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Healing Black Generational Trauma Through Literature: A Conversation with M Shelly Conner and Adiba Nelson and Moderated by Yolanda Williams

Event date: 
Saturday, July 23, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here. 

Charis presents Healing Black Generational Trauma Through Literature: A Conversation with M Shelly Conner and Adiba Nelson and Moderated by Yolanda Williams for a celebration of everyman (Conner) and Ain't That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between (Nelson). everyman is peopled by rebellious Black women straining against the yoke of convention and designated identities, explorers announcing their determination to be and to be free. No one said motherhood would be easy. For Adiba Nelson, the journey to parenthood started with a big bang and continues with a breakdown (or two) and several why? questions for God. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

everyman by M Shelly Conner

Eve Mann arrives in Ideal, Georgia, in 1972 looking for answers about the mother who died giving her life. A mother named Mercy. A mother who for all of Eve's twenty-two years has been a mystery and a quest. Eve's search for her mother, and the father she never knew, is a mission to discover her identity, her name, her people, and her home.

Eve's questions and longing launch a multigenerational story that sprawls back to the turn of the twentieth century, settles into the soil of the South, the blood and souls of Black folk making love and life and fleeing in a Great Migration into the savage embrace of the North.

Eve is a young woman coming of age in Chicago against the backdrop of the twin fires and fury of the civil rights and Black Power movements--a time when everything and everyone, it seems, longs to be made anew.

At the core of this story are the various meanings of love--how we love and, most of all, whom we love. There is Nelle, Eve's best friend and heart, who claims her right both to love women and to always love Eve as a sister and friend.

Brother Lee Roy, professor and mentor, gives Eve the tools for her genealogical search while turning away from his own bitter harvest of family secrets. Mama Ann, the aunt who has raised Eve and knows everything about Mercy, offers Eve a silence that she defines as protection and care. But it is James and Geneva, two strangers whom Eve meets in Ideal, who plumb the depths of their own hurt and reconciliations to finally give Eve the gift of her past, a reimagined present, and finally, her name.

Ain't That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between by Adiba Nelson

Witty and bold, Afro-Latina Adiba grew up in survival mode. Her sometimes complicated relationship with her strong-willed, vibrant, religious mother marked her views of mothering and love. When a chance encounter with a tall-ish, brown-skinned brotha at Ruby Tuesday's right before closing time collided with a Jill Scott song and the right time of the month, Adiba found herself unexpectedly pregnant. She also found herself unexpectedly falling into the same relationship patterns of the matriarchs before her--the ones she swore she'd never end up in.

Mom to a new baby with high medical needs and with a slew of hardships that just won't quit, she set out on a reckoning that was just as generational as it was personal. Along the way, Adiba never loses her heart or her humor. This is a true love story, but the kind about a woman loving herself enough to change the course of her life for herself, her child, and the women after her as well as before. From pasties to postpartum depression, Ain't That A Mother is not your average motherhood memoir--and Adiba is not your average mother.

The in-between moments and the self-revelations are where this bold and brilliant story of love, family secrets, and lots of what the...? really shines. Just like parenting, the story is messy, but the reward is incredibly satisfying.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

M Shelly Conner, Ph.D. is a multi-genre writer and an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas. Her dramedy webisode Quare Life, which has screened across the country from LA’s Outfest to NY’s Newfest, presents Black queer friendships on Chicago’s southside; and her debut novel, everyman (Blackstone 2022) is available in all formats. Shelly has published essays on the cultural intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in numerous publications including: The Root, The Grio, Sisters From AARP, Playboy and NBC News and most recently Growing Up Chicago: An Essay Anthology of Chicago Storytellers (Northwestern University Press, 2022). She writes and speaks about Black dapperqueerness and sustainable living.

Adiba Nelson is an author, screenwriter, performer, disability rights advocate, and subject of the Emmy Award winning documentary, The Full Nelson. She wrote and self-published her first children’s book, Meet ClaraBelle Blue in 2013, and her memoir, Ain’t That A Mother (Blackstone, 2022) is currently available in all formats. Adiba has also penned several articles for Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Lily, Parents, Parents Latina and Kindred (among others), focusing on issues around race, parenting, disability and womanhood. In 2017 she gave her first TEDx talk (Skating Downhill: The Art of Claiming Your Life) to a sold out house, and is a regular contributor to the NPR affiliate show, Arizona Spotlight. When she is not writing, Adiba speaks across the country about the importance of inclusion and accessibility for the disabled community, and persevering in the face of any and everything.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Yolanda Williams is a Conscious Parenting Coach, Social Justice Instructor, and most importantly a single Mom to one amazing toddler seeking liberation for Black children by helping parents learn how to be more conscious, intentional parents. Becoming a mom radicalized me in ways I never imagined. I became a disruptor of the status quo by centering my activism on decolonization techniques, helping white parents and educators address white supremacy, and guiding Black parents through the process of healing intergenerational traumas by offering tools and techniques that will help free Black children from fear-based, oppressive parenting and educational practices.https://parentingdecolonized.com/

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

Please contact us at info@chariscircle.org or 404-524-0304 if you would like ASL interpretation at this event. If you would like to watch the event with live AI captions, you may do so by watching it in Google Chrome and enabling captions: Instructions here. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Pre-Order Now Badge
Everyman Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9798200834341
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Blackstone Publishing - July 19th, 2022

Eve Mann arrives in Ideal, Georgia, in 1972 looking for answers about the mother who died giving her life. A mother named Mercy. A mother who for all of Eve's twenty-two years has been a mystery and a quest. Eve's search for her mother, and the father she never knew, is a mission to discover her identity, her name, her people, and her home.


Ain't That a Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between Cover Image
By Adiba Nelson, Jesse Bickford (Director)
$27.99
ISBN: 9781799932260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blackstone Publishing - May 3rd, 2022

From pasties to postpartum and everything in between

No one said motherhood would be easy. For Adiba Nelson, the journey to parenthood started with a big bang and continues with a breakdown (or two) and several why? questions for God.


Event Summary: 
Charis presents Healing Black Generational Trauma Through Literature: A Conversation with M Shelly Conner and Adiba Nelson and Moderated by Yolanda Williams.