So excited to be coming back to Fort Greene for this reading. When I had the page proofs, I took them to the cafe across the street, and dreamt that one day I’d be reading at Greenlight. I went in and bought a copy of Eloquent Rage by Dr Brittany Cooper and a gift paperback of Dr bell hooks’s classic, All About Love. My heart is so excited to soon stand in that place with all of you!
Greenlight welcomes Jessie Morgan-Owens to present her new book Girl in Black and White. When a decades-long court battle resulted in her family’s freedom in 1855, seven-year-old Mary Mildred Williams unexpectedly became the face of American slavery. During a sold-out abolitionist lecture series, Senator Charles Sumner paraded Mary in front of rapt audiences as evidence that slavery knew no bounds. Weaving together long-overlooked primary sources and arresting images, including the daguerreotype that turned Mary into the poster child of a movement, Jessie Morgan-Owens investigates tangled generations of sexual enslavement and the fraught politics that led Mary to Sumner. She restores Mary’s story to history and uncovers a dramatic narrative of travels along the Underground Railroad, relationships tested by oppression, and the struggles of life after emancipation. Morgan-Owens presents her book in conversation with Alexis Coe, historian and author of Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis.