our celebration began on february 24th with i, too, sing america; a look at the relationship between langston hughes and zorah, and it featured pianist randy westen and scholar mark pri miss. one week later the green space presented the american premier of the richly powerful radio add adaptation of "their eyes were watching god," directed by reuben santiago hudson. reuben's passion and unparalleled skill for telling stories that matter continue to inspire me. reuben and arthur are right here with us in the front row. [applause] and also of note, please, stay tuned for the radio broadcast in september 2012 on wnyc90.3 f hurricane. ..
and victoria sanders and associate whose support has really made all the difference. [applause] are you here, victoria? thank you so much. i would also like to acknowledge edward hurston who has joined us for several events and is he here yet? he may be joining us here later this evening. my colleagues, for the loudest project to take and write a widespread audience to their creative process and press committing gauge men and marketing efforts. efforts. if you are here, can you please wait?
jennifer houlihan brenda williams and theodore kozlov. [applause] and finally last but certainly not least is my green space team a team that i get to spend my days and most of my evenings with, comprised of truly beautiful human beings, who never respond to a dream of why, but rather why not? nikki johnson, ricardo fernandez, eric kamen, norman wahl, david mcclain, chase called pound and games like air. please join in me in thanking them. [applause] and to help me introduce tonight's esteemed panel, women on the horizon will be rubin santiago and carl -- [applause] lucy and hurston. denise is the author of. >> so you can speak again the life of zora neale hearst --
hurston. blue sea into hurston has over her lifetime compiled detailed knowledge of her aunts life and work within historians observe and i. lucienne go hurston's on work as an academic sociologist in jamaica and st. kitts among other places provides her with unique connection to her aunt perspective in life. she has been the producer and host of two documentaries on zora in the director of the high school production of zora's play. lucianne go hurston teaches sociology at lanchester hume community college in connecticut. lucienne go hurston begins her work, speaks, let us. >> again. zora neale hurston ignites passion. once introduced in the story though she told and those told about her, people want more.
[applause] speech alice walker is an internationally celebrated author, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, for collections of short stories, for children's books and volumes of poetry. she is best-known best known for the color purple, the 1983 novel where she won the pulitzer prize. the first african-american woman to win the pulitzer prize in fiction and the national book award, and her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages and her books have sold more than 15 million copies. walker's most recent works are overcoming speechlessness, a poet encounters the horror and ramon to come eastern congo and palestine israel. hard times, require furious dancing. the world has changed, conversations with alice walker,
and the chicken chronicles, sitting with the angels who have returned with my memories, mmr. in 1973, alice walker resurrected the work of zora neale hurston when she traveled to ft. pierce florida and put a headstone at her unmarked grave. walker is one of the world's most prolific writers yet continues to travel the world to literally stand on the side of the poor and economically and spiritually and politically oppressed. a quote from alice walker. we belong to the same world. a world where grief is not only acknowledged that shared, where we see injustice and call it by its name, where we see suffering and no the one who stands and sees is also alarmed. but not nearly so much as the one who stands and sees and says, and does nothing.
[applause] ruby dee's acting career has spanned more than 50 years and has included theater, radio, television and movies. on stage she was the first black woman to play lead roles at the american shakespeare vessel although she has appeared in over 50 films. her life has not all been just acting. she has long been active in a variety of movements. she along with ozzie davis traveled to nigeria as goodwill ambassadors and eulogized malcolm x in 1965 and later his widow, betty shabazz, in 1997. presented with the academy of arts and sciences circle award in 1994 she officially became the national treasure when they received the national medal of arts in 1995.
in 2000, they were presented a screen actors guild life achievement award. they are inducted in the theater hall of fame as well as the naacp hall of fame. in 2008 she was awarded the screen at guild for best supporting actress for her role in the film, american gangster. she also received an academy award nomination in this role. she is particularly proud of her one-woman show, the story is my name by zora neale hearst in. she stated the kind of beauty i want most is the hard to get kind that comes from within, strength, courage, identity. [applause] >> sonia sanchez, poet activist and scholar is considered one of the most important writers. sanchez is the first
presidential fellow at temple university where she held the laura cardinal chair in english. she was also at the forefront of the black studies movement and taught the first course in the country on black women. teaching the novel, their eyes are watching that. she's the author of over 16 books. her most recent book of poetry, morning haiku. the recipient of numerous awards ms. sanchez's extraordinary voice has earned her the american book award, the lake city poetry award and she was a finalist for the national book critics circle award for does your house have lines? having lectured and read poetry to over 500 universities, colleges and organizations all over the country, sanchez and the world -- sanchez has established a recognition is a highly renowned voice. freedom sisters a national tour exhibit from the smithsonian brings to life 20 african-american women from the last 200 years for equality for all americans. sister sonia is one of the 20.
in 2011, sanchez was the first pour it -- poet laureate of philadelphia. she stated, i writes to keep in contact with their ancestors and to spread truth to people. please join me in welcoming to the stage, lucianne hurston, alice walker, ruby dee and sonia sanchez. [applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> good evening everyone.
now i'm going to scare everybody. i'm going to come off script and i'm going to say i sit at the feet of the master. [applause] >> i am lucy anne hurston and i'm honored to join you here at the green. a conversation with three extraordinary women whose voices have blazed trails and created an indelible pattern into the fabric of our global tapestry. the green at wnyc, and w. q. x. r. is honoring the 75th anniversary of zora neale hurston's the eyes are watching god and tonight is the final installment of that series.
that's began with zora's writing. throughout this evening's conversation you will hear passages from your eyes are watching god selected and written by each of us. we begin with award-winning actress, ruby dee who takes us to the opening passages of the novel. >> thank you, thank you. [applause] this is from the introduction, ships at a distance have every man on board. for some they come in with the tide. for others they sail forever on the horizon never out of sight, never landing until the watcher turned his eyes away. its dreams mocks to death by times.
bus is the life of man. now women, forget all those things they don't want to remember and remember everything they don't want to forget. the dream is the fruit. they act and do things accordingly, so the beginning of this was a woman and she has come back from burying the dead. not the dead of sick and ailing with friends. she had come back from the sovereign and the bloated, the southern and. their eyes flung wide open in judgment. the people all saw her come. that is because it was sundown. the sun was gone. but it had left -- the sun had left its footprint in the sky. it was a time for sitting on
porches beside the road. it was time to hear things and talk. these sinners had been tongue lists, it dear list, i'd lend conveniences all day long. meals and bridgehead occupy a bare skin, but now, the sun and the -- were gone so they felt powerful and human. they became lords of sounds and of lesser things. they passed nations through their mouths. they sat in judgment. this is zora's introduction. [applause] >> as no one else could do it, thank you.
my aunt zora wrote this novel in seven of weeks while doing anthropological fieldwork. i found zora in the attic at my house at 55 home street in brooklyn, new york, and looking through an old look with frayed pages, i began to read, their eyes are watching god for the first time at age nine. and here's the passage that i found most inspiring for the multiple times that i have read their eyes are watching god. it's about the power of a woman to play hell with a man. isn't any use in getting all mad, because i have mentioned you ain't no young gal no more. nobody in here ain't looking at you for no wife, old as you is.
i ain't no young gal no more, but i ate no old woman either. i reckon i look my age too. but i am a woman every inch of me and i know it. that is a whole lot more than you can say, you big bellies around here and put out a lot of red, but nothing in it that you big voice. talk about me? when you pull down your britches, you look like the change of life. [laughter] great god from zion sam watson gas. you really play the dozens tonight. what did you say? hoping as ears had fooled it. you heard her. you ain't blind. i would rather be shot than hear that about myself he commiserated.
then joe realized out the meaning and his vanity bled like a lark. jamie had robbed him of his illusion of irresistible man this that all men cherish, which was terrible. the thing that had done today that the jamie did worse. he cast down his anti-empty armor before man and they at last -- would keep on laughing. when he paraded it thereafter they would not consider the two together. they looked with envy of things and pity the man that owns them. when he's sitting in judgment he would be the same. good for nothing like dave and jim. wouldn't change place with him. for what can excuse a man in the eyes of other men but lack of -- works of 16 and 17 would be giving him their merciless pity out of their eyes.
while their mouths said something humble. there was nothing to do in life anymore, ambition was useless. and the cruelty seed of jamie making all that humbleness and scorning him all the time, laughing at him and now putting the town up to the same. joe stark did not know the words for all of this but he knew the feeling. so he struck jane with all his might and drove her from the store. [applause] >> zora neale hurston and less novels and than the characters in particular, janie. alice i will start with you. you have said this is no book more important to me than this
one referring to their eyes. it was august, 1973. you had journeyed through fort pierce florida in search of zora's unmarked grave india market india market with a headstone that read, genius of the south. [applause] let's start with what led you to that moment. >> to back up a bit, was writing a story myself that needed voodoo information and all of the anthropologist i came across were hideously racist and painfully racist. and i felt very strongly that all of our work has to be underpinned by facts and real things as much as we can manage that, so i kept looking and i finally saw zora's name in a footnote of the book of the most
racist of the anthropologist. i started looking for her because the story i needed to tell was based on a story that my own mother had told us about being in the depression and being hungry and needing food, and going to the commissary to ask for food, but my mother the same week had received a shipment of clothing from relatives in the north. relatives in the north, even though the north, was in what they thought it was, they still had nicer clothing. they sent her some really nice clothes and she put them on and she was -- my mother was very beautiful and so she put on these clothes and she went to ask for food and the white woman in charge of the commissary said, how dare you come here asking for anything looking better than me. now my mother would have looked better than her anyway. [laughter] but she really you know, so i felt the humiliation of that
moment for my mother, and i needed a story to tell, since i'm not violent. many people in my family are violent but i don't seem to have that gene. so i have instead a creative gene, so i decided to write a story that will use we used bhutto, which people knew about, to take care of this woman. [laughter] but it had to be authentic. it had to be the real deal. it couldn't be you know, so i found zora and i found exact way how you do this, and i put it in this story. then from that, i went on to read their eyes were watching god, fell in love with it, started teaching it, talking about it. and so when i found out that she was buried somewhere, nobody knew quite where, she had an ending that wasn't so good.
i was embarrassed. i couldn't fathom someone who had given us so much beauty could be left just so unacknowledged and that was the reason i took that journey. the story there was i went with someone who lived in florida and we got to the cemetery of the heavenly rest. it was full of these very tall weeds and i said, charlotte, are you going to go with me? she was kind of hanging close to the car. she said well, no. i said, why not? she said i am from florida and no one is out there. [laughter] so i had to get back to -- we had to get back there really fast because my daughter was small so i started calling her and, and i called her and i started walking towards the middle of this place.
i really pretty much fell into her grave. so that was that. [applause] ms. ruby. >> oh yes. you had a one-woman show entitled, zora is my name. you also did the audio recording for "their eyes were watching god," the national endowment for the arts, and played the part of many for "their eyes were watching god" television special. you have many connections to this book is well. will you share with us some of them? >> first of all thank you alice for finding that grave. because what a gift to us all, and i didn't know that i had met
zora. i said nora because i have a daughter named nora, but i wanted to name my daughter zora, but so i called her the nearest thing i could. i felt i needed permission or something. i don't know. do you want me to change it to zora like i was going to when you were born? i didn't know that i had met zora when i was very young. oh i don't know, at the library. i had one some prize and a poetry contest. anyway, my mother kept a scrapbook of all the things that we did. my mother was one of those so i started writing when i could hold a pen and a pencil. one day when i was quite a bit
older, she gave me this scrapbook to go through, because i hadn't really looked at it. and there she showed me an article where i had met zora in the library, where i had gotten this award. but i didn't know that i had met her. so, i just wish i could have you know, i wish i would have been aware at that time that i was meeting zora. she was one of the most important women in my life. i dream about zora. i adapted some of her work for a television show with performances on pbs. i have read all of alice walker's books. everything i could read. i ever written about people who have written about zora and the
people who come to my house, one of the places they stay is in the zora room. that is why zora is such a part of my life and was i answering the question? [laughter] >> you did it thoroughly, thank you. [applause] >> zora, zora and i wrote a television show and also so many people who wrote about zora, professors and there is such a connection between so many people thanks thanks to alice's story that so many people in literature no zora. she is a summon all. she is like the bible. she is a rube lady. >> bring her to the world has
been sonia sanchez. sonia, you have talked about this book "their eyes were watching god," all over the country but for the last few decades beginning in the 1960's and seventies with the emergence of the black studies program. where did your journey began with this book? >> we have to all sitting on the stage pay homage to sister alice, who did something for another black woman writer that we all need to understand we must always do with our women writers on this earth. that is we have rediscovered them and we put up tombstones and we celebrate them. she did that if we all stopped in our tracks and send our love
to sister alice. [applause] >> i got out of hunter college. i went to hunter college because i was part of the generation who could not afford paying in these private schools. i was accepted at hunter and city but a city you had to pay for books but at hunter college without looks for free, people. so i graduated january of 65 and my dad said you should go out and get a job. he said you are going to teach because you come from a line of teachers. i said okay dad. he said you're not going to get a job writing because he knew i wanted to write. i got the times every sunday and those who are looking for job sometimes, you know how they respond to "the new york times,"
one, two, four, 56 whatever and send a sample of your writing. i did that and i got a telegraph. for you young people, you say what is a telegram, right? [laughter] there was once upon a time a telegram where they rang her doorbell and handed you this little yellow thing. i opened it and it said, report to work on monday. while i got in my father's face. [laughter] i held that the telegram and said see, see i can get a job writing someplace because they wanted someone to write for the firm. my father said -- he gave me a hug because he came from the south you know. he lived all these years in new york city and he said, you are still going to be teaching in september. i put on my blue suit, my blue shoes. i had my blue bag my white gloves and my blue have. [laughter] and i went down and they said show up at 9:00. i got there at 8:30 because i
figured i should sift through tiki time for the job. so i got there at 8:30 and in comes the receptionist. she looked at me and she opened the door and i took out the telegram. and i said, here. have you had someone look at something and then look at you and then look at something and look at you? i am smiling all the time and she said come in and sit down. she goes out and there must muse been another interest in that office because she goes out and she is gone for about 10 minutes. she sits back down and takes the thing off of her typewriter and begins to work. a head came around like this, right? another had came around like that. at 10 minutes until mina caught the guy looked out and said, the job is taken. i said oh no. but coming to new york i decided to use my new york humor. but i set i got here early and i'm going to go outside and come back at 9:00 because the telegram said report to work at
9:00 a.m.. i know i'm early. i will go outside and wait until 9:00 a.m. and come back in and everything will be okay. but i had in the telegram, and he looked at the telegram and he looked at me. the whole thing is, how did -- how in the world did this happen? he said the job is taken. he turned his back and walked away down the hall but i said i know, it's discrimination. i'm going to report you to the urban league. if he turned around and looked at me and just shrug. i took my hat off, my gloves off and got on the subway. those of you from new york know that if you are downtown and you want to really stay on the left side you have got to stay on and make sure you take the number one train. i was so mad, it got to 96 and i'm still sitting there in the door close. i am on the number two or the number three and all of a sudden, you know you were going to the eastside. so i get up -- get off on 136 treat.
i crossed lenox avenue and there's a guy outside about a quarter into the block smoking a cigarette. the name of the street said schaumberg. i said to him, what is the schaumberg's? he said lady if you want to know, go inside. the old schaumberg had the book that you sign in almost right outside the door. i walked inside and walked to the old schaumberg. there was this long table in all these men with their heads down writing, books stacked up all in their table. there was a glass composite pair of jean hudson. i knocked on the glass door and she opened the door and she said yes dear? a gentlewoman. i said, what is the schaumberg? she said oh my dear this library has books only by and about why people. my 20-year-old mouth said -- how many books are here? whenever i brought my classes to the schaumberg which was every semester, she would look at me
with that very slight smile. i have an interesting use story to tell about your professor and she told that story. i would disappear. she said come and sit down. i want to bring you some books. and she eased me into this thing. they looked up like who is this woman because they were all males in there. it took her 30 minutes and she came back with three books. on the bottom, sold to black folk and on top, "their eyes were watching god." i have no idea why she put that on top but i do have an idea why she put that on the top. i opened it and i started to read. this is smooth sailing. then i got to the black english. i backed up and i said oh and i kept going through it. i've brought back my southern roots by the way and continued
on. ie statin knocked on the glass door. i said, what isha name again? i said, how am i speaking to an educated woman and i've not read this book? she said i know my dear don't worry, i'm going to teach you all kinds of books. just go sit down. i eased back in and i read some more. at a time i was in, maybe through the third of the book i eased up and i was crying. i was crying and i knocked on the door. she gave me a tissue. she said who in the world is this young woman who has come to this library? and she said, go and sit down, dear. i'm really going to help you. i sat down this time and discovered -- tell this young woman she has to leave. i said i came every day to that schaumberg and they sent me look after book after book.
she said, i'm i am going to send you to mr. richard moore. because you see, this is what people who are involved in the community will do. they will finally look at unc something in your eyes and say i i am going to help you continue this. i went to this store, and he had to paper bags from the books. i had to take it cab home. i could not afford it but i took those books. when we started black studies i have the books are ready. when i came back the next day to talk to mr. moore, richard moore was an amazing man. he had a store so narrow. i always said you had to go inside was to get in. what i loved about him, he he was up on one of those -- who are you? he said oh you are the one.
i said i know i have not read them. and he said, you call yourself educated? he came down off of this bit roller and he brought two bags of looks for me. i came back to mr. moore's bookstore because he always had the students of columbia and city college and he talked about great things. the quiet one, i sat there in that little place and listen to this man talk. that was my first introduction not only to zora neale hurston but also to all those great writers. years later i asked her, you know -- i asked her, what did you see in my eyes? that would send me out to these
bookstores? she said, i knew you would continue this. and i was on the brothers tv show some years ago, and she was still alive. he asked me, who were some of your influences? i? i named all the people that i had still traveled with, you know and writers and people, malcolm lamar whatever and then i stopped in my tracks. than i said a woman i had never ever mentioned out loud. i said, ms. jane hudson. sister hudson is the one who directed me and kept me going, and she is the one i called in san francisco or -- san francisco. am i talking too long? [applause] >> i will ask you this. ms. hudson directed you to your eyes are watching god -- "their
eyes were watching god." please share with us your favorite passage from that book and take us through the significance of that passage. >> that meant that i really wanted to read the whole book to you. [laughter] and i realized -- this is a book i taught all those years so it was all falling apart. since she had started that, i figured i should continue it. i wasn't sure what other people had. it's like i remembered, when i stumbled after the beginning seeing the woman in as she was remembering the ending. they chewed up the bad parts of their mind and swallowed with relish. they made burning statements with questions. it was a mood, life, words
walking without masters, walking altogether like harmony and a song. what is she doing coming back here in those overalls? can she find address to put on? where's that blue satin dress she left here and? where is all the money that her husband left her? what is that old 40-year-old woman doing with her hair swinging down her back like some young gal? he left her. he took all her money and offered -- hasn't even got no hair. why she doesn't stay in her class. i love that, why she doesn't stay in her class. and that question is still asked today. you know, is it not? when she got to where they were she turned her face and spoke. they scrambled and left their mouths setting open-ended ears full of hope.
her speech was pleasant enough but she kept walking straight on to her gate. the porch could not talk for looking. the men noticed her firm like she had grapefruits in her hip pockets. i will tell you. [laughter] the great rope of black hair swinging to her waist and unraveling in the wind like the plume and then her tried to bore holes in her shirt. day, that men were saving with a mind that they had lost with their eyes. the women took the shirt and mighty overalls and put them away for remembrance. it was a weapon and if it turned out of no significance, still it was a hope that she might fall to their level someday, but nobody move, nobody spoke, nobody even thought to swallow this bid until after her gate slammed behind her. [applause] >> sonia sanchez.
[applause] this novel has been called a love story, a feminist novel. are there other interpretations? hurston wrote their eyes in 1936 in only six weeks while doing anthropological research in haiti. when zora neale hurston's "their eyes were watching god" was first published in 1937 it did not receive acclaim or recognition that it receives today. white critics were in some ways more accepting of the novel them black writers and intellectuals. one of the most prominent richard wright said that their eyes were seamless and meaningless. he thought that by portraying her people as quaint, that
hurston has exploited them. explained to us this initial reception of the work. >> well i think that you know, as people of color we have been under siege and it has forced us into some quite distorted self conceptions. we can't really see ourselves, so i think that we have been looking for you know, wais-ii be in this incredible, incredibly toxic culture. so that we can be healthy and we can survive so we have often gone through things like marxism which was richard wright's problems among some others. and you know, i love richard wright. one of the great things about loving your people is that you just love them, and they have,
god knows we all have so many shortcomings. but we have given a really good struggle here. we have done that well in this mess of a civilization as anybody could possibly do. we should remind ourselves of that on a daily basis. [applause] but where it is so painful is our distortions, but the culture is caused and we cause ourselves sometimes for various reasons can lead us to inflict such pain on people who are just trying to express how they see us. and just trying to express how they feel and often just trying to express their love. we cannot read this book without just being drenched in love. and the love of your people. you see them in their, all their foibles, weird ways in sayings
and funny haircuts and you know, baggy pants and people with weird names. on and on and on, and just us. it's just us and there's just so much beauty in being authentic whoever you are. so the beauty of this work was lost on these people, because they were afraid. they were afraid that people saw essentially all of this unstoppable joy. you are down there being lynched. if you are not picketing you should be at least sending out leaflets and fighting and all of that. but to actually have joy in your life is a great victory. that is something that i feel she left to us, this ability to understand what true success is.
true success is about being happy and it's about you know doing what you have to do to survive. but you have your good times. you have your music. you have your dances, and this is it. this is what is of value to a human life. and so, she shared this with us at great cost to herself. and i just feel so grateful, and i wish the people who maligned her, i feel so sorry for them. you know, they missed the opportunity to enlarge themselves, to grow, the kind of celtics -- self-acceptance in the air repress a bold courage and the kind of wisdom. just being happy with who you are, what a joy. >> why don't you say to that amen, a woman? [applause]
everybody, a woman. >> their eyes was written to represent an oral tradition of storytelling, of telling history are as sonia i am sure would approach is her journey. janie has been called a heroin. her quest for identity takes her on a journey during which she learns what love is, experiences life's joys and sorrows, and comes to herself in peace. what is significant of this female character and the american literary canon? ms. ruby dee. >> my friend here, i love zora because she has brought us to --
she brings us to essences. she brings us to beginnings. she defines in a sense, a reason that we have not considered why we had to come to this country. we have a job to do and we are still in the process of doing that job. that is to particular eyes the absolute nature of the human character, the human experience as a human being. because she may feel, no matter what religion you come from, and eventually i find out oh, oh yeah, zora was describing human beings and telling us something about ourselves. she was telling us that we are the god stuff, and she was
egging us on to become -- she was trying to point out the richness of who we are as human beings, as living creatures on this earth. zora made me believe in immortality. she made me -- because the character she wrote about and the characters that live with us, we are still working with them. we are still dealing with them in our society and in the world and we still have a lot to offer the world. she delves so deeply into the core of these people that she worked with, and not one dimensionally. the whole group of people around the magazine she did, and she
gave us -- she was the platform. she was the springboard, the good jumping off point for us as human beings in this country, in this part of the world. she taught us a new value for the human being, and when i talk to people, when i was doing the thing for the story is my name, all of the authors that it written about zora. i couldn't believe it. people who had written about this woman. that was another richness which i was capable of remembering. they were white, they were black and that magazine, i mean she was a woman --
she was pulling from the elements, you know. that is what she was doing. did i answer your question? [applause] >> he sonia, what in your opinion is the significance of the female character, janie, in the american literary canon? >> one of the questions i would have given to my students, right? [laughter] you know, when i first started to teach the book, they teach you that you do these things somatic way that you feel uncomfortable because it's more than just separate things. you began to begin to look at this woman, this woman who would
say to nanny, give me a moment to grow up before i get married. give me a minute to experience you know, a quick kiss before i go to bed with someone but just a quick kiss. let me experience a little romance before being with a man who is so old he could be my grandfather. give me a minute just to kiss the air or to just stretch out and do nothing. you know when you read that, use a yeah, you know that is what we did sometimes. we stretched out in kiss the air and didn't move and didn't do anything at all but we also understand that there was a nanny who was saying i have got to protect you. i have got to make sure you have the protection because i ain't going to be here forever. it reminded me so much of african-americans in this place called america, how we always determine what our children do in order to make them safe.
they say it can't you can't be a poet because you can't make money. you have got to be a teacher or you have have to be a doctor or dentist that you cannot be an artist. soshi was this woman artist. from the very beginning when you listen to her talk and are thinking, this is a woman artist that we are looking at some point. that is why you identify with or as this artist, as this poet, says writer and this painter. she has seen the earth as an artist. i think and maybe i'm just being a little biased, but i think women do see the earth, you know, as an artist because we paint our bodies. we paint our bellies do you know what i'm saying? and they come out black, green, purple, blue and all kinds of colors. we spill blood on this earth and we spill earth on this earth and we spill joy on this earth. this woman, you knew from the very beginning that when she looked up and saw someone else,
he knew she was going to leave and you knew she had to leave. you championed that leaving. go on girl, get out of dodge, you know? but on the other hand, this teaches you, you don't make quick decisions about marriage like that. sometimes you have to make quick decisions about life. and she recognized at some point that she was not making a quick decision about marriage. it was about her life, her life. and she goes on and then that great passage that you read when you are reading that look, as you read it with your students, students fall down on the ground in the classroom laughing and the men just sit and stare quite often. do you know what i mean? [laughter] and you talk about why they stare and to talk about wide they can't fall down and laugh at themselves. at some some point we'll have we all have to laugh at ourselves
and you go want and you understand this man, this young man, this man she goes off with who understands the fears that she has. she has all the normal fears that any woman out there on this earth might think about if she even thinks about having a man 10 years younger than she. it all services in no uncertain terms but you know, i used to make my students -- i used to give one of the questions, says a love story? one year i walked to the class and i said this is a murder story and my students, the grad students were in their, they looked at me like i was insane, right? i said yeah him a murderer. i said because every time she touches somebody they die. every time she loves somebody, they die. i mean every time. she went in the book from nanny to the first husband to the second husband to the third husband. they died. what does that mean?
it means in no uncertain terms that she and a sense understood life. that she moved in life and death and she navigated it and she came back and the section that ruby red so beautifully, she comes back and she says i can't talk to you because i haven't put death into perspective yet. i can't talk to you because by survived a trial where people said okay, you are free, you can go home. i had to go and tell the story so i could understand it and quite often we don't tell our stories. so we never understand it and the joy of our being a writer, the idea of sitting here is that you tell stories in order to understand what life and death are really all about. we have told stories to truly understand what it means to walk on this earth and this is a holy woman we are talking about. she finally comes at the end. you know she told me, she made
us holy also too. [applause] >> ms. alice walker. >> in 1990 edition of this novel has sold more than 5 million copies, and it has become the most widely read and highly acclaimed novels in the canon of african-american literature. janie has been called a hellion. her quest for identity takes her on a journey during which she learns what love is, experiences life's joys and sorrows and comes home to herself and peace. what is it about this novel that connects the masses to this book?
>> everybody wants to be free. it's wonderful to be loved, and it's even better to be loving, but without freedom, it's not the best. and so i think that we connect with this story because at the end we find the woman alone and happy to be by herself, at peace with being by herself. she has had many adventures and gone on many journeys, and there she is at the end, combing out her hair and sitting on her own porch, and she is autonomous. she will choose her community. she will choose her family. she will choose her lovers, you know? she is herself. she is as free as probably
anyone could be on this planet, and especially in this place. this is what is before all of us. we would like to connect direct way with life. we have to do it in freedom. you cannot connect life with somebody telling you when to wash the dishes. you cannot do it. in fact, i remember someone, and this is quite a little aside that i was so in love with someone once. we came back to our place and i was busy because, well i was busy. [laughter] and this person come in this case a man, he was annoying. he took that opportunity to remind me that actually our bathroom really could use a good cleaning. [laughter] and i said, oh, you know, i will
help you find a place in another place, not here. because i could see that his programming was that he would able to direct, and that i was expect to to follow directions. i cannot follow directions, except my own direction, my earth given designs direction. i'm not here to be told that the bathroom needs to be cleaned, and neither is janie. and this is part of what is happening. in this book, she is learning that you are not here to be somebody's decoration. you know you are not here to be somebody's plaything. i mean, if you enjoy it for a couple of weeks, that is your business. [laughter] but, the essential thing, the
miracle, the absolute miracle of our being here takes a lot of attending. we are not just floating around here. many of us are of course, but actually to be here in this place is such an amazing experience and gift. it takes all that we have to really step up to it. one springtime i was walking in central park and looking at the tulip trees and those other trees that have those really white flowers. i was just overwhelmed by where we are. we are in this amazing mystery, and if you are trying to inhabit a major mystery, do you want somebody telling you, clean the bathroom, learn to cook, what to wear, how old you look, you know, any of that? you do not. you cannot have it.
you are on a sacred journey and it is yours. it is yours to make. you know, i love our old songs because they'd always just hit it right on the head. one that i really love is the one, you know, hold my hand while i run this race. i'm not talking about a husband. it's about the design itself, hold my hand while i run this race because i do not want to run this race alone. that is what we see happening to people. they are running the race because they are not connected to the actual source, and this is part of what we love so much in zora. she is talking about the pear tree. she is talking about life and she is talking about nature. ..
maybe not all of us, so many of us are programmed to go for the guy in the suit. and the one who is, you know, bringing home major bacon or whatever, but he's no fun. and so -- [laughter] what we -- [applause] i think -- [laughter] and sometimes it takes a long time to get it, you know, like boy, i've been had, you know, i mean, this guy brings in $100,000 a year or whatever, and we haven't danced in, you know, years. so, you know, a way with all of that, we don't want that. we want to have some fun here, in my feeling about this planet, you know, the people who run the world what who are destroying it
have no idea what the planet is for. it's the joy. everything, if you haven't killed it, this planet says every single minute this is the planet that's made for joy and is joyful. we should be too. so anyway, she had to kill tk because he was bitten by the mad dog. and then she was put on trial the same day which is a remarkable thing when you think about it. talk about speedy justice. we can use some of that in sanford, florida today. [applause] and, by the way, i don't know if you realize this, but sanford, florida is ten miles from eatenville. these are the same people. these are the people that are down there, so, you know, that family, the martins, they are her people. and our people. two of those lived and died in
sanford. so here she is. they finally, you know, the black people in the courtroom really are mad at her. they want to do terrible things, and there are some white women who are sympathetic. she gets up when they call her and put her in the chair. they all listened over to listen when while she talks. he had to remember she was not at home. she was in the court house fighting something and it wasn't death. it was worse than that. it was lying thoughts. it was lying thoughts. she had to go way back to them know how she had been with one opt. he should could never shoot him out of malice. she tried to make them see how terrible it was that things were fixed so she couldn't come back until himself until he got rid of the mad dog that was in them and he couldn't get rid of it
and live. he to die to get rid of the dog. she hadn't wanted to kill him. a man is up against hard game when he to die to beat it. she made them see she didn't want to be rid of them. she sat there and told, he ushered had. she had been through for some time before the judge and the lawyer and the rest seemed to know it. but she said on in the trial chair until the lawyer told her she could come down. so then she, you know, they found her not guilty of murder. so she was free in the judge and everybody up there seniled with smiemed with her and shook her hand and the white women cried and stood around like a protecting wall and the kneeing grows with -- the sun was almost down and she had seen the sunrise on the troubled love and she had shot him and had been in
jail and tried for her life and now she was free. nothing to do with the little that was left of the day but to visit the kind white friends who had realized her feelings and thank them. so the sun went down. she buried him in palm beach. she knew he loved the glades but it was too low to lie with water washing over him with every rain. anyway, the glades and the waters that killed him, she wanted him out of the way of storms, so she had a strong vault built in the cemetery at west palm beach. she had went to orlando for money to put him away. he was the son of even sun and nothing was too good. the undertaken did a handsome job and he slept on the white silken couch among the rose she
had bought. he looked almost ready to grin. she bought him a brand new guitar and put in his hands. he would be thinking of new songs to play to her when he got there. the friends tried to hurt her, but she knew it was because they loved him and didn't understand. so she said soft words and to all the others through him, so the day of the funeral, they came with shame and apology in their faces. they wanted her quick forgetfulness. so they filled up and overflows the tents they shired and added over to the line. then the band plays and he rose like a pharaoh to his tomb. no expenses -- for jane any this time. he went on in her overalls, he was too busy feeling grief to
dress like grief. and then, the last part, she had come back and gone back to her house and closed her gate and gone downstairs. soon everything was shut and face end. she founted the sometimes with the lamp. the light in her hand was a spark of sun stuff washing her face in fire. her shadow fell black and headlong down the stairs. in now her room, the place tasted fresh again. the wind through the open windows, had broomed out of the feeting feeling of absence and nothingness. she closed in and sat down. calming road dust out of her hair. thinking, the day of the gun and the bloody body and the court court house came and sob, sigh
out of every corner in the room. out of each and every chair thing. commence the sob inside. singing and sobbing, then he came prancing around her where she was in the song of the flew out the window and lived in the top of the pine trees. with the sun for a shawl. of course he wasn't dead. he could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. the kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. here was peace. she pulled in her horizon like a great fish net. pulled it from around the waste of the world and draped it over her shoulder. so much of life in the meshes.
she called in her soul, she called in her soul. her soul to come and see. [applause] we will take a few brief questions, and i say brief questions. from our audience. we have the at the corner of the state the microphone, and you can approach. >> greetings everyone, good evening. i just had a brief question, you ladies have given me so much inspiration throughout my 26 years, and the stories you've
told, the essence that you've experienced helped me to be the woman i am now. i'd like to ask where do we get our stories from? where do we get our inspiration from? you draw from your own experience, but we have you. it's 2012, so where would a black woman writer now when stories need to be told. where do question find them? >> thank you. >> the sociologist in me said you need to be social activists, and to be active you need to be aware. so everything that happens whether it be an issue in sudan, whether it be an issue in sanford, florida requires a response. and share the issue yolings of
the department at my college in connecticut manchester community college. we do things like habitat for humidity because the quickest way out of poverty is home ownership. and the poorest people of people are color who don't own homes. we do things like hoodie day next thursday to bring awareness to issues of racial and social inequality in the world. we do things like voter registration because even now, later in our government, we still have issues with people being able to have equal and legal access to voting. so i would say, be aware of what's going on and even many so. be activists of what needs to be
done and look to the generation before you here, pay homage, but even more importantly, pay homage and respect to the generation behind you so there's no break in the link so they know from where they came. [applause] karl dicks. hello, alice, sonia, ruby, and lucy. i have met the other three, i'm sorry. i wasn't trying to -- but just coming over here, i was thinking about the point that alice made about sanford is where discoure row was from and thinking about the way in which zora was disrespected among a lot of the black writers for being a woman who revealed the lives of black
poem as they are -- people as they were. and i was thinking about trayvon's murder in the way it which has pierced a israeli for israeli of the society. that murder has opened that veil and will people actually see beyond it to see that how regular this is. this ain't no isolated incident, can they see all of that? i'm wondering there is a connection here between the work that zora did to reflect every day black people and doing it from a female perspective. that was the other thing that a lot of the men especially that were writing didn't like. because a lot of the men had some trouble fashions women characters in their art that were real, you know. i've got some other problems with writhe, but that's one of the questions. let me stop there in line with
your -- it's good that people are out in the street. we have to keep on this question because it doesn't just -- it's just not one case, it doesn't die with one case because it happens all the time. >> i'm definitely going to defer to the masters as soon as i get my say in first. [laughter] zora during her lifetime, as we endure presently, has to deal with the double jeopardy. so we've got an issue of race, which it one thing to do deal with, everything that's nonwhite. it's not a black thing. we don't want to get caught up in the did limb ma of black and white, it leaves brown, yellow, and red not even in the discussion. we need that, but we also need consider the double jeopardy of issues of women. okay. i think that was the thick that was, you know, contentious
between zzora she was dealing with issues she left the issue of race to the men thinking it would be a two-pronged attack against the. they didn't see it that way. they thought that she wasn't in their camp doing the racism thing, then the sexism thing, the otherrism thing that she was doing wasn't important. we've got to make sure that same issue that same double-pronged attack, takes place today. and now i'll turn it over. >> i was -- it was very hard for me to look at what had happened to trayvon, because of course, those of us from my generation
have had to look at and and feel this over and over and over. again, and to feel the endlessness, apparently of it. but i had been. i finally, you know, got myself together, and what i really feel is that there's a certain amount of hypocrisy in a country in the leadership of the country that can see this happen and say how horrible it indeed is, without admitting at the same time that when we bomb children in other countries, it is exactly the the same thing. we're chasing them as they're running from the drones. we're chasing them as they're running from, you know, the whatever defense force is after them, and for instance palestine. we are chasing them around the
globe, and really abusing them and murdering them, and i think that our children and our young people and, you know, not so copy this behavior. and they feel on some level it's okay. this is where we have gotten to as culture. i mean, to our shame, really. you know, human life, the weakest person, whoever is perceived as weaker is thought to be fair game, whoever can be stigmatized is fair game, for the person who can pretended to have authority over that person. so i really, you know, would like very much for us as we are linking these issues, to link the murder of someone like trayvon, to the murder of children in the rest of the world by our, you know, our
support. by which, i mean, we pay for this. we pay for those murders. all these children are all our children. they are all our children. they live somewhere else. it doesn't mean they're not ours. we are adults. we are the parents of the planet. it's part of our responsibility to take care of the youth. and the make them feel like they are safe. and we failed. >> i think unfortunately, the one more things change, the more they are the same. several hundreds years ago, parents of slaved children, predominately, parents of slaved boys, had to teach them how to live within the black. to save their lives. that they don't make eye contact. they keep their eyes down. they keep their arms down. that they somehow humble and
diminished behavior is a board nate behavior. here recome 2012, as the mother of two young men, still we have to teach our young boys, don't put your hands in your pocket. keep your hands at your side. keep your eyes in contact so you don't look shady. we still have to line within the transformation of black code to save your life. because you've been labeled as dangerous than nothing more than the mere presence you have on the planet. that is shameful. >> yes. [applause] >> time is our enemy. wait. we have one more, okay. she's going like this. we have one more. okay. >> thank you. i'm in awe of all of you
ladies. i pushed to get here from the office, and i'm happy i made it. i want to make a quick comment. i wrote a book, not that i'm pushing it. [laughter] no, people kept telling me. your book is not a book. they said, i said it's self-published. they said, it's not a book. so for a year, i worked around with sonya sanchez's book and i said it's a book for every time people would say to me, it was almost as i was seeking permission or conformation, and i worked around. and when i would present my book, they would say, it's not a book. i said but sonya sanchez did the books in the '60s and they were books. it our lives we're seeking
permission even from gore gloria stein m, who is here. >> another of our masters, yes. >> i'm not going to cry. [laughter] but -- oh my gosh! i just wanted to find out from you ladies, iow kn god hasgiven me permission, because everything i stop -- i almost didn't make it here tonight. he said, keep going. i was looking for permission in other people. but i wanted to ask you ladies, what events in your lives got you to stop seeking permission from others? >> alice, alice, alice. i stopped being a lady. [laughter] actually, i never was a lady. [laughter]
and there's a little bit of history to that. in the south, the white women were the ladies. the black lady were the women. i actually preferred to be a woman. so i prefer to be a woman. not a lady, and i don't believe any god necessarily has to be he. and so, you know, i know that for many people, that is just, you know, deeply embedded, you know. but i really feel that unless you liberate yourself from what you have inherited, you know, as truth in the religious of spiritual sense. until you liberate yourself, you cannot really connect with with with what's actually here. , you know, there's a why the programming has been so intense is to make you obedient. and do you want to be obedient to the kind of craziness that this world is showing? i don't think so. >> my father was probably the
first feminist in my life, told me do not let anyone else tell you how to be happy or how to be good. because that's power. do not giveaway that power to anyone else. and i was a young girl when he told me that. i was kind of like, what? yeah, yeah, yeah. and then i finally started growing and reading in school and eting, and i -- educating and i read from the works of gloria, alice walker, sonia sanchez, i watched the works of -- and i learned that you know what? we don't need permission, okay. we don't need permission. others need permission from us. [applause]
and to add into that, my dear sister, so much of this, you know, i talked about teaching the book love as a murder story to get people to think whatever. but also, i teach the book as a movement toward peace. the reason why we like that book so much, we realize at the end she discovered peace. you know, she really didn't know peace, that when you -- the book you're carrying with you, were the books we responded to. when we finally real realized we had been enslaved in a place america we couldn't say by golly we were slaves. you came ought fighting. inpoint i think you must understand is that you must never let people bring you to their level. you know, i mean, i can sometimes come off the stage and someone q and a ask the
question. i hear the negativivity. once upon a time i would have said okay. i say excuse me, my brother, or my sister, could you please tell me how i have offended you. and if you do that? , then maybe i can correct it. you must never go to where they are. one the thins we understand, is from on from joe on, whatever, they all try to bring her to their levels. but with him that didn't happen. you have to hear that. you have to hear that. at some point, the thing called peace, that you finally get at some point it means you can turn around and talk about things as peaceful on the earth. and how you move in the peaceful action.
how we teach them peace. how we move them and teach them. it's not about saying wearing a hoodie. and we all wear the hoodies and say okay. we're pretending our children. no, no, no. in our homes, we've got to begin to teach peace in our homes. that is necessary. and i always say in the long of mind. we need to teach congress and in the police department. we need to teach peace all over the earth at this particular time. my sister, if we don't that. this is like so important for us to understand, that i have seed and we have seen and our our sisters have seen so many of these young brothers being killed and how do we respond? we've always responded in the same fashion. you know, the big uproar. we go and get justice sometimes
and sometimes not. then we go back to the usual lives. i think i'm going to do this weekend. me too, we don't have anything else going on. the world is going on. palestine is going on. iraq is going on. men are coming home from wars killing themselves is going on. you see, so, you know, to just rise up from this one occasion, means we must rise up for every occasion that it happens. we must rise up in this country, when the supreme court justice would convenely forget how the inauguration thing happened. he said it wrong, by golly, but i looked up in the place called washington, d.c., and said it's begun. this nonpeaceful thing has begun. when a republicans come out the next day and said we're going to make sure that this man will succeed as the first black president. i said then, you should resign,
then. because you are here for the american people for we the people, not for yourselves. not for your unbelievably sick selfs. this is about mesh america not about what you believe in all the time. what we must do at some point be the child, black, green, purple, blue we're in america over seas, whatever. we must respond to it. it's not always it's the usual way. we must respond it to at editorials within by going, going to the congress by going to the police department. by going to the humidity and sitting in and talking to them and say let me tell you about what a black child is about. a black child what a white child is all about. let me tell you about these children that we have. who cannot walk the streets because you are carrying a gun. let me tell you about . >> thank you. thank you.
[applause] one thing as always -- [inaudible] [applause] i have one -- it was the time the eyes were watching god. their eyes were watch god. i thought about that a lot. the eyes really on god you know, and because you tend to gravitate toward that which you focus. if your eyes are on god, why isn't the focus returned? i mean, what is it that is keeping the focus from returning? so when we end up talking about what's happening that so -- the stupidity of antithesis of their eyes are watching god. i wonder about that title and i'm wondering what she was trying to tell us, because i really do believe that because
-- if our -- if our eyes are watching god, then god is watching us. there's an exchange between the forces that we desire. and so, i'm beginning to see the glimpse of the progress. i'm giving to see the glimpse of the joy. i'm trying to find it in the book, too you know what i mean about the eyes were watching god. so i'm thinking -- call that book because when your eyes are watching god, and in those senses that we acknowledge, watching and when we're watching god and god we know is watching us. why aren't -- what's happening in terms of the exchange.
i'd like us to e end on that note. how do we count? their eyes are watching god. i'm thinking -- [applause] i mean -- the argument of -- at the end of this wonderful stimulating and intellectual evening, i would like you to thank you for joining us in honor of the 75th anniversary of the novel, their eyes are watching god. ladies and gentlemen, alice walker, sonia sanchez, ruby key, and lucy hosting. thank you, thank you, thank you so much! [applause]
for more information about it this visit the. you're watching book of it on c-span2. we are on location at liberty university in lynch burg, virginia talking with some of the professors who are also authors. and now joining us, is michael babcock. his book "un-christian america, living living with faith in a fashion that was never under god. professor let's start with the subtitle. what do you mean by that? >> yeah. that is a pretty pointed subtitle. and speaking first of as author. i've had the experience of writing titles for books that get shelved. they get changed along the way. that was one that develops in the course of publication. but it -- it is a fair and ak rant representation of the basic argument of the book? >> which is?
>> that the notion of that america is a -- in some sense that is meaningful at christian nation. is something that is subject to be challenged. i try to challenge it in this book. and to really drive to the heart what does that mean to claim that america is a cultural, that is a christian nation. and really what i end up with is that it's christian only in culture in some sense. and that is christians as we need to understand what that means if we're going to live well and effectively with faith in this world. >> give an example what you mean. it's a culturally? >> well, i mean it's a historical common place that this country was founded by pilgrims, by christians who came from a religious orientation. that's the story that we learned in elementary school growing up. i'm not sure that's the case anymore. in that our sense, our institutions, our frame work, i think it's not terrible controversial to say that our
institutions were framed by christian values and the jew day owe christian. that is a kind of cultural argument to make. but at the end of the day, what are we defending if question say this is a christian country? we're defending a set of cultural values. as a christian, i've been called to defend more than that. i've been called to speak with con conviction to more than that. and to speak to something that treens sends any given culture. i am a christian to who happens to be an american. i travel widely trout the world, and i travel to nepal, and i speak in churches there and engage in pastorrial. i speak with christians who happen to be nepalys or indian. that's central argument that i try to bring out until the book. >> when you hear people say america is in an exceptional nation. do you guy, disagree? >> that's a great question. there's no doubt, i think, that
america is exceptional. but the doblght rein of american exceptionalism is very tricky and controversial to engage in. and usually that's meant to -- it's bound up in the ideas of destiny. and it's bound up in the idea that we are in some sense a god ordained nation. or a god-commissioned people. and i want to challenge that very directly. because there a lot of peoples in the course of human history who have claimed that. and one of the cultures that i discuss very specifically in the book is that of ancient rome. and ancient rome and self-ideals were the nation they were called out from among the nices by the god with with a specific mandate. that was to conquer people and extend roman ideas and values throughout the world. >> therefore, well, therefore. >> i think that calls into question the premise, if you translate a a into the
contemporary theme to say what mesh is a god ordained or god destined nation. there is no question in my mind against speaking in a christian. god works in history. i believe that. i believe god is the sovereign god of history. to say that the united states is a knew israel, which was a very common idea in 19th century political ideology. i think in large measure has been adopted by some on the religious rights, and who believe that america is a kind of new israel. and called to a particular mission with within the world. that's what i want to call into question. god is doing his work in the world, but i believe god is doing his work through the church. he's doing his work through people who follow jesus christ in their lives and in their every day lives. >> professor, you write that america is moving to be more secular. is that necessarily a bad
thing? does it mean we're not defending our culture tradition? >> no. the argument that am making a truly historical one in the book. i'm calling my fellow christians to recognize the forces of modern history. that it that america is becoming more secular not because prayer was taken out of the schools as we often hear in the early 1960s and that was not water shed in the secular decision of america. in fact, i argue that the seclation of america is a centuries long process. it's the western world. the monday earn age from the time of there's a 500 years has been the story of secular materialistic world view in the western world. and in which religious ideas and values institutions are increasely mar begannized. we're seeing that a little bit slower than in western europe. we're behind the curve on that. we're part of the same process. in social security the
inevitable movement of modern history. christiany is certainly a historical force within cultural, and our values and our beliefs should not be a secularized in that sense or shouldn't fall under that. we should rise above that. that's the argument i make. >> you close your book by thought abouting a visit you made to nepal and the event you missed here at liberty university. >> it was a powerful event for me. i was actually planning to go nepal right around the time when the founder of our institution, the late chancellor, dr. terri passed away. i was very moving experience around the campus. those who have been here for quite awhile remember him very fondly for his vision. and what his commitment was to not just the institution but to our nation and culture. and yet, it put things into perspective for me as well. because i remember increasingly
how dr. fall in the last number of years spoke increasingly about the role of the church, the role of christians in the every day lives living out the mandate of falling christ, and how that what has transforming power. more than what candidates we elect or what policies we see put into effect in the houses of congress. and i heard him say those things, he who is so much associated with the rise of the religious rite in the last generation. i thought about that much as i was overseas. i saw the power of the message of the christ at work in the people in the place like nepal. that crystallized the message following christ is something that transcends the claims of any particular culture no matter how much we are apart of it. no matter how much we love the culture we are in. >> professor, you mentioned jerry's role in the rise of the religious rit. the title, the thesis of your
book has it created controversy on the successful rites? ? had some good and interestings conversations with colleague. it's important too emphasis that liberty university is an academic institution. we are a community of scholars who follow christ. we debate and discussion thingses we have differences of perspectives. it's not something that is widely known outside the walls of our institution. i think it's important for people to know that. within that community of fellowship and believers, we disagree about issues, and at the bottom line, at end of the day, we're on the same page when it comes down to the core values what christ was called us to in the world. >> what do you teach? >> i teach humanitarian. >> i teach the history western culture. i teach the values i'm discussing in this book. it's one of the things that lead me to take that century's long view on the issues.
i think we can take a narrow crarched view of what one election to another. and as one election, we're in election, as one election is going to be the water shed, and there's no turning back, and we have that. we tend to elevate the importance of the moment that we're living in. it's interesting we the tendency to do that. but when you study history, you realize that things take 500 years sometimes to develop and certainly the secular of the western world is one of those. >> unchris change america is the name of the book. living with faith in a nation that was never under god. michael bob cook is the author. -- michael bob cook is the author. >> you're watching book tv on c-span 2. 48 hours of non-fiction authors and books. every weekend. up next on book tv, scot turow and richard poser in talk about the future of book publishing and related topics.
it's about an hour and fifteen minutes. good evening, everybody. i'm david, the president of the knew berry library. i want to welcome all of you. thank you for joining us for the second in our new series of conversations at the new berry. the nu berry has been offering educational programs to the public since the early 1890s. we think of this new series as a part of a long and important tradition in chicago. tonight's program is being audio recorded by chicago amplified, which is an initiative of chicago public radio. chicago amplified is a web-based add dough library of educational events. you can listen to a pod cast of this event at the chicago amplified, at
wpez.org/amplified. book tv is recording the program, and we will poston our website broadcast time when it is known. order the end of the program, this evening, there will be an opportunity for audience involvement. in order to make sthiewr that everybody can hear audience comments or questions, and to include what you have to say in the records, we will bring a microphone to audience members who want to speak. with other forms of technology in mind, then let me ask you now to be sure that your cell phones and other devices are turned off or silenced. i want to thank our sponsors nu berry trustee sue grey and her husband mel junior generously supporting these events. as the long-time cochair of one of our book groups,