Sunday, May 2, 4pm CT
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About Bone Broth
Set in a struggling suburb of North St. Louis, Bone Broth excavates the social and familial issues that one Black family and their loved ones must navigate in order to survive.
After the passing of their volatile patriarch, Justine and her adult children find themselves within one another’s daily orbit in trying ways.
Justine, the new family matriarch, struggles to connect with her children and refuses to acknowledge the details of her murky past. Raynah, the unruly spitfire social activist, is determined to uncover the truth of that past so that she can move on with her present. Lois, the struggling real estate agent, contends with the reality of white flight while also dealing with the older emotional toll of violently losing her son. And Theo, the public servant, battles with the memory of violence, love lost, and his own sexuality.
Through these linked perspectives, Bone Broth delivers the touchstones of an inequitable society: violence, suppression, and the human capacity to continue in the face of extreme adversity. With clear, cutting, biting prose, Ellis explores how trauma affects family dynamics, how it permeates every aspect of life, and how reckoning and reconciliation require the strength and courage to confront all the broken, jagged memories from the past.
About The Last Children of Mill Creek
Vivian Gibson's bestselling memoir of growing up in the 1950s in a segregated St. Louis neighborhood has been hailed by critics as a spare, elegant jewel of a work and a love letter to Gibson's childhood. Vivian Gibson grew up in Mill Creek Valley, a segregated working-class neighborhood of St. Louis that was razed in 1959 to build a highway, an act of racism disguised under urban renewal as "progress." A moving memoir of family life at a time very different from the present, The Last Children of Mill Creek/I> chronicles the everyday lived experiences of Gibson's large family--her seven siblings, her crafty, college-educated mother, and her hard-working father--and the friends, shop owners, church ladies, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit African-American community. In Gibson's words, "This memoir is about survival, as told from the viewpoint of a watchful young girl--a collection of decidedly universal stories that chronicle the extraordinary lives of ordinary people." Winner of a Missouri Humanities award for literary achievement, The Last Children of Mill Creek/I> is an important book for anyone interested in urban development, race, and community history--or for anyone who was once a child.
About Mother Wit
"This book describes in a vivid and poignant manner the remarkable ability of a mid-twentieth century Black woman--living under conditions of Apartheid as practiced in the United States--to overcome harsh and even grotesque societal obstacles, and succeed in rearing six children. That each of them went on to excel in their chosen fields is worthy of serious contemplation. In addition, the reader is provided insight and illumination on still taboo topics such as "colorism" and intra-group violence that engender and nourish self-hate among many in the African American Community. Moreover, the author's penchant for candor is coupled with a constructive theme of hope and faith in the future." --William M Harvey, PhD, psychologist
About the Speakers
Lyndsey Ellis is a St. Louis-born fiction writer, essayist, and cultural worker. With a BA in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, she strives to explore intergenerational trauma, hardship, and struggle. In 2016, she was a recipient of the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award and in 2018, she received a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for fiction. Bone Broth is her first novel.
Vivian Gibson was raised on Bernard Street in Mill Creek Valley, and has lived in New York City and Liberia. She started writing short stories about her childhood memories after retiring at age 66. Her work has been produced as part of 50in50: Writing Women into Existence, at the Billie Holliday Theater in Brooklyn, and published in The St. Louis Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2019). She lives in St. Louis, Missouri
Malaika Horne is founding director of the Executive Leadership Consortium at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is an academic writer, book author and journalist, writing extensively on topics from politics, health, social causes to women’s issues. Dr. Horne serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She is currently a contributing writer for the on-line publication, Arts Today. Recently, she authored the book: Mother Wit: Exalting Motherhood while Honoring a Great Mother. She founded and chaired the Chancellor’s Cultural Diversity Initiative at UMSL from 2004 to 2011. She created a student radio show, The University World View, a diversity program interviewing cultural diversity specialists. Now, she has a podcast with the same name as the radio show. Prior to her work in academia, she was managing director of Narcotics Service Council, at the time, one of the largest private non-profit agencies of its kind in the state. She is a board member of several non-profits in the area. Her hobbies are travel, reading, fashion, health and fitness and becoming proficient in Spanish. She is married to Prince A. Wells, III, professor of music, SIUE.
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