Charis welcomes Kung Li Sun in conversation with Mary Hooks for a celebration of Begin the World Over, a revolutionary tale of Black and Indigenous insurrection. History as it should have been. Begin the World Over is a counterfactual novel about the Founders' greatest fear--that Black and Indigenous people might join forces to undo the newly formed United States of America--coming true.
In 1793, as revolutionaries in the West Indies take up arms, James Hemings has little interest in joining the fight for liberty --talented and favored, he is careful to protect his relative comforts as Thomas Jefferson's enslaved chef. But when he meets Denmark Vesey, James is immediately smitten. The formidable first mate persuades James to board his ship, on its way to the revolt in Saint-Domingue. There and on the mainland they join forces with a diverse cast of characters, including a gender nonconforming prophetess, a formerly enslaved jockey, and a Muskogee horse trader. The resulting adventure masterfully mixes real historical figures and events with a riotous retelling of a possible history in which James must decide whether to return to his constrained but composed former life, or join the coalition of Black revolutionaries and Muskogee resistance to fight the American slavers and settlers.
Kung Li Sun is a lifelong southerner currently based on the Gulf Coast. As a public interest attorney in Atlanta, she brought class-action lawsuits on behalf of people in prisons and jails. He left lawyering to support undocumented and abolitionist organizers as a strategist and trainer, and to write. This is their first novel.
Mary Hooks is a Black, lesbian, feminist, mother and Field Secretary on the field team for the Movement for Black Lives. Mary is the former co-director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG). Mary joined SONG as a member in 2009 and began organizing with the organization in 2010. Growing up in a family that migrated from Mississippi to the Midwest, Mary’s commitment to liberation is rooted in her experiences and the impacts of the War on Drugs on her community.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
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"This historical fiction with a twist has an intriguing plot that will make the reader ask how the world could be different."
A revolutionary tale of Black and Indigenous insurrection. History as it should have been.