power, it is people like donald trump, right? [applause]. you have people who do not understand because everybody wants to feel better than somebody else. i struggle with classism even as a marginalized person. so so that is what i feel about thoses >> one of the joys of being an essayist is that you can write your own ignorance and so i like the essay form so much because it is a way for me to not admit or admit and get away with how
much i do not know. [laughter] so and this is not an end on insult or demean the question, maybe a little or a lot above my pay grade, but i say this much for myself and i hope i'm not being presumptuous with other writers that there's so much work to be done. there is so much if we look at and think what is happening, why why are we still here, one was still having some of the same discussions and fighting the same fight. but and then i remember again going back to baldwin at the center of our discussion where he pointed to his grandmother as a witness to say, here is how we
respond to those who plead innocent. here is proof. here is a witness. go ask.he. go ask her, she is not hidden. you know where to find her. and so i think part of what all of us are doing and what this book is doing essay well here someone like baldwin's grandmom. here's his book, you plead in le the sense but here's something to deal with your professed innocence. so arguing about exclusion, one of the first things you try to do is to say well let's find ways to say you are not without excuse. so at the very least as writerse were to keep relentless and keep bearing witness and buried witness means professing our full humanity. few full humanity and all of its richness, all all of our joys and frustration, and all of our potentials and resentment, but here we are in the past
limitations in a forrester things that are imposed upon us. so one of the things that we are arguing for is not so much withdrawal as much to say we have every rate not to be excluded so one of the things that this book and all of us as writers, what does it mean toto live and move and have our being in with everyone else. and not have to deal with having that excluded or pushed awayay from us because of the complexion or heritage or what have you. >> next question. >> thank you. and thank you for creating such a work of love and hope. my question deals with a mississippi mississippi writer who is also next patriot.
and oftentimes children right with living with jim crow's that he first learned his negro lesson when he was very small. as a collaborative effort of all writers together, did you findd that there are certain, and i like to hand symbol of where you dealt with this and then there is this joy. did you find that there certain ethics that are coming through in the 21st century, maybe not jim crow but maybe sam eagle? and through those ethics, do we as, but the father and educator, some of my wonderful students are here today, do we have a responsibility equally to teach him these ethics of living so that they are not the trayvon t martin so lovely dedicated the book to. what then beyond your book could
be a healer for them not to live within the essay of apparently living within the skin. thank you. >> i think there is nothing -- l don't want to say there's nothing we can do to prove ourselves to white people so they will not kill us, but there there is nothing for us to do to prove to people so they willll kill us. right. that's not pulling up your pants, it's not trusting your certain way, is way, is not certain haircut or certain kind of speech. so for me, there are are moments of my life when i'm afraid maybe i don't want to say what's on my mind those are the times and i really have to mentally become more fit and challenge myself to speak up or to do the brave thing because i think about the people that i am responsible for and i think about the people i love and who love me and who i
can cry two. think about about my mother, sisters, my brotherss nephews, my niece and eight think about those little people in my life i'm thinking i need to do the brief thing. now to make it a little bit easier for them. i need to do the loving thing now to make it a little bit easier for them so that on a micro level you know i want to be the auntie that takes you to radio city hall. let's go cook cookout in the summertime, let's go to the lake. i want to have those everyday experiences of, this is, we are living our best black life because i because i have no control what happens in the world and that is the most difficult thing to reckon with. and that is i think what renders us when we feel so helpless because really trayvon martin's mother sent him down south to hang out with his dad.
and her baby didn't come back. and we know the story, the same thing. she sent her son to live with his father and he never came back. so i cannot say that there's something i want to teach my nephews or my niece a certain way to be black to keep you safer. i just want to fill them with an endless capacity for self love and love of community.y. for family and relationship, and hope that they can have their best life. that's really all all i can do because the rest of it is just too much work. that's where the depression comes in and the self-neglect's and because because i cannot think about that every day. i can think about the way thisth white person wants me to be. i have to navigate this world, i have to get up and go out and i cannot be -- i should say like
this, i don't know what black you want me to wear today. i don't know when you see me and you see my body and you see my hair and my outfit, my makeup. i don't know what you're thinking, what what you're thinking, what expression a black that is. so for some i should be laughing and cheering and i should be your hey girl, friends. and so i don't know what kind of blackness you want me to embody her knack for use are not going to do that. i can only be myself. [applause]. >> i just was a quick thing. or talking here about limitations and limitations i don't to put on this book is to think that it is a black book just talking about black people. as you are talking about what kind it essay, on a significant thing about this book and what it asked over and over again us,
all the writers to my writer asking the same question, what does it mean to live with difference. we are living more more in a pluralistic age. the selection is in part amongng other things that's frustrating us and having us raise our eyebrows is the way people are talking about what does it mean to live with difference and to live in a pluralistic age.e. it's not merely talking to you about what does it mean to be a black in america. it varies. a also what is the meat live with difference. whether you like it or not that ch work going towards. more pluralistic america. so this book is looking beyond black-and-white commentse asking how to be with differences in the responsibility of ethics of living instead of living with difference. it's what i tell the kids all the time, look, listen, touch. be aware, listen to others and
be active and be a part of it. and it works both ways and to tell the kids were black what is it mean to live with those who may not care for them. >> are we out of time? okay. we have time for one very short question. >> i will keep it short. what affect and influence if any, did richard wright have on your career? particularly with respect to some of the things that you talked about today. i want to test that in particular since he grew up here and was y educated here in jackson.re >> richard wright, my mother todd's at a university for long time. she had me when she was a student at jackson state university.. richard wright and mario walker
alexander i the reason that i'ma upper today. i think they do very different work, but important work. you know richard wright taught me as a young writer that it was okay for me to be angry. for me to be artistically angry that the big, black boy my mother necessarily told me i needed to do constructive things with that anger but she did not say i needed to use my art to explore that anger. richard wright showed me that there are parts of my anger that i could explore. i think it's crucial when we talk about richard wright we need to talk by margaret alexander too. i think often what happens is that we focus on right and right is important. it's crucial and he knows where he's under explored. but margaret walker alexander literally is the woman who told me that i needed to write to him for my people. she told me because she was a friend of my mother she told me that there is a difference between writing for your people are ready to your
people.o be as a 17-year-old i did not understand that. i think reading the anthology i finally understood what i meant to be in a community with folks who are writing for, so my putting our communities on her back and going where were going. i think it is much more daring in this american literary enterprise to write to your folk. it is hard to say that in a room which is mostly white. i hope all the young black folk understand that i'm talking to you when i say this. it is imperative. you cannot love somebody if you cannot communicate to them. everything this american literary enterprise will tell you that you communicate over the person who looks like you to talk to the white person behind you. it is a necessity if you love your folk to talk to your folkou and understand that people made a living in the life writing two and four people in the south. that is what richard right
taught me. [applause]. >> thank you. i think we are out of time. thank you for coming. this has. this has been a great panel. [applause]. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> this is book to be on c-span2 television for serious readers. here's our primetime lineup. starting shortly we will bring your discussion on race in america featuring eddie glaude, white house correspondent april ryan and juliana malvo.
ann coulter weighs in on why donald trump should be president. she's joined conversation by the daily colors, tucker carlson. at ten p.m., former twitter advisor and facebook product manager antonio garcia martinez provides a look at the silicon valley. followed at 11:00 p.m. by nicholas irving who remembers his mission in iraq and afghanistan. we wrap up our primetime line up at 11:30 p.m. eastern. senator dichter been on his personal library and reading habits. that happens next on c-span twos, book to be. now now panel discussion on race in america. >> the politics and prose were dedicated to generating dialogue in our community through literary events every night of the air. here in our flagship connecticut store, at her best