Emily Bernard’s memoir begins with violence: while a graduate student at Yale, she was working in a coffee shop when a stranger stabbed her. The attack would eventually unleash the storyteller in her, and in these pages she seeks a language to capture the complexities of her experiences as a victim, a woman, a black American, a teacher, writer, mother, wife, and daughter. Bernard writes in “Black Is the Body” how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
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