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VIRTUAL BOOK DISCUSSION & MORE @ THE FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY!
book club as we read Homegoing
Club is pleased to announce our next book discussion – Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi on Thursday, February 1 at 6:30pm (ET).
This session will
feature a presentation by Ivie Orobaton, a
Researcher and Exhibition Specialist for the Center for the Study
of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African
American History and Culture actively working on the “In Slavery’s
Wake” exhibition project.
free. Click below to reserve your spot.
will be held in Zoom and we will also share the discussion
questions, supplemental materials, and suggestions for sips and
snacks in advance.
Thursday, February 1 at 6:30pm (ET)
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into
different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is
married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the
palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia,
her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s
dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold
Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America,
where her children and grandchildren will be raised in
slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s
descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the
Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and
British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her
children into America. From the plantations of the South to
the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines
of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses
of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present
day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures,
with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of
captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s
magisterial novel sets the fate of the individual against
the obliterating movements of time, delivering
unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by
historical forces beyond their control.
Why did we
choose this book?
The Folger Shakespeare
Library’s collection explores not only Shakespeare’s life and
works, but also the plays’ historical context, source material,
critical and performance histories, and the ways in which they
inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.
collection spans centuries, as does Gyasi’s moving generational
novel. By considering our collection alongside the ongoing legacies
of colonialism and enslavement through time, we gain a fuller
understanding of the historical context of these items.
For our February session, we are excited to
partner with Loyalty Bookstores, a Black, Queer, and Asian
owned independent bookstore in the Petworth neighborhood of
DC and in downtown Silver Spring, MD that specializes in
Please be aware that Loyalty Bookstores are
taking safety precautions related to COVID-19. Both stores
are open for both shopping and in-store pickup. Masking is
optional in store and we offer masks for customers if they
would like one. Staff will continue to mask and test
regularly for the foreseeable future. Place your order online
through their website or pick up the book in either
location. Click here
for further information on current policies and operations.
Not able to join us
for December's discussion of The Weird Sisters by
Eleanor Brown? The Folger Spotlight has introductory and
supplemental material—including discussion questions—to help you
explore the book or even host your own conversation.