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Charis welcomes Sharon Bridgforth in conversation with Mary Anne Adams for a celebration of bull-jean & dem/dey back. bull-jean & dem/dey back collects two performance/novels centering Sharon Bridgforth's southern-Black-butch-sheroe, bull-jean. This event is co-hosted by ZAMI NOBLA: The National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging.
First published by RedBone Press in 1998, the Lambda Literary Award-winning the bull-jean stories chronicles the course of lovve returning in the Life-times of bull-dog-jean. Set in the rural 1920s south, the bull-jean stories is an act of griot-anthropology, remembering the ancestor we never knew but always knew we needed--the raucous, sweet-talking, heart-aching wo'mn-lovvn-wo'mn bull-dog-jean and the fierce and beautiful community that surrounds her.
Twenty-two years later, bull-dog-jean returns in bull-jean/we wake. Grieving the loss of their elders, seeking healing, the Narrator calls forward bull-jean. Through a series of dreams, porch prayers, and visitations from cussing conjurers, Black Mermaids, children that fly, and shape-shifting ole folk, bull-jean and dem guide the Narrator towards a realization of the sustaining power of love, memory, community, ritual, and spiritual binding.
A 2022 Winner of Yale's Windham Campbell Prize in Drama, Sharon Bridgforth is 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, a 2022-2023 McKnight National Fellow and a New Dramatists alumnae. She has received support from The Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network. Her work is featured in Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature, Mouths of Rain an Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought and Feminist Studies Vol 48 Number 1, honoring 40 years of This Bridge Called by Back and But Some of Us Are Brave! Sharon has had the privilege of benefiting from support from the ZAMI NOBLA and Charis Books communities since 1998, when she toured with the RedBone Press edition of the bull-jean stories. In her new book, bull-jean & dem/dey back (53rd State Press) bull-jean returns in two performance/novels - both will be produced as main stage productions at Pillsbury House + Theatre in Minneapolis, MN in 2023. More at: https://www.sharonbridgforth.com.
Mary Anne Adams is the Founder and Executive Director of ZAMI NOBLA: National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging. She founded the Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund which awarded $250,000 in scholarships to LGBTQ scholars of color. She has been honored by the National Center for Human Rights Education, Atlanta Coalition of 100 Black Women, Women Healing Women, Unity Fellowship Church of Atlanta, and named 100 most influential LGBTQ+ Georgians’ by Out Georgia, and by GO Magazine 100 Women We Love, Class of 2022. A sixteen-year breast cancer survivor, she serves as an advisory board member at Emory University Winship Cancer Institute. Mary Anne also serves on Atlanta Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and the Wharton Lab RISE Advisory Board and is a Commissioner and Board Chair of the East Point Housing Authority. She received a Master’s in Social Work from Georgia State University.
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bull-jean & dem/dey back collects two performance/novels centering Sharon Bridgforth's southern-Black-butch-sheroe, bull-jean.
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