Join us at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education on Oct. 23, 30 Nov. 6, 13, & 20, 2019 when we start discussing Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps. The first 15 attendees will receive a free copy of the book.
Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education 928 Simpson St. Bronx NY 10459
The Literary Freedom Project is committed to creating spaces that help leverage the power of books, culture, and education. Our programs value the variety of histories and cultures found in the Bronx and give residents places to build community and explore social engagement.
These restorative conversations related to gentrification, social justice, women’s empowerment, criminal justice, and racial inequality reflect the racial, economic, and gender demographics of the borough and build bridges to engagement while (re)sparking a love of literature.
One Book One Bronx is a new style book club that inspires, encourages, and delights readers. You’re invited to join as we explore new books throughout the year. The book club meets weekly and is free to join. Free books will be given to the first 25 participants.
WE’RE READING Sula by Toni Morrison Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.
“You can’t go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they’re transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them.”–Barack Obama
LOCATION BronxArtSpace 305 East 140th St. Bronx, NY Mott Haven neighborhood
Nov 26, Dec 3, 10, 17, 2019 We the Animals by Justin Torres Three brothers tear their way through childhood— smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.
Jan 7, 14, 21, 28, Feb 4, 2020 Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau A decade in the making, Emily Raboteau’s Searching for Zion takes readers around the world on an unexpected adventure of faith. Both one woman’s quest for a place to call “home” and an investigation into a people’s search for the Promised Land, this landmark work of creative nonfiction is a trenchant inquiry into contemporary and historical ethnic displacement.
Feb 18, 25, Mar 3, 10, 17, 2020 A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley In the nine expansive, searching stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his group from day camp at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp.
Mar 24, 31, Apr 7, 14, 21, 2020 Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.
May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 2020 Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling.
June 9, 16, 23, 30, 2020 Corregidora by Gayl Jones History and fiction have yielded little about those black slave women who were mistress and breeder to their white owners. There are some facts and figures, but they tell us nothing about the women themselves: their motives, their emotions, and the memories they passed on to their children.
Join us at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education when we will meet to discuss books that reflect on the artwork featured in the current exhibition RESPECT by Timothy Okamura, Jessica Spence, and Nichole Washington. These restorative conversations are related to women, migration and culture. It’s free to join, and free books will be given to the first 15 participants.
WE’RE READING Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps Hair Story is a historical and anecdotal exploration of Black Americans’ tangled hair roots. A chronological look at the culture and politics behind the ever-changing state of Black hair from fifteenth-century Africa to the present-day United States, it ties the personal to the political and the popular.
LOCATION Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education 928 Simpson St. 6th Fl. Bronx, NY Hunts Point neighborhood
Light refreshments available during book club meetings. Families welcomed, however, childcare is not available at this time.
EXHIBITION INFO RESPECT by Timothy Okamura, Jessica Spence, and Nichole Washington A three person multimedia exhibition celebrating black womanhood by New York based artists Timothy Okamura, Jessica Spence, and Nichole Washington. The title honors soul singer Aretha Franklin’s feminist anthem “Respect”, adapted from Otis Redding’s original, made famous in 1967.
UPCOMING BOOKS Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education Wednesdays, 630pm
Jan 8, 15, 22, 29, & Feb 5, 2020 Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau (One Book One Bronx selection) A decade in the making, Emily Raboteau’s Searching for Zion takes readers around the world on an unexpected adventure of faith. Both one woman’s quest for a place to call “home” and an investigation into a people’s search for the Promised Land, this landmark work of creative nonfiction is a trenchant inquiry into contemporary and historical ethnic displacement.
March 25, April 1, 8, 15, & 22, 2020 Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez (book club and poetry workshop) In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between.
June 3, 10, 17, 24, & July 1, 2020 Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this “daring and dramatic” (Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling) dystopian novel about sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make in order to survive.
July 15, 22, 29, Aug 5, & 12, 2020 Locked Gray / Linked Blue: Stories by Kem Joy Ukwu Family dynamics, bad romance, first-date tension, work, and money haunt the New Yorkers in these stories as they nevertheless triumph. A sister is faced with the individual, human reality of the Nigerian diaspora; a daughter navigates her difficult mother’s wedding-day crisis; an unexpected proposal from a neighbor represents hope and resignation in equal measure.
PAST BOOKS Girl in the Mirror: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion by Natasha Tarpley Both historical and personal, Girl in the Mirror traces Tarpley’s grandparents’ movements from Alabama to Chicago, her mother’s move to Boston after her father’s death, and her own trip to Africa and back. Tarpley emerges at the end reflected in the lives, struggles, and loves of those black people who have traveled the road before her. September 11, 18, 25, October 2, & 9, 2019
In September, One Book One Bronx will expand to two locations: BronxArtSpace and Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education.
Click here to join us on Tuesdays, 6:30pm to 8:00pm Sept 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8 One Book One Bronx: Girl in the Mirror by Natasha Tarpley BronxArtSpace, 305 East 140th St. Bronx In this vivid family memoir told in the voices of three generations of women, poet Natasha Tarpley sets her own migrations in the context of a long line of African-Americans’ stories.
If you can’t make Tuesdays, then click here to join us on Wednesdays, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Sept 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, & 9. One Book One Bronx will also host Girl In the Mirror discussions at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, 928 Simpson St. Bronx. Free books.