May 30, 2017 7 PM
Join us for a retrospective discussion on the cultural and political force of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks, in celebration of her one hundredth birthday with Angela Jackson.
Presented in partnership with Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.
About the book: Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the American literary icons of the twentieth century. Mentored by Langston Hughes and Richard Wright from a young age, Brooks’s poetry offered a unique and powerful voice. It served as witness to the stark realities of urban life: the evils of lynching, the murders of Emmett Till and Malcolm X, and the revolutionary effects of the civil rights movement. She earned many accolades for her work, and in 1950, she became the first African American ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize.
As an acclaimed poet who took inspiration from complex portraits of black American life, Brooks gained notoriety as a cultural symbol and speaker of truths. And as a leader of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s, her reputation flourished as a generous mentor to younger writers and activists.
A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Books delves deep into the rich fabric of Brooks’ work and world over nearly six decades. It is a commemoration of an artist who negotiated black womanhood and incomparable artistry with a changing, restless world—an artistic maverick way ahead of her time.
About the author: Angela Jackson is an award-winning poet, playwright, and novelist. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the National Book Award–nominated And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New. Her novel Where I Must Go won the American Book Award in 2009. Jackson lives in Chicago.
About the co-sponsor: The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture was established by Michael C. Dawson, with a founding conference taking place in June of 1996 entitled, “Race and Voice: Challenges for the 21st Century.” From its inception, CSRPC faculty affiliates, students, and staff have been committed to establishing a new type of research institute devoted to the study of race and ethnicity, one that seeks to expand the study of race beyond the black/white paradigm while exploring social and identity cleavages within racialized communities. Scholars affiliated with the Center have also endeavored to make race and ethnicity central topics of intellectual investigation at the University of Chicago by fostering interdisciplinary research, teaching, and public debate. Fundamentally, the Center is committed to contributing intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that can help people transform their thinking and their lives.
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