Grace, Mercy & Justice: An Evening with Bryan Stevenson & Tim Keller

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(First posted to my blog on June 5, 2016.) In my last post, I wrote about Bryan Stevenson and the incredible work of the Equal Justice Initiative. Six weeks later, on May 20, Grace & Race, the Center for Faith & Work, and Hope for New York – all of which are connected to Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York …

Pamela Brown-PetersideGrace, Mercy & Justice: An Evening with Bryan Stevenson & Tim Keller

Familiar, Funny & Fantastic

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(First posted on my blog on March 4, 2016.) It may be the first time that 10 black female actors are appearing on Broadway (Eclipsed @ the Golden Theatre on 45th) or off-Broadway (Familiar @ Playwrights Horizons on 42nd) at the same time in the space of 3 blocks. We have the award-winning Zimbabwean American actor (The Walking Dead) and …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFamiliar, Funny & Fantastic

Remembering Arthur Ashe

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(First published on my blog on Feb 6, 2016). Arthur Ashe died 23 years ago today at the age of 49. If he were still alive, he’d be 72. The cause of death was pneumonia, an opportunistic infection his immune system developed, ravaged by the HIV virus. He received HIV from a blood transfusion that he was given during heart …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering Arthur Ashe

Look for the Signs

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January 6th, is called the Day of Epiphany in the Christian calendar. It is marked by the visit of the magi in search of the baby Jesus. Matthew tells us that magi came from the east to Jerusalem looking for the king of the Jews. They had seen his star and had come to worship him. The star was a …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLook for the Signs

“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”

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

The BBC Loses One of its Finest

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Komla Dumor, a Ghanaian broadcaster with the BBC World Service and host of ‘Focus on Africa’ is gone. He died yesterday of an apparent heart attack at the age of 41, leaving a wife, 3 young children, and scores of fans spread across Africa and beyond in shock and disbelief. I am one of those who are reeling. He was …

Pamela Brown-PetersideThe BBC Loses One of its Finest

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!

The Silence of Geography

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What is it about the culture here that seems to delight in perpetuating the myth that Africa is a monolithic place, rather than a continent of over 50 nations with hundreds of different ethnic groups represented and over a thousand languages spoken? Here are a few recent observations: 1. An update goes out from our church. In describing part of …

Pamela Brown-PetersideThe Silence of Geography

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!