IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE: MY FAMILY DIVIDED by Diane Guerrero

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The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin,” was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.

“In the Country We Love” is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven’t been told.

Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over.

Appearances

May 7, 2016| 6:00 p.m.| Busboys and Poets 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, DC 20008

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Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

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A product of the complicated history of the American South, James Brown was a cultural shape-shifter who arguably had the greatest influence on American popular music of any artist. Brown was long a figure of fascination for James McBride, a professional musician as well as a writer. When McBride receives a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth, he follows a trail that reveals the personal, musical, and societal influences that created this immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated soul genius. James McBride is one of the most distinctive and electric voices in American literature today, and in Kill ’Em and Leave he uncovers a story that helps to explain Brown’s legacy: the cultural landscape of America today.

 

Appearances

April 7, 2016| 7:00 p.m.| Politics and Prose 5015 Connecticut Ave NW DC 20008

WRITING MY WRONGS: LIFE, DEATH, AND REDEMPTION IN AN AMERICAN PRISON

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At age thirty-eight, Senghor was released from prison, where he’d served for nineteen years—seven of them in solitary confinement, which he describes in this powerful memoir. Senghor, whose childhood goal was to become a doctor, read, meditated, and wrote during his time behind bars; once free, he acted on what he’d learned about atonement and forgiveness, becoming a mentor to youth at risk for drugs or crime, and working for social change with organizations including the MIT Media Lab and the Atonement Project. He is currently the director of Strategy and Innovation with #cut50, whose goal is to reduce the U.S. prison population safely and responsibly by 2025.

Senghor will be in conversation with Van Jones, a CNN political commentator and founder of founder of Dream Corps, Rebuild The Dream, Green For All, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.

 

Appearances

March 9, 6:30 p.m.| Busboys and Poets 14 & V2021 14th Street NW| D.C. 20009