The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) showcases the history, art and the cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of Africans throughout the world. By realizing our mission MoAD connects all people through our shared African heritage.
PANEL DISCUSSION | Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Voices of the 1965 Voting Rights Fight
Presented during the 50th anniversary year of the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Bay Area civil rights veterans share their experiences of the historic African American-led struggle. If you liked the film “Selma,” you will enjoy hearing more about the role of youth during this pivotal period of the Civil Rights Movement. This program will feature personal stories from the front lines in Alabama in 1965, singing, and slide presentations. The program will be followed by a booksigning.
Bruce Hartford, civil rights activist and historian is author of “The Selma Voting Rights Struggle & the March to Montgomery” Hartford is webspinner for the Civil Rights Veterans at http://www.crmvet.org. He worked on voter-registration and direct-action campaigns with CORE and SCLC 1963-1967 in California, Alabama & Mississippi. In 1965 he worked in Selma during Bloody Sunday, and walked on the March to Montgomery with Dr. King.
Willie B. Wazir Peacock, highly regarded singer of civil rights songs, is featured in the new video, Stand for Freedom: The Life & Times of Willie B. Wazir Peacock. Native of Mississippi, Peacock was an early member of Student Non-Violent Organizing Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was a SNCC field secretary organizing African Americans’ voting rights activities in Mississippi and Alabama from 1960-66. He was both participant and witness to many of the most dangerous and violent campaigns of the civil rights movement.
Charles A. Bonner, civil rights attorney, is a Selma native and author of The Tip of the Arrow, the Selma Student Movement: a Study in Leadership. Bonner was a leader in Selma high school and college student movement, and was beaten and arrested numerous times for voting rights activities. He was on the bridge on Bloody Sunday and marched to Montgomery, and then helped train white kids working with both SCLC and SNCC during the summer of 1965.
Maria Gitin, civil rights veteran and author of This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight, left San Francisco State College to spend the summer of 1965 working with SCLC and SNCC in rural Wilcox County, Alabama, after the March to Montgomery. She canvassed for voters, was chased by the KKK, and arrested. Four decades later she gathered the memories of her co-workers, including Bonner, in a moving memoir of teenage civil rights action.
Pearl Cleage in Conversation with Deborah Santana
Bestselling novelist, award-winning playwright and Oprah Book Club pick’s inspiring memoir of juggling marriage, motherhood and politics as Pearl Cleage worked to become a successful writer and self-fulfilled woman. In this revelatory and deeply personal memoir, Cleage takes readers back to the 1970’s and 1980’s, retracing her struggles to hone her craft amidst personal and professional tumult.
Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta-based writer and author of eight novels, including What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, which was an Oprah's Book Club pick and spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her novel Baby Brother's Blues, was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Literature. She is also a widely produced playwright. Deborah Santana is an author, philanthropist, activist for peace and social justice, and founder of Do A Little, a non-profit that serves women and girls in the areas of health, education and happiness. Her memoir, Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart was published in 2005. She is a member of the Board of Directors at MoAD.
Margaret Wrinkle in Conversation with Marti Paschal
Author Margaret Wrinkle will read from and discuss her acclaimed new novel Wash, which reexamines American slavery in ways that challenge our contemporary assumptions about race, history, power and healing. Published by Grove Atlantic, Wash recently won the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and has been named a Wall Street Journal Top Ten novel of the year, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an O magazine selection for 10 Books to Pick up Now, and a People Magazine 4-Star pick. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Wrinkle earned a BA and an MA in English from Yale University before studying traditional West African spiritual practices with Malidoma Somé. She will be in conversation with Marti Paschal, a longtime member of Temescal Writers, a Voices of Our Nation alumna, and a recipient of a Hedgebrook residency. A graduate of Stanford Law School, she works in local government and is currently writing her first novel.
Keenan Norris in Conversation with Crystal Sykes
Listen to a conversation about race, class and geography with Keenan Norris and Crystal Sykes. Winner of the 2012 James D. Houston Award, Keenan Norris’s first novel is a beautiful, gritty, coming-of-age tale about two young African Americans in the San Bernardino Valley—a story of exceptional power, lyricism, and depth. Erycha and Touissant live only a few miles apart in the city of Highland, but their worlds are starkly separated by the lines of class, violence, and history. In alternating chapters that touch and intertwine only briefly, Brother and the Dancer follows their adolescence and young adulthood on two sides of the city, the luminous San Bernardino range casting its hot shade over their separate tales in an unflinching vision of black life in Southern California.
Keenan Norris teaches English and African-American Literature and helps conduct the Affirm program at Evergreen Valley College. His work has appeared in the Santa Monica, Green Mountains and Evansville Reviews, Connotation Press, Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s Inland Empire and BOOM: A Journal of California. He is also the editor of Scarecrow Press’s upcoming collection of critical essays, Street Lit.
Crystal Sykes is a writer, photographer and blogger residing in San Francisco, California. Graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in Magazine Journalism, her first feature story, "The Black Exodus" won the award for Best Feature in Xpress Magazine. Most recently, her feature story "I'm Not Your 'Black Friend'" remains one of The Bold Italic's most read story of the year for it's commentary on privilege and ironic racism.
Aminatta Forna in Conversation with Sarah Ladipo Manyika
From human rights in Africa to the importance of education for girls and boys and now the impact of war and the silence that follows in Croatia; hear from one of contemporary Africa's important and perceptive chroniclers as she joins us to discuss her newest novel, The Hired Man, set in a Croatian town that is still recovering from the indelible effects of war.
Aminatta Forna was raised in Sierra Leone and Britain and now divides her time between London and Sierra Leone. She is the award-winning author of The Memory of Love, The Devil that Danced on the Water, and a memoir of her dissident father, Ancestor Stones. Aminatta is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and currently holds the post of Sterling Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages, and her work has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Observer, Granta, The Times, The Observer and Vogue.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Lecturer/Writer and MoAD Board Member, was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches literature at San Francisco State University. Her writing includes essays, academic papers, reviews and short stories. Sarah's first novel, In Dependence, is published by Legend Press (London) and Cassava Republic Press (Abuja).
This program was co-presented by the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) and the International Museum of Women (IMOW).
ZZ Packer and Sarah Ladipo Manyika In Conversation
Acclaimed author ZZ Packer has been the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a Whiting Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere won the Commonwealth First Fiction Award and an ALEX award, and was selected for the Today Show Book Club by John Updike. She is currently at work on a novel, Thousands, about the Buffalo Soldiers, which was excerpted in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Fiction Issue. Here, we present Packer reading from Thousands, followed by a wide-ranging conversation with author and professor Sarah Ladipo Manyika.
ZZ Packer’s stories and nonfiction have appeared in Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope All-Story, and The New York Times Magazine. She was recently named a professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and her writing includes essays, academic papers, reviews and short stories. Her first novel is In Dependence (Legend Press, London; Cassava Republic Press, Abuja). She teaches literature at San Francisco State University.
This program is co-presented by MoAD and Litquake.