Authors Patrice Gaines, Keith Harriston, Curtis Bunn, Nick Charles, and Michael Cottman will discuss their book, Say Their Names: How Black Lives Came to Matter in America.
This event is made possible in part by the DC Public Library Foundation. A free copy of the book will be available to the first 50 registrants courtesy of their support.
About the Book
SAY THEIR NAMES: How Black Lives Came to Matter in America—a gripping, thought-provoking survey of the forces that pushed our unjust system to its breaking point following the murder of George Floyd, a definitive catalyst for our country’s present-day racial reckoning.
As the Black Lives Matter movement gives momentum to a long-overdue cultural shift in America’s collective conscience, some might say the story of the weeks of protests in the summer of 2020 began with the 9 minutes and 29 seconds when Police Officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on camera. Many saw a story where white America had finally witnessed enough brutality, with Floyd’s death being the impetus for the sweeping federal, state, and intrapersonal changes in its wake. The only problem is that it isn't true. George Floyd was not the first Black man to be murdered by police, yet his death came at a time when America was already a country on the brink.
Penned by a powerhouse of five expert Black journalists, SAY THEIR NAMES is a deep dive exploration of the historical context behind America’s original sin. By examining how inequality was propagated through history, the authors highlight the disparities that for so long have characterized the dangers of being Black in America.
SAY THEIR NAMES shows how Black people in America attempted a series of moderate methods to counteract these inequalities, dating back to Ferguson and the Civil Rights movement before it, to enact change long before the pandemic arrived, and how the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd pushed compliance with an unjust system to its breaking point. Finally, they outline the changes that have resulted from this movement, helping readers understand the magnitude of what we've been able to accomplish, while at the same time proposing necessary next steps to move forward as individuals and as a society.
With a combination of incisive, focused journalism and affecting personal insight, the authors bring together their collective years reporting into one voice, creating a cohesive and comprehensive understanding of racial inequality in America.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Patrice Gaines is author of the bestselling memoir Laughing in the Dark (Random House, 1995) and Moments of Grace(Random House, 1998). Gaines was a reporter at the Washington Post for 16 years. While at the Post, she was a member of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She was awarded a Soros Justice Media Fellowship to write a series of columns about the impact of incarceration on the Black community. At age 21, Gaines was found guilty of drug charges and forever labeled a “convicted felon.” In the decades since, she has spoken and taught in prisons and jails, and also lectured at colleges and conferences on the brutality and failure of America’s criminal justice system. Gaines is also a justice advocate and abolitionist.
Michael H. Cottman, author and award-winning journalist, is Assistant to the Dean for the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication. He served as Program Editor for NBCU Academy, a journalism education and training initiative with the NBCUniversal News Group Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team. He is also the former Editorial Manager of NBCBLK, a division of NBC News Digital. Cottman is a former reporter for The Washington Post and The Miami Herald, among other publications. Cottman, who has received numerous awards, was also part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Newsday's coverage of a deadly subway crash in New York in 1992. Cottman has authored, co-authored and edited eight non-fiction books and he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss his work.
Nick Charles has reported, written, and edited for various media at the local and national levels. He has been a reporter/writer and contributor to the Daily News, People, NPR, the Washington Post, The Undefeated, as well as several other publications. He was the Editor in Chief of AOL Black Voices and the VP of Digital Content for BET.com. Charles is the Chief Culture Editor for NPR.
Keith Harriston is a writer based in Washington, D.C., who worked for 23 years as a senior newsroom manager, department editor, investigative reporter, and beat reporter covering public safety policy at The Washington Post. As a reporter at The Post, Harriston twice was a nominated finalist by the Pulitzer Prize Board. Since leaving The Post,Harriston has taught journalism at American University, Howard University, and George Washington University, where he currently is a professorial lecturer in journalism.
AGE GROUP: | Seniors | Adults | 13 - 19 Years Old (Teens) |
EVENT TYPE: | Emancipation Day | Author Talk |
|Mon, May 29||Closed|
|Tue, May 30||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Wed, May 31||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Thu, Jun 01||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Fri, Jun 02||9:30AM to 5:30PM|
|Sat, Jun 03||9:30AM to 5:30PM|
|Sun, Jun 04||1:00PM to 5:00PM|