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tv   2018 American Book Awards  CSPAN  November 10, 2018 11:01pm-1:26am EST

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incredible interview. i have so many other things i want to ask you, what you're reading and what's next but we don't have time so we're going to have to stop. i'm really grateful to you for writing this book, as our solution are, and i'm looking forward to the next things that come in your life. >> sen. sasse: thanks for making time arthur. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite providers. ,. >> well my goodness.
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distinguished guests, brothers and sisters, friends, i want to welcome all of you to the 39th annual american book awards. my name is justin and i'm the chairman of the board of directors at the before columbus foundation. and i want to extend my gratitude as well to our friends here at the sf jazz center, who have been so generous in recent years, in donating this space and their time to the whrardz
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ceremony. [applause] i think it's very fitting that the american book award be presented here at the sf jazz center in particular the joe henderson lab has jazz music and joe henderson in particular is an artist who drew and excavated and salvaged from many of the greatest traditions of the america's of europe, of africa, throughout the world to weave a vision of america that more accurate we reflected what it is that we truly are. what the possibilities of our freedom may actually be. and to sustain that vision is
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very much what the american book awards have been about for so many years. we also have the honor of the founder of the before columbus foundation here with us today t, ishmael read. before we ged into the ceremonies proper on a very personal note i would like to dedicate this afternoon's awards and my own participation in it to the memory of -- who many of you know returned to the ancestors yesterday morning. we produced a radio show for many years, we became lovers, we became friends, we lived together, we were even at one point engaged to be married, and then a very violent episode,
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which in many ways unraveled both of our lives which is far too personal to get into right now, but i just want to dedicate this afternoon's awards to her. in talking about the question of freedom and reimagining the possibilities of freedom, many people needless to say don't want their assumptions about this country or this world to be undermined, hence the popularity of fascist demagoguery that is taken hold of american politics. in recent years and of course that's not a new wrinkle, it's a veryold one. we can talk about more about that as we progress through the
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program. but we'd like to begin this afternoon by turning to the work of sunauru taylor, who with an extraordinarily rigromous and groundbreaking work, "beasts of burden," animal and disability liberation, which really shatters many of the categories that so many of us have come to think in terms of those issues and has lent an extraordinary lume nation to the possibility of rethinking the questions of animal and disability liberation, or read a very short statement by rebecca sole in the in regards to this. sunora taylor will turn you world inside out, shake up your categories, and tell you a lot
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of fascinating and important things you didn't know yet. about your own body and the bodies of others. human, and non-human. under an inhumane regime, a startling readable, sometimes hilarious inquiry into the human condition from a whole new direction this book might be very, very important as the words of rebecca solnit. one of the most vibrant activates, and disability rights here in the united states has generously shared her presence with us to accept for sunaura taylor, and i would welcome to perhaps lend the mic over to here.
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[applause] >> thank you. what a lovely view of faces. sunaura couldn't be here today so i'm accepting this for her. i am deeply honored to be receiving this award and i'm saddened that i cannot be there today to express my gratitude to the before columbus foundation in person. i wish i could be there to meet you all and to say congratulations to my fellow writers. i am incredibly humbled do know in such company and to be my book recognized by an organize that has done such important work. i want to thank my editors, jed
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bickman, and sara fan and the staff at the new press for helping me to become a better wry writer and for some other r supporting and believing in this project. there are so many people who made this book happen but i especially want to give thanks to my family. my parents, maria and will, my sib lingsz, astra alex and nye. my daughter and my best friend and partner, david walls. so many of the values and ideas in this book are indebt today all of you. while disability electrician and animal liberation have traditionally been seen as at odds my goal in writing burden f burden" was to expose this as unnecessary and unhelpful. instead i present an alternative framing of animal liberation that emphasizes tangled systems
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of radical forms of sol darity. the book focuses on the concept of ableism, a name for the discrimination and prejudice disabled people face and the systemic privileging of able-bodied capacities and norms. ableism creates the systems under which disabled people are devalued or demarginallized due to a real or presumed lack of certain abilities such as rational thought. spoken language, or walking on two legs. such capacities are also often used to determine who and what are considered human versus animal. thus, far from being at odds, my book suggests that disabled people and animals share ableism as a system of domination.
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"beasts of burden" ultimately exposes not only shared genialgs of epression, but shared paths towards liberation. my hope is that people will come away from this book thinking about disability and animals differently. thinking about their bodies, and the bodies of others differently. i want to acknowledge two groups i am deeply indebted to. first, the many writers and activists who have insisted that animal lishz is not a distraction or an afterthought to human lishz. but rather inseparable from it. while there are no doubt many who feel that we don't have the luxury to think about animals in the current political climate i could not disagree more. we are living through a time of
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deep environmental definition and mass extinction. the importance of thinking about the entangled histories of human and animal oppression and the interdependent nature of human and animal survival is vital and extremely urgent. second, this book never would have been born without the incredible disainld writers who mean i have learned from over 24 decades. if is to this beautiful disability community that i dedicate this award. these writers taught me to write shamelessly about the politics, social dynamics, and the lived experience of disability. and to push back against those who would be set on depoliticalicizing my words or interpreting everything i write as part of an inspiring super crypt overcoming tragedy narrative.
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these radical crypt writers artists scholars and activateses taught me to understand disability as indeniably political. unequivocally intersectional and as deeply vital and as integral to social justice. they also taught me to fiercely challenge the systemic discrimination disabled people face. it is for that reason that i must be upfront that is honored as i am by this award and by sharing space with this incredibly community of writers, i have also been deeply disappointed in the lead-up to this ceremony as i have had to fight for equal treatment and access to this very event. this is in fact the reason that none of us are on the stage this afternoon. the stage is inaccessible. ableism was built into this theater and event, and able-body norms of walking and using
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stairs were presumed to be the only way someone would mount that stage. while i would have liked to have simply enjoyed this award, i have instead been faced qlet again with able-bodied prumptions, and have spent the past few days pushing for equal access. before columbus established itself on the principle that diversity happens naturally, but as my friend reminded me yesterday, diversity also takes coalition, sol darity, and work. access must be integral, not after after thought. access is not an inconvenience. not an expense. it is not doing the bare minimum
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to meet legal standards. it is an act of solidarity of imagination, and an opportunity to build the sort of world that doesn't leave folks behind. i want to emphasize that i believe in the work of the before columbus foundation is doing, and valued deeply the communities of writers that they have brought together and celebrated over the years. in our current political environment it is more important than ever that institutions working toward a more inclusive and just world be supported. it is more important that our coalitions be robust and vibrant. i thus voice these crimps not out of animosity but out of a hope that this can be a turning point in the foundations relationship to disability as i believe that being accountable to each other will only make us stronger. thank you again to the before columbus foundation for
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recognize beasts of burden with this important award. [applause] >> i don't think there -- we had a proper introduction to jean stuart, which at one point was not underlined. before returning to the sequence of the award ceremony i would take great exception with the your assertion to some extent
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the foundation itself was responsible for the situation vis-a-vis the stage, and there wouldn't be enough time to offer the context for that. we are not the architects of this building, but the exchange of memoranda, both legal and otherwise as it addressed that particular issue miss taylor was not privy too. and her standard of making that assertion is negligible based on her lack of information in regards to the exchange that took place between the foundation and the jazz center. so, while i'd certainly agree in principle with forcisely what it is she's saying, i would say the facts as for her assertion are
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not entirely correct. but, again, given the lack of time that we have we will have to address that further at another time. so moving through and moving on to -- i would say that deeply sensuous and provocative mixture of the imagery and the words of her graphic novel -- we have here the best we could do.
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begin to ask the right questions a very difficult task indeed. and i think too often in the narrows that are created by many of the more bilious legislators and people in government in their reception or lack of reception to the question of immigration, often leave out the question of why would one leave? why would one leave when homeland to make a home in another country? far too ovsimpplistically confined into issues of should they stay or should they go, not asking why did they leave. more often than not because asking why did they leave would
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offer a very damaging critique of u.s. imperialism, and its imposing policies globally. so, with that said i would like to welcome -- to the stage to accept the award. [applause] >> good afternoon. thank you justicen for that introduction. i have the odd job of traveling the country speaking for immigrants these days. which is fine. but it's tiring. so i'm not going to do it today. instead, i'd like to express some gratitude for which i have a lot. hopefully most of the people i'm
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thankful to know that so that i can focus on one particular kind of gratitude today. and to do that i'd like to read a short story that i wrote exactly ten years ago immediately after attending the american book awards to see my mentor receive an award for her incredible novels geared toward rock. i wrote this ten years ago when i was a baby writer. working on the first chapter of "the best we could do" i apologize it has a cheeky title, it's called "ishmael reed stole my pen" at 6:00 a.m. i rose at palm springs and packed our things. at 9:00 a.m. i ate a grease a hash burden near l.a. and crawled through free splay infrastructure with my son.
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at noon we went looking for -- a gas station on the i35 leaving his father worried by the truck. by 3:30 we were home in berkeley, and at 4:00 i road my bicycle to anna's jazz island where my teacher fay was getting an award. she looked lovely, compact and poised but soft around the face up close. she wore black, this was no intriez. the place was dark and full of grown ups sitting down leisurely making this a spec night for me. there were vulvt curtains and people of various degrees of distinction including the poet at the microphone. a man sharing my table asked me about my notebook. and to my horror opened it. she introduced them all to me or rather me to them as very wonderful, very special, she's writing a graphic novel.
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i drank beer, she sipped espresso and we ate fruit. people gave us business cards and shook hands. when they called fay to the sustainable she thanked ishmael reed, more first writing teach. he is a larger than life man born a long time ago dav who did a lot of things by the time i came along. he created the organize that has been putting on the awards for many years. fay told the audience that when a as a young aspiring writer he gave her the best assignment for a recommendation letter to write it herself and he'd sign it. she snuck in a plug for me in my graphic novel, when she same back to the table she said to me, now the pressure's on you. at 6:30 p.m. the young president of the before columbus
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foundation gave a speech asking everyone to encourage new writers. fay was not done yet. by 7:00 she'd introduced me to several more people. ishmael reed came to our table to sign his true book for fay. the curve of his frame wrapped completely around two sides of her. odd by the enormity of his head with its white halo of -- i had no other thoughts to voice in those two minutes. fay introduced me imaises. he shot raglance my way and barked, send me a chapter, for my magazine. i nodded wordless. he wrote his address in my notebook and then stole my pen. [laughter] it was worth it. at the door i recovered my senses enough to make some conversation with amyoung, he significanted at me, sizing me
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up, and boomed so this one has a future hey? writing? graphic novels? i made a feebling attempt at saying something witty. and then i looked at fay, she'd been as she was all night. calm, even voiced, noddic, asking questions, smoothly plowing ahead with the direction she quanted to take the conversation in even with the most long-talking men. fay and i talked as we talked to the station, she did not use the deep voice i remind from class. she wield an immaculate red suitcase. i walked my old blue bicycle, in my basket a banana she'd saved from my son, my notebook and the plaque she got that night. when i handed her the plaque i wondered if she'd be okay getting down the stairs with the suitcase. i thought about the kindness of that jacket.
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at 7:30 i met back with my family. to the kindness and generosity of writers giving other writers especially the new ones some love, deepest gratitude. thank you. [applause] >> so -- here is the beginning
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of the ceremony i was speaking about antezochy her poetry i believed really did create the possibility for very radical reimagining of freedom. a very physical -- a lot of her
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poetry reads almost like a choreography. it's color, nature and sound. it's dance, and it really is through reimagining the rhythms and the colors and the sounds of our own bodies and how we rediscover them that we begin to understand the possibilities for real freedom. and i think that this is also a very very accurate very applicable description of the poetry of rachel cruz who was brought to the attention of before columbus foundation and the american book awards through one of our longest serving members, of the united states
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and california juan phillipe a so with that said it is a pleasure to bring the book award to rachel cruz for "god's will for monsters." [applause] >> wow. thank you all for being here, thank you justin for mentioning my work. i remember reading for -- girls in high school and seeing her performance during my undergraduate career, and a corio poem, it was a coro poemfor colored girls so thank you. i wrote this book because i was obsessed with the asuang?
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do you think the story? the version that sticks with me is a witch and shape shifter from the philippines who is a stair yoo typical housewife cooking and cleaning for their children and house isolated at the edge of town. nothing they say here right? but at night she splits her body in half, torso from legs usually hid in banana groves and the top half of her body suddenly winged flying in search of pregnant women p to such and feed on their fetuses with her long whistling prubaws cans. in the process of writing about the asuang i was disturbed about the anthropulogical documents. according to a western order and tradition. before the spanishify forty twoers colonization and the institution of catholicism which included the institution of gendering, the asuang healers of
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women and their reproductive health village leaders who were respected and revered. we conceive a story. a woman with a flirty flapping between her legs. had her child tries on her wings, curly, or straight, overbearing or angellishic. perhaps we can see women with halos, lives, black pearls, wagging chins. to tell you the truth, we hatch story. words over and wet flying ear to tear,er ear special delivery. in a sense this book was a kind of reimagining and recasting of the asuang and other figures past and present from amelda marcos to her shoes, to -- the asuang was a dark mousse and
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antiancestor to explore issues of secrets, shame, intimacy virtuality and gossip. don't believe it. you were never alone. not frozen with a cold locket, pressed to your chest. burningand orphaned, some picture of an abandoned anesthesia with her hand complained out. when you moved through the kitchen without speaking you thought silence began. silence a torch burning the house everyone ignoring the smoke. you mixed hammering into sliced garlic and sturd the water spinach the sweet sour of prayer. you ate and drank juice from the lid of the pan a habit we loved and kept singing burning your lips. this is the silence we love. the moment after you slurped your last that salty breath.
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i group up hearing about the center who was spotes t by a witch and was in a coma for days by her spell. my mother spoke of dwarfs, in the forest where she grew up. in order to walk through the forest she needed to ask for permission. then she turned her clothes and eyelids inside out her clothes backwards, and her eyelids inside out a skill she can perform today. taken to the before columbus foundation and the board for selecting my book for this enormous honor. thank you to ishmael reed for this incredible legacy. i picked us the anthology at a used book steer during my high school years and i'm a reading -- many different books. and poity and being blown away from the being beaningen on the book and learning lit cannon and
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feeling supremely lucky to challenge it at the same time. i also want to thank my publishsure, and katy porter the director of book and institute for her tireless work in supporting writers who live and work in the lesm. in the inland emppire. i received an award and was lucky to have her her read before she passed on. i want to thank my parents, both poets and writers themselves for their enduring support and encouragement. instead of asking me how teaching is going, my father frequently asked on the car ride here, how is the writing. my parent operate and own a family besides, where folks many of them migrants specifically from the philippines can get their taxes done to chat and gawsal p over pastries from china town. send money to their families and they both often promote and --
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my witchy strange dark books at their office. i want to thank my sister julian and brother rod for their laughter and support. my cousins and aunts who are here today, jeanine, ron, maria, auntie lisa and my dear friend mary and my gw and dotr friends and of course my best friend and husband thomas, so thank. you. [applause]
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>> one of the few writers to expert a fertile profoundly influence over art beyond literature including film, dance, painting, photography, and many others are beyond the literary world a towering presence in international arts and letters, and the founder of the before columbus foundation ishmael reed is here to introduce dr. tommy curry please welcome ishmael reed to the podium. [applause] >> this organize can do without me, but it can't do without
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justin and -- who are contribute their time without pay. that's why i want you to give us some money. [laughter] because unlike some of the awards in the northeast, we don't have inside traders. you know sitting on our board. nor do we have auate parties where millionaires can have -- i'm going to start with you because i thought i was going to make the most controversial. i'm usually the one. [laughter] i i'm -- these are excellent acceptance speeches i'd like to publish them. my daughter runs a magazine in
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tennessee so we'd like you to send the acceptance speeches to her. her email is t read oarama. so give justin some money, give him some checks. alexander hamilton, the abolitionist, saw blacks horses and cows as the same, private property. he had econfused the british of stealing needing rose from their owners. they was when blacks were treated as farm animals. he said his white slave master father saw no difference between his mother and a cow. except in bed. a visitor to mountain vernon observed that most how would servants were biracial. after blacks liberated themselves by conducting the general strike, while lincoln
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stood by, lincoln wanted blacks to leave. one of the early white nationalists, he wanted to deport the blacks to another country. maybe costa rica that would be great. but, that -- after conducting -- he got an upgrade on the evolutionary scale. they were no longer dumb animals. they were smarter. even a former president was -- as a member of the tea party as a chimpanzee, and one of alfred alfred's newspaper showed president obama not only as a chimpanzee but as dead on a sidewalk. the images of black presented by the media saw a diminishing of the power of black male writers. first there was a rise of ronald reagan who was elected to
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curtail black power further. by depicting blacks at -- who were using food stamps to buy steaks, and women as welfare queens. he was also attacking the black panther party and sds, a white students who reminded the -- panther party who were considered race traders. then there was another challenge to black electoral power when corporate types, academics seized the feminist movement from the working class and integrated pioneers. there's a great article about harriet fraud where she says the
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feminist movement -- and so the patriarchs who run the media, designate her as the leader of the feminist movement which is why white women still vote for trump, and ped o files because they have not been educated by these corporate types. i'm sorry. they made a integration pact with their patriarchal sponsors, if you advance our careers we will take the heat of you and blake black people for massage angle. women at nbc didn't complain about the predators among their bosses because they were afraid of losing their jobs. and bob t who was a former nbc broadcaster wrote a book "live and in color" about the participants that were happening then. i'll just -- in bazaar attack --
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with the alliance of the "new york times" review said that black women writers had eclipsed black male writers which i thought descraichg because genius does not take sides. all right. and that drove a number of black male writers out of the book stores, and i thought it was also odd because most on it black women writers i know broke or have to take university squabs in order to earn a livelihood so i thought this was really weird, and i think it was the old policy of divide ask conquer. -- called conjugath -- where the british divided the murderses and hindu and india. they do it all over the world like the strategy that's being
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used here. all these put downs rendered the black male writers mute except for a few. along comes tom curry, when you read his book, as black male you exhale. [laughter] all of the pent up rage that we felt from the 80s is given the expression in his book. i felt the same way reading his book as i did when reading richard wright's black boy. this was every black man's story. with solid research and tough logic that have been used to can prive blacks of advancement. and made them millions as they have -- david simon thinks that black men succeed as pimps he should check out the new york police department. where -- a retired officer was
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one of the more lucrative sex trafficking operations in america got busted a couple weeks ago. and he had fooled police protection. why they also dispersing when we come to bust them because the police are tipping off this guy. of course the black boogie men crazy is making millions for others elsewhere in academia and publishers, so with this book curry is creating a lot of enemies for himself, like the intellectual writsalblower, that he is. he writes and i'm going to quote, "black and white male and female will continue to assert their general -- sexist misogynist and patriarchal, they function to condemn and dehuminize, they also give commune at to academic class to find intellectual and political
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unity in date pathed logical -- you use a lot of big words. path ladgeicallizing them. when use the stereotypes the racial generalizations to black men and women -- protects whites against charges of racism. it's their their hatred and fear of black males can be rationalized as theoretical advance. unsurprisingly, they same efforts that are morally phrased is the dinial of death the denial in the comead are condemned with racist with the blacks in society. black just by stopping which are are our president trump is trying to revive, are kanye west. [laughter] black male debt racial
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profiling, black -- studies constructs black men as a threat to women and others codified such -- to a theory and legitimatizes to discrimination and isolation throughout the comead based on the presence they pose and exposes spatial threat that they pose to others through their venuse. tom curry. [applause] >> there's not much you can say to follow something like that. [laughter] i'm immensely humbled. i'm a philosopher so it's very
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rare i get the opportunity to actually contribute to things that matter in the real world. [laughter] so that explains the big words. i still apologize. i have to thank the before columbus foundation for their recognize of the man. i have to thank university press for publishing my work. this was a work that got a flawless reviews when sent out but still was a balance to see the light of day. because, it dared to take a stance that humanized black men -- one comment suggested it would be better served as a pamphlet rather than a book. this is something very dear to my heart. we talk about black male and lastly i have to thank my beautiful wife, m in the back, and my two little girls,.
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[applause] so i would be remisfor not saying i see black humanity through her every day. she's my inspiration. so i knew the men not would always be a controversial book even before it was fully pinned. at conferences i received booze and boo's and jeers. when insisted a book that was written about bleak males that was not black them fist from orientation was doomed from the start and should be censored. the demand that any work on the black male experience must be apologetic. are circumscribed by their original sins, as patriarchs, abusers of women and children and rapists. when i completed the manuscript i did not know where to send it. or even what to do with it. my colleagues insisted that if i published the book declaring
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that decades of feminist theory about black men and boys was fleeting that i would be theaflt ending my career. and would only cause more trouble than it was actually worth. i was told the humanity of black men and boys was not worth the trouble. i found such an assistance strange as an academic i was being told that under no circumstances could i write about, defend, or articulate the humanity or black males despite the fact i belong to this group. i was confronted with a startling reality that in the american academy no one wants to hear black males telling the world about black masculinity. this book began as a expanded reflection of chapter 4. that's the -- dilemmas, anti-black male death rape and the inability to -- what began
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as an academic expiration of the rape and sexual vulnerability of slavery in jim crow became the man-not. and this is the startling -- it became a book pause i actually met black male victims of sexual assault. and i had no answers o for them. considering their own vulnerabilities of violence. i was so impacted by this experience that i searched frantically for research about black male victimization, and found little that did not begin with the insistence that black males were hypermasculine, violent, and they were abuserrers, first and foremost. i found no research at the time on plaque male victims of assault or domestic violence. i saw no research as black men or boys as worthy of studies bond their corpse.
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i saw to imagine black men and boys to imagine them as beasts and i found no research that gave full human words to their pain. because of this, i wrote the man not with a sudden urgency. i wanted to write a book that retraced the humanity of black males from the characters we believed to be gender theory. i was moved to give an account of racism, that include the particular and peculiar realities of black men and boys of the united states and i dare to insignificant that the theories of black men and boys consider the rape and castration and lynching and mutilation by whites in short their victimization and death as actual vulnerabilities. even today, we ignore black males as victims of others. we express outrage at their
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deaths, at the hands of cops and white vigilantes but we do so little to care for their actual lives. we care little for the little black boy abased by his mother or sexually assaulted by other men and women in his community. we have little regard in black boys have not living to become men or being seen in the world as a black man. the man-not is hopefully the first of many contributions to a black-male studies, that does not after an apologetic for black male existence. but it sits on theorizing black males from the complexy 25e of values we assert to define black male life. black males offers us a new possibility of what it is to be human far beyond the realm of recognize, anderabilitiability. and it is my hope -- so thank you.
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thank you very much. >> i will say very quickly as per ishmael's suggestion that you all donate,. [laughter] i do have the reseat-of-the-pants with our letterheads and tax letters so you can write it off. come see me after the show. [laughter]
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i'd like to introduce another member of our board of directors, poet and author carla b. >> these lyrical work -- martin explores the current politics of black male body. with no nostalgia for his past his themes connect with millennials and reach back to the black arts generation. his lyrical societal echoes the poetry of the black arts movement. martin has created dialog between past and present activism, a bridge within had black community. his work extends and expands conversation of the mass
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incarceration of black people to include a wider audience through musicality and raw emotion. the abstract form reflects may hem of modern living a world where police throw black women and children to the wall and on sidewalks should moon down as if they were hunting down elephants in the room. when asked about his work he said he writes about himself. he writes about love. when -- his poetry heels, humanizes and changes perceptions by subduing the tyranny of social order with chaos and interrupting our regularly scheduled cliches. it with great honor that -- before columbus foundation presents martin with the american book award. [applause]
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>> first, i'd like to thank my mother who gave me my entire orientation to life and craft to always seek liberation first. to seek liberation for people before any individual possibility for myself. and at the individual possibility of self is an illusion. i would like to thank my brother, who has been as the most beautiful revolutionary and artist i have ever known. true man of galactic talent and
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passion. the only reader i ever needed and the only man i would trade it all to be. on behalf of them, and everyone i struggle alongside of i feel obligated to sigh what this brez and the past few centuries that the primary reality of an oppressive system is a military reality. before the determination of economics institutions of socialization culture there is a foundation of violence. organized monopolized and sponsorrered. and an empire has to slaughter people instead of setting up shop. it's not the one who does not pay people for their work as much as they are someone who would maim and kill people if they do not work. this equation continues into the modern time as we see with hypermilitarization of police, mass incarceration of black and
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brown people, permanent imperialist invasions around the world in masses who practice whiteness as it was designed by the u.s. ruling class not a privilege but rather a deputization. in the united states or really as a haulmark for imperialist projects the foot soldiers of the empire both those sworn in and trained and those who live regular corporation determined lives ongoing the various -- passed post industrial service economy roads to nowhere, ilstill in their confusion of error practicing the violence is the only way they can prove to themselves they can actually exist. by extension and also extended by the deep exostential feeling that war against people of color
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is the only way they can be sure their country exists. this is where we enter as writers and with respect to what we intervene -- what we perceive who we think we are, how we relate to each other as we're lib races begins or is delays. sum of mass culture determines how we relate to these monopolies of violence and how we resist. it is our mandate as writers to synthesize both from the beauty and joy of investigation of the music or motive mass of language sip theicized to the billion refracted participants of logic and insight with the objective of transforming maz culture into a revolutionary culture from which a resistance of global character can set things right. there is nothing teals do -- [laughter] i would like to thank the before columbus foundation for adopting
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the -- lineage and also my love solidarity and potentials to everyone in this room and beyond who would join me in the struggle. . . . >> the name of the book is "heaven is all goodbyes". i would like to introduce another one of our board members who has been instrumental in
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helping to bring all of us here today. a poet, playwright, filmmaker and educator. [applause] >> i also want to mention that the cover design is your brother. so, check it out. it is beautiful illustration. this next woman i have known since 84. i don't think she remembers me in hawaii back in during the time of the hawaiian renaissance movement, the sovereignty, and native american sovereignty movement. dana was already active in trying to preserve the ancient hawaiian burial sites in maui along the sand dunes.
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her efforts eventually it took a lot of trench work as she called it, 99% of trench workers what it takes. she is a true embodiment of the cultural activists. on her work and that and also in the preservation, mckenna road which the hawaiians utilized to access their places on the highway where the maui was taking over all that land. so, those efforts eventually resulted in the preservation of ancient hawaiian burial sites. there are laws protecting those ancient burial sites. this book is an important document. it chronicles a 30 year career in activism through testimonials interviews, public speeches and poetry.
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she was also a poets in school for many years. when i met her she was she was a guess editor and it is a wonderful publication. she brought in the consciousness to that publication as well as throughout about the native american literature that is mostly oral tradition. it was not being recognized. that publication and all the efforts of the native hawaiians to bring the language into the schools took hold around the 80s up until the present day. not only is it a true cultural warrior and wonderful poet, i
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would like to read something. it says, this is an outstanding collection of over 30 years of testimony all documents in grassroots activism written and woven together by the hawaiian social environmental activists and poet. this is a stunning testament to loja for the man. dana? [applause] >> it's been 35 years.
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>> we were at a party and where smoking duby's. [applause] it was a great party. >> a loja. it is truly an unexpected honor to receive this award. from the columbus foundation. which for native hawaiians translates into the before they arrived in hawaii. i have asked my husband and my daughter to help me deliver these. used to be people would know me first as a poet upon seeing me in my room as an activists would
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asked if i still wrote poetry. i would respond with this testimony. there was never any conflict between my poetic voice in my political voice. i should also say that i considered reading and writing a practice in the way of engaging with the imagination and ultimately the unknown. these never to be repeated moments can be full of surprises. i would like to honor my brother eric who wanted to be a poet but ended up with a more complicated life. this poem is dedicated to him
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and to all of the many hawaiian men and boys who are incarcerated. >> the men whose tongues have turned to iron with say water taste like rust to them as they did not find it so hard to speak. words pileup, they go up through each day their mouth swell of onset words. in dreams that hang upside down and ringlike bills. >> i will read a poem. the poly referred to is located in the cold mountain. it survived the women to the
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leeward side. >> crossing the poly is a poem about the intersection of poetry in the law. a lawyer had tried unsuccessfully to create a record for taking dana's deposition for six hours. instead dana memorialized him in this poem. crossing the poly. we are all young enough to remember what it was like when we're growing up in the small town. where it rained rivers of red certain the river from the new cut hillsides. there still -- my grandfather had a house stepping down the shia greenspring of young girl flowing in the shade of a mango tree. years later we went away to college climbing the peaks of western thought.
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i remember my uncle sleeping on a beach his youngest brother not far away in his own home for the night. in the morning they gather coconuts that have fallen. on the other side my mother's is cooking bird nest soup in the kitchen. one of my father's sister had a husband who used to twirl lives which he perfected. another lived in maple shade new jersey where the rest of us grew thick. these people are still around i know that you have the same kind of story lined up the way you used to line up with your father, mother and brothers all in a row at st. joseph's on sundays. now you're an attorney and you act different.
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you look like you never got enough sleep and you're in an office with mirrored windows and downtown honolulu. you think the guys riding around are funny. look at you, you don't go to the beach she say? you don't have fun, you work too hard and for what? so that they can carve up the coast it's very refreshing after round of golf. meanwhile another company wants to drill deep into the mountain to extract high-temperature stream. never mind that the gas will smell like rotten eggs. worry about that when the time comes. it's almost midnight on the day when you question me for more than six hours. all the while hammering away for the developer who wants everybody off the beach before
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the hotel opens in late summer. it's almost midnight under the same room. who says you have to go along with it. [applause] >> now i'm going to read a poem. >> in the introduction a little bit was shared about how much work my mom has done to support the reunification. because of her work i was able to attend a school in one of the things i learned from my home life and through my education is the sheer number of types of intimacy in the hawaiian
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culture. everything you could think of. and what i am truly blessed to know is the intimacy between my parents in the last home and my dad just happens to be an attorney. >> so like water in its interplay on rock and the forming of the valleys the two of them have worked to create something that i think is described well by my mom and my favorite poems which is, how is it that i never told you that the sun and the moon in the rocky slope in the way that keeps breaking. she didn't know i was going to read that. so when i was younger i argued
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about chinese food what about exactly i don't remember, but i said don't argue with me about something you can't possibly know better. during those years i had a teacher who is small and dark and finally feature. he knew something of life's dark mysteries. to gain knowledge one had to do more than sit at his seat while he meditated i cook almonds and roasted a duck. he was angry when i moved on this time i traveled farther than i have ever had before. i live for a time in apartment six floors above. my first night in the city we went for a walk and arrived at a japanese restaurant. i knew i would have to stumble
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into the street the next day on my own past the place and out of the oven and into the window of the italian bakery. past the rows of the fish on dull ice where it covered the apples like a second skin. back along the avenues that came with my banks to climb the marble stairs. after seven years i returned to my island. for a while i lived off the ground. then i left the sloping valley behind. we found a cave where countless wires were still visible. the sun was high in the sky the ancestor offers food and water and a place in the state shade to the passing travelers. >> i feel like more like the ancestor every day.
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one final note. just last week the case i have been working on finally began to resolve itself after ten years of efforts so this is where this was humbling think you and thank you everyone for welcoming me into your ohana. [applause]
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>> i'm going to be very brief into my next introduction and i want to thank san francisco jazz center for allowing us to use this beautiful venue and our apologies for not having it accommodating for certain people i know i didn't attend the awards ceremony when i was awarded for island poetry. i was a single mom with two kids and i was too embarrassed to tell them i didn't have a babysitter there are many reasons why people don't make it here. i want to thank you all. some have come across the country from hawaii and we truly appreciate your care and again,
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we are on a budget shoestring. if you can think about us we will appreciate it. lewis, we have about three or four debut writers that we are honoring today. that's why we are so proud of this organization. a lot of these probably wouldn't be recognized by mainstream establishment. they take only the ring of the opening pounds to realize this book does exactly what one hopes, this will bring a live a new original voice. it's a voice they not only sustains but builds a singular soul that goes song after song, rock kinetic in language in which they have in common with music in their breathing body behind it.
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[applause] >> i'll be brief because i did not prepare speech. i did not get the rsvp. me and my family just mobbed up in here. >> i am humbled, thank you for the columbus foundation i was watching the past events videos and i thought everyone is preparing speeches this morning. so i called simon and i said what should i do?
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and he's been supportive and said you're fine, you'll figure it out. i would like to say thank you to him my parents were always supporting my search for happiness and balance even if it has led me astray and down not the right path at times but letting me figure that out and then supporting me when i reach my hand out. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> towards the beginning of the program i mentioned the current american politics is not a new wrinkle but a very old one. i think it can be safely said that the present administration has more continuity with those from the 19th century than it does from those with the 20th but nevertheless it's continuity. to the extent that is true it's very foolish and unwise to attempt to articulate the horrendous violence of the takeover of the united states government it is very difficult
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for scholars to represent the realities of what i just described. it takes a great act of courage because more often than not they are running against the gray of the institutions which supply them with the living. it is with that in mind that the work of kelly is all the more inspiring and all the more remarkable. a city of inmates, conquest rebellion and the rise of human caging in los angeles. it's a great honor to welcome professor hernandez to the stage. thank you.
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[applause] >> good afternoon. thank you everyone for being here. it's an honor and blessing to be in your presence. i have a few comments come i will keep it brief. i want to first look at those who are taking care of this land. i want to think that before columbus foundation for recognizing and honoring radical work for so long. i want to thank you and see presser having the courage for publishing this book. i wrote this book, city of inmates because i wanted to
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understand how my hometown became the capital of the world, how is it that we cage more humans and i really thought this was a story about multiculturalism and it was something new but as i began to peel back the story i realized that wasn't caging humans for hundreds of years senate was routed to the story of conquest and colonization. it's written into the city's dna and i would say the nation's dna is a settler community. so writing this tale was only possible because of dissidents and radicals kept a radical of what happened to them bias. the authorities were supposed to record a history of incarceration and had destroyed
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a vast majority of their records. the work that you are doing testimony, the work others were doing in poetry the positions, artists and those who write love songs made it possible to tell the story. what i did in this book was track the rise of incarceration and how native people were the first to be attacked followed by others, career white men, chinese immigrants, that all of us have been the targets of the settler states. they have been criminalized on loctite. what drew me to the can chile conclusion is that incarceration is a form of elimination.
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when i came to this conclusion i realize you have to do something. you can't just analyze it you have to get busy. i joined the rebel archive and i want to and my comments today by talking not just about the dna of the settler city which is designed to seek out, hunting kill but to honor the dna of those who have fought back. people are fighting back today and i want to name a few of those people there my comrades, my living my breathing rebel archive. they include pete white, general jeff, kim mcgill dave on williams a black lives matter
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and organize network, the labor community strategy center and all members of my research team thank you very much and all the rebels were here today. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> many of the nightmares of
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science fiction written over the last hundred years imagined a future in which electronic communications will be used to organize and control society. what a strange moment that we should find ourselves were people are eager to participate in that fantasy. of course many of the writers masters they may be or aspire to are also anglo european cultist of a certain stripe. it's not surprising they would inscribe that settler narrative in what they call science fiction. but of course the genres do not come with walls. they may come with reinforcers
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but many voices that contribute to that including that genre. many of you who are familiar with the giants of american literature he brought this book to our attention before the columbus foundation. latino literature film and popular culture. the winner of the american book award and i'm deeply grateful both of the editors could join with us today. please join in walkin e-uppercase-letter thank you so much. [applause]
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>> i first want to say good afternoon. we are static, humbled and honored to be here. we want to think the journal in the research center. as the book is an anthology it is a collective brainchild. we want to thank all of our contributors. on a personal note i want to
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thank my own members and ranging from the writings of toni morrison to our foreclosure and the dancing devil that embody our own rich ways of knowing. i also want to give a shout out to my own students at the university of texas which is on the texas mexico border. they enact every day what this articulates. an impulse that emanate from the here and now and despite republican lawmakers.
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this anthology is the first to bring together scholarship as well as regional creative works. it is effectively codifies the genre the recognition is long overdue. this switch has not been historically hospitable to people of color. mainstream is statics is rooted in colonialism and encounters with nonwhite peoples bodies and spaces further, several of our contributors -underscore mainstream publishing does not publish the writing dismissing it as to ethnic. this anthology provides a venue for established speculative
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authors it also builds on the rich legacies of futurism and what we called futurism. we go beyond by including dialogues between scholars and artists and artist manifestoes. we look at realism to include the proliferation of genres with this post- apocalyptic performance or meditation by greg on using speculative rock to promote students in the mid- 70s to understand and intervene. we also include queer works in the post- human for lgb tq writers are always on the cusp of new modes.
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my own single author book which stems from this study's representations of the apocalypse as radical and imaginative construction of the present and future. significantly week theorize how this is of white dominant statics but rather draws on our own culture of vocabulary theories and histories. sci-fi fantasy and horror functions not only the profound experiences of systemic violence against black and brown bodies but our survival and brilliant ways we continue to thrive. [applause] >> i want to add a few words to
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katie but first to recognize this project she was the motivation and i have been trying hard to really take leadership from the academics and artists. this is an instance where she was very much the lead in the project and instigator. i would like to just say a few words about the why of the project and also the why of my participation in it. i was never a sci-fi geek, that would not have gone over to well. but i came on board because they trusted katie's wisdom and could learn a lot with them. i knew i would make an intervention. i also had a debt to pay. it comes from my body a very
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hard worker's but a lot of fighters some boxers a lot of drug addicts and dealers in at least three murders. the thing i am always compelled to say when i speak about my family is i am not separate from them. i am not the exception. i am not the success story. in fact is really as grade school i had a sixth-grade teacher tell me i would wind up in the pen. it was true. my series of arrests led me to the county jail for an extended stay. they gave me a book, bible in spanish that i couldn't read spanish at the time.
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but i also got one of the books being circulated by the prisoners. it was a sci-fi anthology. it was a book that was floating around. i read it because every time i went to direct cage all of my stuff was stolen. so i just read it again. it has become my bible of sorts. it's a book i don't want to find but i do want to find again. it was this story that somebody said let's look at these discarded stories and put them together and see how many copies we can sell. it transformed my life because it started to introduce something different than my own
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socialization. it started to explore stories that we were renderings of sir thomas more's utopia. they were better because they still have prisons and slavery. these were imagining worlds outside of coercion. it started to resonate with some words that an uncle of mine had shared with me once when he came out of prison. he was always coming out one time he came out and he said is beautiful. and i didn't know what that meant. i didn't know what he was getting at. but he like me we were trained as boxers and fighters and he has praised me for being a big
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streetfighter. something happened to him in prison but he came back with different thoughts. there were different ideas about society and men and identity that were being planted. so when i came to sci-fi later in school. i started to look at it as something that may be didn't save me but it saved a lot of people i could've harms. to plant ideas that continue to percolate. so the book has a special meaning for me is just the
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facilitator which i think is very difficult but an important role. it helped her enabled us to invite the dreamers to both analyze the medications on different utopias and also present new unpublished works. we brought together something that rarely happens, we brought the critics and artists together. the artists are meditating and giving manifestoes on their own philosophies of sci-fi and speculative arts. the critics are also meditating on these works but we are doing it responsibly. if you go back and research sci-fi, you will know that in the 1920s the italian futurists as they were called were fascists.
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the russian futurists were bolsheviks. american futurists go towards the fascist side sometimes on very fond of these by black people and so the scholarship was important for us to critically interrogate our own feelings within our own speculative works, some things passed off as a resident revolutionary we had to qualify those in the artist also asked what are we doing in our own work. a great dialogue and it continues. the last thing i'll say is that this book didn't necessarily say me but it has brought us together to meditate on that would be. what salvation for that species
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would be and they do that in ways that cross all kinds of boundaries. it's to just imagine anything is possible. and from that.onward everything becomes possible. thank you all for being here and think you for the award. i appreciate it. [applause]
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>> is tommy here. >> thank you for coming. we don't have too much time left. so i want to thank you for your generosity in helping facilitate the ceremony. speaking again about the reimagining of the body, there have been many poets in america that have used and employ their own body as metaphor for the lay of the land, hard cream and walt
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whitman most famously put the. needless to say the vast metaphors depending on the person's experience. this is just such a book and it's very exciting to bring this award to tommy and the nature poem. i believe the poem itself has committed to enacting poetry that is very rare which is medicine as a healing art when tammy tommy i believe is only beginning to heal through his
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extraordinary gifts as a poet and scholar. he couldn't be with us today but he sends then you'll forgive me if i can introduce you adequately. >> it's nice to meet everyone. >> the award is for tommy. >> it's a pleasure to be here and accept the award for tommy. tommy is a dear friend of hers threatened several beautiful books. he sent me a few words to read. i'm sorry couldn't be there to accept the award in person. met the texas book festival in austin having to use bottled water to brush my teeth.
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i have been preparing the speeches in front of my mirror since i was seven. thank you to all my fellow winners, congratulations everyone. thank you for -- and really thank you to the jerk who said i can write a nature poem, i can do anything i want why would i limit myself. filling me with the righteous anger. peace back. >> how are you doing? good. this is fabulous. i'm enjoying all the speeches. her poem, take no prisoners her sweet wonderful cheerful lies of
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starkness and uncompromising nature of her poems, there start, beautiful and confrontive and combative in a way that needs to be when you're dealing with patriarchy and patriarchy blues. in the collection she brings in the unapologetic acumen to some of the most ingrained cultural situations. her probes which are not always comfortable or set against the backdrop and the result is a provocative contemporary could treat critique that will reframe perceptions in the way we see the world. congratulations coming up here.
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[applause] >> my name is rena. thank you all for being here today and thank you for the foundation for putting together this award is an honor and beautiful thing to be here to receive this award. i would like to acknowledge that we are on the land of these people just say there's so much to say. this book expanded and contracted over the decade or so that these poems were written.
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there are versions of it that were huge and then it got skinny in let me just read something to you from it. it hurts the hat to virginia wolf in her essay, angel of the house. this is called faithful. every day she prayed, lord please let me leave that man alone. they look as if they're matching her climax space while she's tells them how much salami she needs. sometimes it's a contractor she manages the white smudges and how she would fit in his ankles alone in her apron she is the betty crocker of suffering and refrain in her dishpan hands
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disappointments and chocolate become decadent. she turns it all to devil's food while she harmonizes that's the music of breakfast, lunch and supper. the courage of a faithful household angel. >> in the essay i mentioned, angel of the house it talks about how as women we have to murder that angel that tells us shouldn't you be doing the dishes. shouldn't you be running after your children and shouldn't you be whatever else we struggle with this women in our creative pursuits. i feel like i need to acknowledge my grandmother whose ancestral name i carry for really giving me voice. she once had a christmas party said i have $5 for whoever can
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talk the longest. i knew i had as much a chance of that five bucks is my uncle. >> it's a struggle because in this language were looking at the doctrine in the removal act. it's a struggle as a woman in the patriarchy and as a native american woman to find my voice. i have grateful for this honor in the ward. it is encouraging me to keep my voice will keep knowing that i'm not just singing into the wind and that i can reach people it's just incredibly empowering and heartening and i am grateful to everybody who coordinated this.
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i would like to extend gratitude to my mother and daughter. thank you. >> thank you. this time there disenfranchising all native american voters because of not having the dresses they only have post office boxes. i can't believe we are letting them get away with all of the superior in georgia and all over the country they're trying to steal the election again. all we can do is get the votes out, get the music in word out and wake people up. this next poet does that, his book, shadowboxing poems and impersonations is a knockout punch. like rena he doesn't hold his punches back.
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he mixes genres like the beautiful -- that flows. the monologue, the storytelling narrative and references to european writers mixed with day laborers, blue-collar workers who he was. joseph reels this is his debut book also. his poetry was a wonderful poet. of his poetry he says, shadowboxing, poems and impersonations is the most original charge and excitedly debut. they redefine fearlessness with the signature talent and unapologetic conviction. the flurry of storytelling is
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dazzling. rocky balboa, family and the brown bodies of east oakland and west fresno are part of this stance, this poetry is shadowboxing. this is fire, language this is a new poetics at the next level fist waving resistance, memory was so much vitality of velocity. they tremor and shake. trust when they write i reach for the dial and discover i can bend the moonlight. this book is simply brilliant and unforgettable. he had his book launch of all places, i thought it was cool, in a boxing ring in fresno. he's a valley guy from the sand once you know valley. congratulations. [applause]
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[applause] >> i want to begin with my grandmother's voice. this is in the book titled my mother told me the opposite act four scene one. driving grandmas looking out the window, she's older now than she was yesterday. grandma, when you were born you were supposed to be a girl. josefa, i know grandma,. >> they brought everything pink. everything. i was the only thing in the only
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one who got you boys blankets you remember that? i was so happy when you came out of boy. >> me to grandma. do you see that building there? >> yes, grandma. >> that used to be a nice shot. we succumb here because they had a faucet that gave ice cold water. there is a man i didn't know. he would mess with us and say come here. i have something to show you. of course none of us went back there. when we are at school the boys used to follow me into the bathroom and get me. i told one teacher and in those days it was terrible. nobody believed anything i said. he told me to take rosie. he was big and when the boys saw that they didn't mess with me anymore. your grandfather told you about the calla martini? >> everyone went to the palomar.
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we are walking home way on kearney boulevard and the men pulled up and said they would give us a ride. i looked in i said all right. we stood dance the jitterbug. you know how to jitterbug? >> this man says you have to sit on our laps. you believe that? we did. we were two blocks down the road before they start to get smart with me. i told them to stop the car i would walk. we got up. my friend stayed and i don't know what happened to her. you still have that blanket? >> no grandma. it would be all in places by now. >> your mother had to take all that stuff back. even the dr. didn't know but i knew. i'm so happy you came out of boy. >> i became a poet in a downtown library fresno california were i
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went from book to book chasing poet after poet. that's where i found milosz wrote this line, what is poetry that doesn't save nations and people? >> a line that continues to guide my poems a belief that poems can save nations and people and that they should. i dedicate this book and award to the memory of my late grandmother. into my late father excuse me. to my grandfather who is here, my mom is here today. they taught me the meaning of
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hard work. in packing houses and airplane shops gardening trailers water trucks, garbage trucks, moving trucks. and every time we tell the truth about our lives and we use poetry to illuminate the dark places we give voice in places where there was only silence. after listening to everybody today i can say we save lives. people we may never meet reading books that they find in libraries becoming poets feeling
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less alone. feeling stronger i want to thank the past winter. his family when his mother who is here. jennifer -- normal in all these people who are here today who are poets and share in this life of poet with me. and to make it worthwhile and in many ways have also saved my life. thank you. let mac. [applause] >> is darren here?
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the missing person is accounted for. we are pleased to present today a lifetime achievement award to a very rare man, a storyteller, native american in his work, in the oral tradition and so many of you have mentioned the influence of your grandmother's. my grandmother come i never had the pleasure of meeting. she died in china long ago. but i am a grandmother now. it is the matriarchy in the lineage that is responsible for many of us here today. the mother is the carrier of culture. the carrier of language in the carry of culture. we mention that. none are done.
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animals that hilarious if you check them out on youtube you know what i'll be saying. he's unable to join us today because he's -- you know, has some health issues. but we are really oh i wanted to mention that he is -- an authentic full blooded catu this is cherokee also not just oral tradition story telling but he's written his stuff that's compiled in print but we're honoring him for all of that body of work and today we're so happy that his very close friend is here darin henson so accept the award for the lifetime
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achievement award. [applause] >> wait a long time for this. thank you. [laughter] thank you. wow. i wish could be here i'm honored to be here. when he asked me to come up here he's an elder so can't turn down an elder but i'm amazing i didn't know what to expect when i came here. but you guys are passionate people. very, very passionate, and that's what it takes to be a story teller, to be a writer. you've got to believe in what you're doing. so he left a speech i'm going to read a speech for you guys. first off, let me apologize for
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not being able to attend the most prestigious event and i want to thank brother darin henson for being there for me but due to health reasons i'm unable to travel as i once could plus the fact that i don't like to fly. good friend of mine mentioned that jesus was always with me and he quoted i'm with you always he said scripture says low i'm with you always that to me means as long as you're on ground he's with with you. [laughter] but when you're 5,000 feet in the air you're on your own. [laughter] but thank you so much, thank you so much for this great honor of lifetime achievement although i've been writing story telling, teaching, a language, and making videos of some of the stories i tell, i feel the real recipient of this award should have been
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my grandmother maggie turtle and our along language turtle was dogsy a great woman who passed on stories to me and everything i did is honor of her. she instilled in me sense of wonder and love for our culture traditions and history, of course, no one does these things alone and there are a multitude of people who help me throughout my life. too many to mention. but i want to thank my people, that united banding of turkey and of oklahoma, several years back they des ig naitd me as tradition keeper. and honor bestowed on few who cope our tradition and culture going and again i give my honor to my grandmother and a big -- means thank you to my wife for putting up with me. and in closing i'm deeply
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touched by this award. and the huge thank you to before columbus foundation. [inaudible conversations] that's see each other again -- [inaudible conversations] [applause] one of my intellectual heros is here today probably most exciting part of my job is chairman of before columbus is that -- provides me the opportunity to actually meet in person some of the people who have -- who are contributed so much to
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the garden my own imagination. south of pico african-american artist in los angeles in the 1960s and 1970s is a work of i think what can be fairly described as militant scholarship. african-american culture has doctor observed so many decades ago you have a situation he called this syndrome which later i wrote about in a piece for theater. constantly twirling excavating resuscitating reviving ow history but as soon as we get it up to roll back down on us. because somebody is always there already ready already with a shovel to bury that that you just activated. one of the most accredited
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scholars of transatlantic slave trade took until 2010 to actually publish an atlas that describe that slave trade, with right so when people talk about forgive and forget we don't have a body count yet so what do you mean forgive? we have not excavated what the story is and can we move, no we can't. we can't move on. so -- in that -- frame you know, the american popular coolture american culture in general is always had a set of roles that the african-american afro american, black whatever it was the roles he played, and those who produce art beyond the categories you know sports and entertainment recreation, so forth --
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are often those who blaze the trail and create the new horizons for the entire country. right? for the entire country. and -- although this book is about many things it is about a group of extraordinary artists which are are -- kelly jones, winner of the american book award for south of pico with share with you more about. but i highly recommend i insist you pick up on this, okay. so kelly thank you for that -- for being here with us this afternoon i know you traveled across country to be here. so kelly jones winner of the american book award -- [applause] >> thank you all --
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it is just such an honor to be here with so many wonderful, wonderful writers. i'm getting every book, i mean, they're just -- really so moving. and you know just with so much gratitude as he said and -- before columbus foundation american book award, it has an honor to be recognized with walter and lilian criticism award never thought of myself as a critic per se just digging up those stories you know and getting consumed with this story of history that we didn't know. so again it's honor and a privilege to be among you and also a privilege to have been raised in a community of artists of all kinds of writers, dancers, but including my parents who are great poets mary
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baraka and my mother jones along with my sister lisa jones a journalist a screen writer and -- making life with my partner guthrie ramsey also a writer and a musician. and my cousin who was here today, i'm from new york but, of course, we have people all over. and my cousin loretta greene who is here. who had a column at the sangt jose mercury news over two decades. so you know, especially in these times thanking all writers, poets all artists but the journalists who often risk their lives to tell these stories on a daily ongoing basis. i'm so happy to carry that art and legacy of community and
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activism and that i live with currently live with and that i write about -- forward so i'm happy to carry all of this forward. and also i want to express many thanks to duke university press, my publisher and my great editor ken whisker as well. as so many of you have said today, in these unsettling times can help us reimagine our world. it is a comfort to join with all of you in reimagining and remaking this place we call home. so just to talk briefly about this book, south pico african-american artists in los angeles and in the 1960s and 70s just really looking at a community of african-american artists at that time period. but the other thing that's at
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the core of this book is thinking about histories of black migration. thinking of black people in freedom. in the wake of enslavement so just read a few, just briefly parts that give you the core ideas of what that is because i think ultimately you know when we think of migration and stories, and a beauty and art, everybody shares that. but this is a story of these african-american artists that inherited that and most offed it forward. moi immigrations are in action and articulation of new roots away from a futile past and towards a modern future. as initiated by african-americans these activities look to find places where people thrive they have gesture and inscribe a world for
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emergence growth a renovation of selfhood and revision of citizenship. these are assertions of space, cultural or political as land or property. they create place whether actual sites in the world or positions in the global imagination. african-american migration in the 19th and 20th centuries was nothing less than black people willing into existence their presence in modern american life. it represents their resolve to make a new world in the aftermath of human bondage and stake their claim in the united states. it is a narrative that stretches out 100 years from the moment of freedom a tail with a genesis and southern climb that often move north and west and it is a tail of the role of place in that claim particularly the role of the west there's a site of
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possibility, peace and utopia. artist such as charles white betty and a john utter bridge and diffed and like most african-american it is in the 20th city were for the this have relocation of people in some way my goal here is to understand and demonstrate how work speaks to dislocation and culture reenvision of migration materials of loss and possibility and sense of reinscription of the new in style and practice. thank you. [applause]
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can we have about -- ten minutes left. so i want to extend my gratitude to even to took time to share in this ceremony. as we conclude the 39th annual american book wades we're going to invite our founder ishmael reed once again to the stage. to speak on this subject of charles harris who received the editor publisher award this year. as mr. bass here? oh, he didn't make it. his on you -- [inaudible conversations] so accepting the award for charles f. harris now deceased, ishmael reed. [applause] excuse me still here?
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where is he? where is he? gundars come here. he's been executive director for life for over three decades. [laughter] and has carried us through thick and thin and how do you put it through blind persistence. and so he was with us in a -- revision, of course. and as a latin american he an his ancestors know about oppression under soviet domination for decades. we are organized film experimental of a film in 1981 has been restored and now considered the greatest film produced by a black producers and black director and starred -- fabulous and director bit legendary bill, if you're
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washington on january 6th it is being shown at the national gallery after a being shown at museums around country and again it is run in -- march of this year at the metro theater, and it's probably a work of art working "new york times" in art form. but gundars is survivor one who participate in this project are deceased so trying to get him to go to washington with us on january 6th but -- >> thank you very much. a round of applause for gundars. one more -- one minute, i was wondering yesterday why israeli newspapers like jerusalem post the jerusalem post and harats were
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able to spot the antes semitism in this administration before american media. you know, even after the threat, threatening cnn, with bombing, push both sides do it. rhetoric on each side, you know, and all of this kind of stuff. and marketing ploy that they don't want to alienate haters out here and they're coddling them. i mean bernie sanders was not responsible for that guy sending bomb through the mail. but clinton was not responsible for this guy -- ran to a grocery store and white majorrist shot two black men and cold blood and tried to enter a black church and clintons and obamas were not responsible for this maniac inspired by trump and white nationalist administration to go in that synagogue yesterday to kill all of those innocent people so these are serious timeses and
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people should wake up to what's going on. and i just want to leave you the quote from abraham fox man because people who are pressed they can recognize symptoms right away they said trump rallies reminded him of the rallies in nazi, germany. okay. i had to guilty my rant to read chapters about arthur ashe, that's called crossing the line and i have essay and i'll read a couple of paragraphs. charles harris lifelong task was to educate his white colleague to routinely admitted facts of american history and the role of blacks in that history. harris challenged the publishing to bull riding by black americans one of harris's final task as editor was to publish a book by baraka someone who --
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[inaudible conversations] other statement someone who mainstream uncomfortable. [laughter] and because of his unfair comments about about race, they published a magazine john a. williams and -- charles harris called amstad lasting ground breaking magazine, but his one of his legacies and in addition to publishing the first called eli like a screen so loud in order for people to hear you. if you are -- a member of a voice that is not heard. he published that in the university of the press so black university press published the beginning of a book that's beginning region american renaissance, and he collaborated with arthur ashe with --
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on three volume on black athlete called hard world of glory are spottedded from 1916 with chapters of ancient forum to late charles harris, and he was suffering from hiv at time and he goes on to talk about what their deal with publishers that it was easier to handle opponents on the the tennis court than centric publishers i call them microcentric now because they didn't get europe right. they been to europe many times so -- i'm happy you accept this world for charles harris a friend of mine and who was a stall -- for proponent of black history, and black -- where --
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all those who won -- hold on one second. if we have winners of the today award -- how about a round of applause for just whon did such a great job. [applause] coming up this weekend on booktv, sunday at 1 p.m. eastern, the southern festival of books from nashville with
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author as elliot grn and booklet the people see the story of emmet phil and bob spitz on reagan an american journey at 8:05 p.m. eastern "new york times" magdz gene marie talks about her book to obama with love, joy, and anger and hope. the woman with the gold tooth was in greenwood, south carolina at a rally for obama in 2007. the rally was a bust. no one there but a small gatt ering of local folks needing something to do. obama was looking out at the emptiness. fire it up ready to go -- the woman was a gold tooth abruptly shouted. and as if -- on cue people arranged here repeated her words began to chant, in an instant rally went from dismal to glorious. it show you what one voice can do. that one voice can change your room obama said at a campaign
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rally over year later recounting this story. and if a voice can change a room, it can change a city. then at 9 p.m. eastern on afterwards, republican senator ben cases from nebraska talk about his book then why we hate eemp other and how to heal interview bid arthur brooks president of the american enterprise institute. i don't think it is a story of unmoment but it is spilling vacuum of declining local tribe and kind of tribes that make people happy, family, deep friendship, long-term shared vo kition or meaningful work. local worship and community. all of those things are being undermined by the moment we're at in technological history. >> watch this weekend on c-span2 booktv. now we bring you coverage of the festival of book in nashville first up a discussion on civil

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