Skip to main content

tv   Author Discussion on Race and Identity  CSPAN  December 5, 2021 3:36am-4:36am EST

3:36 am
steve and thank you for this conversation pretty. >> and i want to thank you guys, what next and ten outstanding panel to serve on it and be among you guys was privilege. >> thank you so much. and for the sponsoring and is attending. if you want to buy the book, click the buy the books button at the bottom of the screen .check out the full schedule and before you go. [inaudible]. is all about the power in the s. >> boston book festival continues now on book tv. >> now i would like to turn things over to principle of
3:37 am
kelly chung and associates of boston based public relations and marketing agency. >> thank you christina and good morning everybody and thank you for joining us and we have three authors and of course only one of them had a family emergency. the author of the book and other countries bookmarked and she could not be here today so we wish her and her family well but we are excited to have two authors join us, chanda prescod-weinstein, who is the author of the disorderly causes i will pull the cover up. and the journey into dark matter space time and we are also joined by brian broome, who is the author of punch me up to the
3:38 am
gods, mmr and that is brian broome's book as well so welcome. to each of you and them so glad you're joining us and i enjoyed each one of your books and we are going to get into questions that we would like to start with the reading. we will hear your speaking voice but we want to hear your writing voice as well so were going to start with chanda prescod-weinstein, who is going to read from a section of the book of her choice. >> hi and thank you. i am chanda prescod-weinstein, and i'm going to be reading from the introduction to the disordered cosmic in the beginning. i used to think that separate from people, i thought we could talk about particles and without
3:39 am
talking about people and i was wrong good, different points he came to understand physics was something that involve people that particular understanding is on through different phases of its own rated physical world requires a social world and i know personally the social various practices of science as a result of the people who comprise the community we call science in this book i will reflected the readers with mark science and difficulties people like me face and holding onto that. and for this reason, on this basis, just physics, physics and the chosen view, the trouble with physicist and all our scholastic relations in this book is also an incredible long tradition of science take a moment to share line role of how these play out and hunt and aim to give readers a sense of what the researcher calls the scientific on providing a feeling of the universe and the space within it and this is a
3:40 am
hallmark of and i think it is wise documentary and captured the world's imagination it and sustain me through difficult moments during college rated moments always his who have the opportunity to share the views on science has been met. in necessarily in the black aged under woman, i see science different as my ancestors have because contrary to the usual war, your matters in science and when you're looking at the world from the margins, person can be blind can feel out of reach and struggle against monday and support. and attempting to dramatically outside of the popular science progress, go beyond the role that socialist and in science. [inaudible]. and some point in my life is essential narrative while you will learn some things about me along the way, and other scientists as well, i am not the point. much more interesting is the
3:41 am
question of how we get free braided what is freedom look like it, whenever this question it, she told me freedom looks like choice without having to consider so many others when they make those choices. and it decries the self actualized, and to always be stuck in survival mode braided and with the scientists appear at the beginning of this book, as i read read i commissioned in part because i'm trying to figure out my own answers to the questions and i asked her question to envision and named black women site is under slavery and i wanted to challenge you do the science thought has been the exclusive purview as americans. [inaudible]. and i also wanted something to remind myself that i belonged in my department's office and remind myself that even in the work in worse conditions, black women maybe have a look at the
3:42 am
sky and wonders, women whose names i do not know who may or may not be part of my bloodline, are just much my intellectual ancestors as she and his through the lessons these women passed on that i've learned to live with the eyes of this world and good physics but those who are not good to people. these ancestors also served as a reminder that the universe is more than our attempt to manipulate as negative and the muted serve as 1600 and sent to enjoy his ability to part of this day, hank and torture counterfeiters i don't have to end up like the another brilliant and tragic physicist who oversaw the creation of weapons as for the rest of his life trying to undo the damage. and believe we can keep the search for a mass medical prescription of the universe while connecting work from circle place in the hands of violent people by the nationstate pretty with this book, how to calm myself and
3:43 am
others, and understanding the creating room for black children to freely less particle as exempt cosmology means rapid changing societies in the role as a physicist within it in the end and dreams for black in children and others have clean water, access to healthcare in a world without mass incarceration read one can know and experience blackness is beauty and power and two, to know and experience the sky and to know it belongs to their ancestors, that too is freedom. >> thank you chanda prescod-weinstein, i'm not going to turn to brian broome, who is going to take us on this journey by reading an excerpt from his book. >> thank you kelly and thank you chanda prescod-weinstein and i'm just going to read from the beginning. why not. this from the beginning of the
3:44 am
book where it starts and well although it. reporter: itself. i'm standing in the bus stop in pennsylvania on the black end of town, it is a hot but overcast summer day to my left is the only man mesmerized by his cell phone who laughed out loud periodically while stirring and his thumb spy like humming bird wings on the keyboard and is just like all of the other men around here news the duration of the stress teams with start white tennis shoes and a short insured the sports logo across the front. and i noticed him only because a little boy wearing identical outfits is circling around and around his feet. in the toddler, is doing all of the things toddlers do, pitches forward of the full force of the concrete bus way an enormous toddler expert.
3:45 am
the women around me gasped and took pulsing steps only way for the young men who i assume is the voice on the big boys at minton to him braided the boy whales, the boys wills are high-pitched read the child's name is. [inaudible]. , the father said he briefly looked out of the way that he turned back to his phone and tossed on the sidewalk only to howl more loudly than women around me shifted their eyes from the child to the father. the worried looks are creases between their eyebrows read they gave disapproving glance to another the voice screams reveling in his mouth is open so wide that his little face looks like it will tear itself apart. and as i watch the boy sitting in the saddle, i try to remember what real crying feels like. and i cannot predict i can only
3:46 am
remember that employee to try to suppress it in the father picksp off the ground and places him on the bus stop bench before turning back to the flickering lights inside of his phone is no interest in shaking it off. be a man his father said, out of the corner of his mouth read eyes sitting on his phone. he has no interest in being a man and screaming continues. then his father kneels down grabs boy by the shoulders and looked him straight in the eye and he said stop crying, be a man. when i was a boy used to sing the back steps of our house after i was always commanded not to leave our yard. my father would wander out after a long while this head down at the same hands that he would use just to with my butt, so deeply in his pocket. instead of letting the screen door slammed as he usually did, he closed it carefully any usually his temper got the best
3:47 am
of him so he would come out, and by the remorse he was unable to express with words. he would sit down next to me and quietly looked off into the distance and he fished out of his pocket winston place one between his lips and his both hands on his lighter to light it in excel the thick cloud of ivory smoke. and for a little while, he and i would just sheer silence that was occasionally broken up by by pickup and sobs and sharp intakes of hair braided sometimes he would come out there and give me a popsicle or candy bar they would hand me while still looking out in the backyard. he would sit there, until he could not take listening to my whimpering any longer and he would command me suddenly as if he had just spoken about the dream, stop crying, he cried enough, stop crying right now. and i would stop immediately. and so the father's voice
3:48 am
demanding to stop crying and all i want to do is take the boy and pick them up and make sure that he is all right. it cannot explain it, something to do with his shoulders being held in a vice like grip by the very person who he needs tenderness from this moment, something about the unaddressed age and i realized this, i am witnessing the playing out of the very conditions the dogged my entire is distance, be a man to the exclusion of all other things. the father publicly chastised him i remember how my own tears and i remember how my own father looked at me as if i were leaking gasoline about to sit the whole concept on fire and stop crying, be a man. >> thank you brian and i see that we are joined by another, you made it and welcome pretty.
3:49 am
>> thank you and i hope you can hear me in the coming technical issues pretty. >> we can aryan and see you. >> good karma pretty. >> yet libraries i love them printed. >> and again a while, to kim mclaurin, she is the author of james baldwin, another country, bookmarked i believe you are still teaching at emerson in writing it and you've authored a few of the books and some folks may know you as a commentator on wgbh or gbh tb basic black so well, and we are reading russian say or authors are reading excerpts from the books that will give you a minute if you would like to read a passage from your book. you can be thinking about which passage that might be.
3:50 am
and we will go into questions and i wanted to ask brian broome, why memoir. what compelled you to write a memoir. >> i'm sorry is tricky and i was being boarded in rehab. [laughter] that was the reason that i wrote a memoir, i really hadn't set out to write a book read monroe, i didn't know i had a book in me and i had not written anything since i was a kid but i was in rehab and i decided to placate everybody was calling me to go to rehab and i wanted to shut them up and when i was there, it dawned on me that i needed to be there and i had this roommate
3:51 am
who snored so loud but i was up at night. we did not have a tv, and so i decided to write on a theme like one of the stories in my life that i think maybe helped plan to be in rehab. and that's where the stories come from, just sitting there running and then when i got out of rehab, i started to do like local open microphones and things like that and when i was doing one and a woman came up and said i want your agent and i said okay, whatever the heck that means. and she said what have you been writing and i said i have all of the stories that i wrote before and after rehab and she said, this is your memoir, let's write
3:52 am
it. that's where it came from and as i continued to write, it became more cathartic like i was really started to deke and trent dig deep into a lot of personal pains and i found that it helped me with my recovery and that's when it became compelling to just get this out even though it is painful and a lot of things that i do, i am not proud of. just getting it out of the page made me feel better so that is where it comes from predict. >> i would say cathartic is a keyword because you really excavate your past. you go through several layers. chanda prescod-weinstein, your book is not a memoir, it is a way of connecting physics to the night sky, to lock feminism,
3:53 am
history, politics and most of all, freedom. how do you incorporate all of these themes into the book and the first question for me as a layperson is what is it theoretical physicist do. >> i jokingly tell people now, jen 19 professor at the university of new hampshire but. [inaudible]. but during the best moments in my job is live at the battery of what humanity understands about the universe and what maybe they do not understand so i'm being is putting a lot of time in the place of confusion and using tools to kind of chip away at that. so i would tell people having a very scientific experience because it's basically my job to
3:54 am
be confused but as a theoretical physicist math is my particular tool and work on dark matter in particular some of during my best moments, i thing is that is being confrontational work or through that. i think in relation to bringing all of these ideas together, a lot of it had to do with when i was going and hope in east la, i dreamed of one day going off and getting my phd and coming home to east la and theoretical physicist ten is going to write the history, from east los angeles for people. and the reason my dream got deferred because like in a way, it was deferred because the journey and actually getting going out to get the pag and actually getting up in new hampshire was far from east la as you can possibly get is there
3:55 am
so many other pieces that go into including my experiences of homophobia in my experience of racism and along the way and trying to make sense how all of these things were factoring into the things that we actually do in the myths that i had socialized into as a child predict and thinking that science was completely separate and i think that my parents are political organizers, my mom is a black feminist organizer she played a big role in this kind of a story of the book and i think that one of the things happen to me, seemed like this is something that's detached from all of this messed up stuff that i parents are constantly kneeling with like children being removed from their homes because her parents are for basically and i kinda think. and so i think the attraction for me was there something
3:56 am
bigger than these human problems. then realizing it that this is not at all escape from that sort try to use, my own pieces of my story the way the scientists often do. and books about their signs to tell stories about the science and part of the point that i was making in the excerpt that a rent is that those stories are different coming from me than they sounded coming from stephen hawking and charles dickens for example. >> thank you and kim, what compelled you to write your memoir. >> thank you and i hope you can hear me and it's also a little chilly so i will be brief and i really wanted to at least make
3:57 am
an apparent commitment an appearance i really apologize for being late with the situation cannot be helped financially did bring my book. i will just say that my book which is james baldwin's, another country bookmark as part of the series by my publisher and is a bookmark series. and i think that is one, the baldwin book. it is part of the series by my publisher in which writers write about the book, book mark and so it is kind of genre, actually called to be open memoir which is an interesting phase in her face than ever had heard of reduced part critical analysis of the text and also are reflective appreciation of it so
3:58 am
is a part memoir and james baldwin is my hero in my spirit guide in my and i once wrote an essay called on james baldwin save my life and, i mean, that pretty he didn't physically see my life but he saved my life literally with his words and through his work so is always been my mentor and my hope is a writer and an artist. so when my publisher asked me to write this, it was an interesting thing because i read in the country when is he a person and a different person so to go back and read it now, it was really interesting experience of the memoir is really about brother did the first time in a first read it and who i am now, the difference is that how bringing that different self to the book changes the book. i saw things in writing at this
3:59 am
time that i did not see it when i was three years old and i could have appreciated in another way and lovingly critical in a way that i was not at the time and so is actually a really wonderful experience of another done it my publisher had not asked me what i thought that was really rewarding experience and i think it's pretty interesting look. it's a critical analysis, and fantastic normal, not perfect and is flawed in some ways. in his see the flaws and acknowledge the flaws in your hero, i think it is part of growing up and if anything this book is about, i'm in my 50s right now, to be able to be who you are in your 50s and to be able to love your heroes with all their flaws and acknowledge both things. i hope you guys can hear me and i hope you heard that.
4:00 am
>> yes we did, and since your focus is on baldwin, he also had a strong impact on you and factors in your book as well brian broome, especially toward the end and can you talk about his influence and how you were able to integrate that into your storyline. >> i drove my but all of the way to the boss and well because i thought i was on the spiritual journey to find things, divine james baldwin and i wanted to go to where he lived because i felt like i had spent my entire life as a gay black man and being ashamed of really both of those things. i had been somebody who wanted
4:01 am
to make sure that everybody liked me. in a world that has racism in color them in homophobia, it is hard for dark skinned person to do that pretty and trying to make everybody happy you're really running yourself ragged. you want to seem to like her to georg and that is how i spent my formative years and so when i looked to james baldwin he didn't seem to be concerned with any of that. he would say whatever the heck he wanted to say and i watched all of his like interviews and the firebrand was really unapologetic about his existence and while that's true, i also learned that he was human being and build him up in my head to
4:02 am
be this black gay, it was a person and he had insecurities any of flaws and he had you know, a lot of things that if you read back and you say you don't agree with that, so it was really sort of a morning opportunity for me as well. on the way that you don't have heroes but people are just people. and every one of my bullies was insecure and every one of my teachers who told me that i was going to happen, they don't have all of the answers. although i absolutely admire james baldwin, i think that sort of pilgrimage to where he lived company and he was amazing, brilliant in the end, he was just a man is online.
4:03 am
if that makes any sense at all, i think i just went all the way around the mulberry bush. >> it plays a role in all of the narratives that you all give the reader. i noticed that in brian broome's book, it's kind of a literary device in a way to go on the journey and for kim, leaving your family and to be dropped into another cultural it experience in private school. and for chanda prescod-weinstein, leave meet you on the school bus you're trying to tell your fellow students about pork and were not going to go there but my point is that using that as a point of
4:04 am
departure to kind of get into work story and i especially liked would brian broome did it, this is one of my favorite poems of all time by wendell and brooks, the pool players of the shovel and headed framing the parts of the book with the text of the poems which i thought was powerful and can you talk about how you use these conical framing devices to get into your stories and those that narrative drivers if that makes sense as a question and anybody can feel free to jump in. >> i think that chanda prescod-weinstein should go >> kim, i know you're still connected, i think you should
4:05 am
jump in while you can. >> thank you i will have to probably sign up soon, so this is a good question. i don't know that i consciously while he didn't have a framework when i started this book because i had never done something like this before and i actually intended it to be far more kind of critical. then he ended up being an the first to analyze another country from a theoretical perspective but i couldn't quite do that, writer and a professor and i have some of those frameworks but when i got into it, i could not divorce or my experience of reading the book from the book in bringing that kind of objective it was i objective which raises his question
4:06 am
without literarily entered the rate objectives and of course, not so i decided to distract or do away without kind of leave my experience of the book and who i was at the time and what was going on in my life, and memoir into that semester that answers your question but i did it intentionally create a framework or from one world to another anymore i guess that is probably the general narrative of my life and so anytime i'm writing about my life, the narrative that has been well it sounds like is that way for many of us and for writers in general, their inherently outsiders i think. that is what baldwin said anyway, your pain in your heartbreak are unique in history of the world. and he began to regions folks
4:07 am
that teach you that your heartbreak and suffering is a connection at two everyone is alive and everyone who has been alive ever so that was a really roundabout way to answer question read i'm sorry. >> that's a great segue because one of the questions i wanted to ask his appointed you as an outsider and marginalized is generally a theme in all three books we do have some questions that speak to being at the boundaries and being on the mound and on the boundaries in the margin a couple of questions from marion, and for chanda prescod-weinstein, she wants you to talk about being at the boundary of the margin. but also being at the boundary is also an opportunity to be in a new frontier. and then, but we will start with
4:08 am
that so chanda prescod-weinstein, being at the boundary but also being in a position to be in a new frontier. >> the first thing that comes to mind is i reflect on the thinking about the power of being the outsider and of loneliness and i sort of use alec walters vehicle is talking about the small number of african-american women. so gives you contacts for people there printed every single year every in the united season course of the history, around 100 of them have gone to black women braided so actually went to canada, the number take set up a bit and only by a tiny bit,
4:09 am
probably i was the first black woman to earn a phd at the university of waterloo and so that means not necessarily being a black woman, or a person and specifics is an outsider rotation and naturally it is a lonely location and even if you do manage to find people and i think that the question of what it means to find people because it could be complicated when you are in these environments where the people that you were socializing to be with people in the four, specifically not there you start to have to admit criteria makes them my people right and i think that also means that as i was talking about are thinking about what is popular science supposed to do and what is it you - to an audience and voice is it going
4:10 am
to be in. i'm a very different perspective on this on one of the things to talk about is mike editors about whether i have the boys for science. i can't remember if anyone in the book but i was commissioned by this to write a piece about the celebration of the topic that my dissertation was on an attorney then they called me the voice lesson it was not like these are not good sentences reported were together, they just told the voice was not right. ultimately i took this to nicole chung, an amazing editor and i she published it and it ended up being a very popular piece. in the day that i got this e-mail telling me there's going to have to rewrite the whole thing to get the voice right, they tell an interview with a white man in neuroscience where he talks about cosmic acceleration and i was like, that guy is a neuroscientist i
4:11 am
literally wrote my dissertation on this but his voice is fine so part of also about and thinking about in the book is that when we say popular science, when we mean think about to the question of how does my book really relate to a memoir. and i people who don't usually read science, recycle memoir because the expectation of popular science is that we as scientists write about our connections the materials that we write about our personal relationship with the activities. an effective people were interpreting my book was a memoir was actually in some ways a signal of success but because admit that people who would never felt like popular science books were for them and who never would pick one up to pick my book up. it was actually one of the goals was to write to specifically i really thought about black girls and women and i thought about being a 17 and what books
4:12 am
would've done what cosmic could not treacherous do it anyway. this is where your heart is pretty and this voiceprint into predict and i think that in the end of the day i was thinking about the audience and i think for me a place right from and choose the margins in which to say that the margins can be at the center and we talk about the margins at the center i think that this was god how i thought about it. >> thank you chanda prescod-weinstein, brian broome can you talk about writing on the margin and being on the boundaries and how that might be in a frontier and before you go into that, unfortunately zimmerman activity so we might not hear from her again because of the conductivity.
4:13 am
>> when it first to start to write this book the only thing in my mind, the only thing on my mind was i am writing cautionary tales for black gay boys and wanted my book to be read by boys who were growing up who are black and gay and basically like don't make the mistakes made, please. i beg of you predict there's a whole book about the mistakes made in don't do this there's a whole manual and began to that is definitely writing from the margins to the people in the margins read in a very very happy with that and i am very very happy with that and as the book came out, i started to hear
4:14 am
from people who are decidedly not in the margins. heterosexual white women and heterosexual white men and so hearing from all of these people and was like, kimberly just said, you think the pain in the world until you read it and that's what what i found is that the experiences that i went through are not unique to me nor are they used two of the experiences so much for the feelings, they're not unique to me nor are they really need to black gay man. a lot of people felt humiliated. i get e-mails from people said, i had another experience almost
4:15 am
the same thing and there is a story in the book about me trusting and be in high school and going to a club with these white kids who left me at the end of the night and heard from people, black people who said i had the same thing happened to me. almost in the exact same way and so it is gratifying to me even though i still really think that this is a cautionary tell for young black gay man is gratifying to know that even though i started off quite a. suzanne: a particular group so many different kinds of people can get it in terms of the feelings of the humiliation,
4:16 am
pain and trying to pretend you are somebody you are not and i realized after the fact that a lot of people have had this experience. and let me know by the time i get to the end of my answer five really answered it, your question predict. >> as you were speaking i pulled out one of the sentences from your letter where you say, it is only through your only list, only through your own lived experience that you will learn the living on the outside of normal provides a perfect view for spotting and secure and flimsy principles camouflaging themselves as leadership or righteousness. that sentence really resonated with me i think would for
4:17 am
marginalized people people are appealing there in a singular space. you're not alone. with some of the questions in the chat and let's see. his memoir, this also applies to you chanda prescod-weinstein, is a memoir is a search as a discovery and if so, what you think you were searching for and what did you discover. >> to predict. >> so think the interesting thing for me is that the original idea behind the book is it was going to be in ethics collection and critical essays
4:18 am
that i had been publishing it specifically about what was broken as well as writing a lot of commentary about it think they were going wrong and racism in the homophobia and all of it and it in astronomy and i'd also be talking about the role that colonialism had played in the development of our disciplines and the understanding that it come to that bed so i found that this was the book that i was going to write. and i'll just talk a little bit about science and what i want to do is talk about dark matter now should be called invisible matter because it does not actually have a color and i would like to, and this is wrong to be put this on black people. these are the things that are
4:19 am
talking about community like i find ways to get it in their pretty so actually, i have all of the science chapters i'm just going to put them at the front and so it went from to be a social studies science book to in my view popular science book which is like not actually like the original plan. the dream is learning for me and that the science still matters so much to me that like i had to and actually i was writing my own prehistory actions matter to me but just had to and in hindsight, by the time that you get to the end, the last chapter of the black feminist, the end of the world so i think that if it's compelling for the reasons compelling is because you spent the time with me telling you why it's interesting and telling you
4:20 am
about what the dark matter problem is and telling you that all things are happening that we are using observations of the night sky to figure a lot of the stuff out so the end when i started to talk about the right of the black children to be able to wonder under a dark sky what it would mean to create the social context in which the black children could fit the can look at the sky not worry about fitting in and i worry they don't have the right mobility and not be hungry, be poisoned up about water in all of this and you're like yes, i get that a child should be able to have the journey and have that experience printed so for me that was the learning piece was really understanding that was what my brain had been doing the whole time and that the writing of the book was this really how
4:21 am
those ideas fit information. >> thank you and it brian broome, you had spoken about the writing of the book and being cathartic can perhaps somewhat therapeutic. how is it a search and journey to self-discovery and would you like to say anything more about that. >> i think part of the question was how did you discover it and i think that in a lot of ways, black americans, many of us do not know where we come from, we don't know what we really can't trace back very far read and i think the part of my problem isu feel grout i did not feel grounded and i didn't know who it was my parents didn't really talk about those kinds of things
4:22 am
printed noah had an uncle here come from the south etc. anything that was part of my problem in terms of trying to lie about who i was and pretend to be this person or that person in the question became the heck am i anyway like i had been so many people to try to please many different people like who am i and what is it that i actually like an angel like. and as the chronicling of the stories from my life where i was completely lost. and compiling them i felt the roadmap for myself for who i am or at least two i would like to be in one of the other things was my mother, my mother is a southern black a woman be
4:23 am
tightlipped you don't talk about your problems so we don't talk about family business. that's grown folks business pretty as my mother so i didn't really know anything about her past. she along with many other black one minute more like saving me all of my life and so i wanted to really figure out who she was. there are things to come out of the book, i didn't know before the writing of the book. i set my mother down when i asked her, asked her these questions and you know when you get to a certain age, my mother is like screw it, i'll tell you everything. [laughter] and she said i'm too old to be holding on to steps or whatever you want to know just ask me. so i found out that my mother was with a girl at one time. it sounds ridiculous to say that
4:24 am
she was not put on this planet, only my mom, she was umbrella girl like she ran away from home and 18, and she was an umbrella girl. this was at a department store and that was fascinating to me. it came to see her as the umbrella girl, that's just the weirdest job but she was stood there in pretty dress and she sold umbrellas the white people mostly. and she had this whole path in dreams and aspirations. and then became kind of a casualty of patriarchy. she got pregnant and what you do when you get pregnant in the 1960s in america, you want to be a slots or whatever so you get pawned off on somebody so that's what i discovered as well. if like her telling me her story
4:25 am
before she comes from and her mom and her dad and really start to feel like okay, i am allowed to be here. other people done the work so that i can be here. why am i so ashamed of myself all of the time and why do he myself so much my grandmother used to run a speakeasy out of her home just make sure the my mother survived in the make sure that i survived and one of my intent what am i ashamed of. i'm allowing other people to dictate how i feel and that's with the book kind of tells for me and help me feel like i am allowed to take up space in the world. >> your mom also plays a key role in your book chanda prescod-weinstein, where you and
4:26 am
the book, a letter to your mom and your mom, this is my freedom dream looks like predict can you talk about what you may have discovered about your mom and your feelings of round what she meant to you. >> yes, i mentioned earlier that my mom, actually began my mother saying that people need to know we live in a universe that is bigger than the bad things happening to us. this was something that she casually said to me which i wrote down and one night when i called her, and said what am i doing writing about these quantum calculations while you're out ministries organizing it marching the first thing that she said was black lives matters
4:27 am
means that your life matters to sweetie. and part of this was black thought matters and i am black and black experiences under the skies matters like they're this very deep thing so i think that in some sense becomes the ark of the book of the other place where she appears is in the scientific housework chapters in the part of the piece that i wanted to make in the book is that making contributions to science is not just those of us calculating, it's also making sure offices are not overflowing with garbage and also the people make sure that things stay in one piece and people make sure a food is grown and kept and so my mom the cofounder for women in the 1970s the housework and so actually talking about how her
4:28 am
work is of black feminist organizers has helped me see the holistic way what it means to have contributions in science. and now, the einstein for example but also einstein's life took care of the children and the people to make sure that he was eating and frankly my spouse to make sure they had water sitting next to me and so i'll be honest and say the part of it is to say and i'll get an opportunity to just like surprise my mom as i will in a letter to her in the interest of my book and she got one week before it went for the things to be taken out to read it to tell me whether she could read it or not but before that, she did not know that letter was there is a big surprise for an part of it is i really wanted to date and
4:29 am
say things to her like she raised me as a poor black woman that in east la and she struggled a lot and wanted to say to her and i learned to articulate as i was writing this to her and it's your science as well so this is an important thing to communicate to her. because my mom does not feel comfortable with doing this right so is important to say that i do all of this fancy math and i can - what your purpose on this theory and why i am able to do this content. that is a contribution to science and like i'm not doing this alone, all of the people before me come with me as they do it. >> you had a relationship with your father, how do you think
4:30 am
that he would view the book and do you feel that you come from some of her resolution at of your relationship with him like by the end of the book. only think that he would think about this book. >> i think that he would think about the book pretty. >> especially with the relationship that you had with him, is kind of a hard question to answer pretty. >> that's interesting, i had thought about it and nobody is ever asked him about that before. i think about my father's presence in the book i talked to people and said oh my gosh, your father was so abusive and i think a lot of times, and we put people in these binary roles there's a hero and the villain it now works really well for marvel movies but it doesn't really work well in real life.
4:31 am
my father literally thought that he was doing the think that he was supposed to be doing. that does not detract from this other stuff but i've come to terms with the fact that he didn't know anything else. we are talking about discovering moment ago and i learned that my father's home life was really abusive and his father was somebody who beat his children up like every day in my father and siblings it was literally like they didn't really care for each other very much because it was every man for us for himself and i don't want to get beat today so glad you're getting beat today. can you imagine that your siblings predict so i've come to
4:32 am
a place where i forgive him because he didn't know anything else he could not conceive outside of the role that he thought he was supposed to play, anything, it had been anything tender had been beaten out of him and i in essence i wanted to break this cycle so here's this book that i have written it and in some ways, in honor of him, and in order to tell the black boys and the man, you do not have to be like this and you don't have to be this person. so i generally would think of it and i think that at the end of the day, he did love me but he just did not know how to communicate that in a way that was healthy. >> thank you and i appreciate
4:33 am
the conversation that and they appreciate the opportunity to read your book and i have learned a lot about the intersection of science and futurism and racism from the cosmos journey into dark matter, space time and dreams deferred by chanda prescod-weinstein and punch me up to the gods by brian broome, powerful memoir it takes you on a journey. a journey to discovery and self assessments own process and thank you so much i want to thank you for listening to our
4:34 am
conversation that i am going to turn it back over to christina. >> yes and thank you so much. and to the foundation for sponsoring and if you would like to buy the book and to learn about during today's discussion you can do so by clicking to buy the book button at the bottom of your screen and we hope you'll stick around the desk throughout this day for
4:35 am
book tvs coverage of the boston book festival continues. >> welcome everybody, we are so excited to have you today joining us the boston book festival. i am hosting this amazing conversation around the revolution and resistance and lucky to be joined by incredible authors today and over the the stories and how they came to writing their books and generally be able to dive into this whole idea of activism in the world and so i would personally like to welcome all four of you, thank you so much for being here it is incredible to be able to have conversations with you after reading and reading through your amazing books and am actually going to start a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on