Lead Us Through This Crisis

Pamela Brown-Peterside Uncategorized 1 Comment

Nigeria, where I was born, is in crisis. In the space of a few weeks, 200+ secondary (high) girls have been kidnapped and abducted from a school in the northeast of the country (by men dressed as soldiers) and this unprecedented horror has been sandwiched by two bombs in Abuja the capital, which have killed almost 100 people between them. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLead Us Through This Crisis

“Afraid to Speak, I Learned to Write”

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Pulitzer-prize winning writer Katherine Boo chose these seven words – “Afraid to speak, I learned to write” – to describe herself when she was being introduced at the NY Public Library on Wednesday night. Several writer friends on different occasions mentioned Boo’s book, Beyond the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, which prompted me to finally …

Pamela Brown-Peterside“Afraid to Speak, I Learned to Write”

Remembering Rwanda Differently This Time

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Monday April 7 was the 20th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda in which 800,000 were killed over a period of just 3 months. I was living in NYC then, and I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t recall the start of this terrible event. It was only in retrospect, when it was all over, and a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering Rwanda Differently This Time

Toni Cade Bambara: Paying it Back

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This weekend, I had the wonderful pleasure of attending a launch of the latest issue of Black Renaissance Noire (www.nyubrn.org) an artsy literary journal, which the Institute of African-American Affairs @ NYU puts out three times a year. I’d never heard of Black Renaissance Noire, edited by the esteemed writer and poet Quincy Troupe, until my friend Linda was contacted …

Pamela Brown-PetersideToni Cade Bambara: Paying it Back

My ‘Americanah’ Story

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  My favorite Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is in New York to promote her latest novel, Americanah, which just came out in paperback. Last night she spoke to a packed house at the Tenement Museum (www.tenement.org), today she’ll be a guest on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC and next week she’ll be at the Schomburg in Harlem. That …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMy ‘Americanah’ Story

Whose Story?

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Last night I attended a discussion at the Schomburg, a research library in Harlem that’s part of the NY Public Library. My favorite Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was headlining the panel along with Siddharta Deb (Indian cultural critic). Romain Bertrand (French historian), and Farah Griffin (African-American historian @ Columbia.) The event was facilitated by the not-so-new Director of the …

Pamela Brown-PetersideWhose Story?

Nigerpolitans

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Last week my brother Ian was visiting with a childhood friend of his who now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. That gave us a reason to connect with several other friends of Ian’s. We met at Buka, a popular Nigerian restaurant in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn. Ian has known J, an architect based in Red Hook, since they were toddlers (40 years!).   J …

Pamela Brown-PetersideNigerpolitans

An Unlikley Rescue

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Several days ago, I was in Jos, my hometown, out walking in our neighborhood with my Uncle M around 7 in the morning. As we were circling back toward the house, we approached a woman selling kose (bean cakes) by the roadside. My Uncle offered to buy me some for breakfast. I was delighted – they are a sweet childhood …

Pamela Brown-PetersideAn Unlikley Rescue

A Man of the People

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I learned this morning that Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer, had died at the age of 82 and I wept. I never met him and only briefly heard him speak when he was honored in New York, on the 50th anniversary of his best known and widely published novel, THINGS FALL APART. What I recall so vividly from that evening …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Man of the People

A Pitch Conference: What a Concept!

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Two weeks ago today (on President’s Day), I was heading back from a weekend trip to Boston on an Amtrak train. As the sky turned into a variety of pinks and purples while the sun dipped into the west, I decided to google “new york writers conferences”. I was feeling the need to attend a conference but didn’t want to …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Pitch Conference: What a Concept!

Kisses from Katie

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In the daily barrage of grim news occurring all over the world from the collapse of the Euro, to the latest drone attack in Pakistan, to the latest plane falling out of the sky, I’ve been needing to be reminded that a single ordinary person can radically change the life of another by giving her life away. If you’re feeling …

Pamela Brown-PetersideKisses from Katie

Another Good Reason for Books!

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This week I was on the phone with a friend of mine, L. She is in the final stages of writing a biography about Toni Cade Bambara, an African-American writer and activist who was one of the influential personalities in the Civil Rights Era and beyond. L first met Toni she was a Professor of hers at Rutgers in the …

Pamela Brown-PetersideAnother Good Reason for Books!