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The Other Mother: Rachel M. Harper in conversation with Shay Youngblood

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

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

Charis welcomes Rachel M. Harper in conversation with Shay Youngblood for a celebration of The Other Mother: A Novel. A page-turning generational saga about a young man's search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, race, and the truths we hide in the name of family. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

Jenry Castillo is a musical prodigy, raised by a single mother in Miami. He arrives at Brown University on a scholarship—but also to learn more about his late father, Jasper Patterson, a famous ballet dancer who died tragically when Jenry was two. On his search, he meets his estranged grandfather, Winston Patterson, a legendary professor of African American history and a fixture at the Ivy League school, who explodes his world with one question: Why is Jenry so focused on Jasper, when it was Winston’s daughter, Juliet, who was romantically involved with Jenry’s mother? Juliet is the parent he should be looking for—his other mother.
 
Revelation follows revelation as each member of Jenry’s family steps forward to tell the story of his origin, uncovering a web of secrecy that binds this family together even as it keeps them apart. Moving seamlessly between the past and the present, The Other Mother is a daring, ambitious novel that celebrates the complexities of love and resilience—masterfully exploring the intersections of race, class, and sexuality; the role of biology in defining who belongs to whom; and the complicated truth of what it means to be a family.

Rachel M. Harper is the author of the novels Brass Ankle Blues and This Side of Providence, which was short-listed for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been widely published and anthologized. Harper has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell, and is on the faculty at Spalding University’s School of Writing. She lives in Los Angeles.

Shay Youngblood is a writer, educator and interdisciplinary artist. Author of novels, Black Girl in Paris and Soul Kiss, a collection of short stories and numerous essays, her published plays have been widely produced. Her short stories have been performed at Symphony Space and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts. Youngblood received an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University. Her current projects include a novel, children’s books, an ongoing multi-media performance work on architecture, memory and the environment and a commissioned play inspired by interviews with over 100 Southern Black women. She is a board member of Yaddo Artist Colony and a commissioner on the board of the Japan U.S. Friendship Commission. www.shayyoungblood.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

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. 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.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
The Other Mother: A Novel By Rachel M. Harper Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781640095045
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint - May 3rd, 2022

An "extraordinary" page-turning generational saga about a young man's search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, race, and the truths we hide in the name of family (Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple)


Brass Ankle Blues: A Novel By Rachel M. Harper Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780743296588
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone - February 1st, 2007

"When I was seven I told my father that I wanted to grow up to be invisible."

As a young woman of mixed race, Nellie Kincaid is about to encounter the strange, unsettling summer of her fifteenth year.


This Side of Providence By Rachel M. Harper Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849763
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Prospect Park Books - March 29th, 2016

"It is a book of such power that it is as if a completely new layer of the American experience has been exposed to our view...not one line is wasted and every single word rings true." --Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple


Black Girl in Paris By Shay Youngblood Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781481824903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - March 11th, 2013

Collected Plays of Shay Youngblood By Shay Youngblood Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781482588149
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - March 11th, 2014

The Collected Plays of Shay Youngblood includes Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery, Flying Blind, Square Blues, Talking Bones and There are Many Houses in my Tribe.


Pre-Order Now Badge
Mama's Home By Shay Youngblood, Lo Harris (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shay Youngblood, Lo Harris (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593180228
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Make Me a World - October 18th, 2022

A gorgeously illustrated picture book that is a powerful love letter to chosen families and the village that raises us. A young girls basks in the love of her community--which includes not only her mother but the many different women who make up her world.


Event Summary: 
A page-turning generational saga about a young man's search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, race, and the truths we hide in the name of family.