JOIN US FOR OUR VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB MEETING

While we’re unable to meet in the theater, we’re taking our book club online. Join us on Friday, August 28 from 5-6pm on Zoom. We’ll be reading and discussing one of the texts from the NYU Office of Global Inclusion and Diversity’s Anti-Black Racism Education Resource ListRSVP here to receive the Zoom link.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. “An absolutely indispensable anthology” (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future.

Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We’ve made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a “post-racial society”—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time “seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward” (Vogue).

ABOUT THE EDITOR

Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Prize. She is the winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones (2011). She is also the author of the novel Where the Line Bleeds and the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award. She is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University and lives in Mississippi.

Get Into It

NPR Codeswitch

Interview with Jesmyn Ward

I do think that people will claim a certain fatigue about talking about race. But I think that even though they do, it’s still necessary — completely necessary. Because if we don’t, [and] if it’s a conversation that we walk away from because we’re too tired of having it, then nothing really changes.

Sometimes you get tired of fighting. I think you just sort of come to this realization that yes, that you will get tired, but that doesn’t mean that you can give up the fight.

The New York TImes

Review: The Fire This TIme

Essayist after essayist in this powerful book (there are also some poems) considers black experience in America in light of the recent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and others. Most agree with Ms. Ward, who declares: “Replace ropes with bullets. Hound dogs with German shepherds. A gray uniform with a bulletproof vest. Nothing is new.”