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Saturday, April 6 • 4:30pm - 5:30pm
8H: Blacks Writing Truth to Power: Narrative Choices for Fearless Nonfiction
Limited Capacity seats available

Essayists and memoirists often explore topics from marginalized positions in society, but what happens when you want to speak directly to those who are doing the marginalizing? What can this kind of bold and fearless writing look like, and what techniques can help us effectively speak truth to power?

In this session, we’ll discuss truth-telling approaches in nonfiction, focusing on examples from black writers throughout history who leveraged their perspective to communicate to a dominant audience. Using essays by W.E.B. DuBois, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Isabel Wilkerson, and more, we will examine techniques of framing, the direct "you" address, exhaustive research, reinterpretation of common ideas, narratorial attitude, and audience awareness to see how their writing worked directly to decolonize the white American canon. Discover what risk-taking writing looks like, and how deliberate techniques can reveal truth and change minds. Participants will leave with tools to write an approach for their own work, and a handout of literary examples.

avatar for E Dolores  Johnson

E Dolores Johnson

Author, SAY I'M DEAD
E. Dolores Johnson’s writing on race has appeared in Narratively, the Buffalo News, the Writers of Color Anthology, Lunch Ticket and Pangyrus. Her multi-generational memoir on mixed race life (Say I’m Dead) is forthcoming from Chicago Review Press. She has done readings at Boston’s... Read More →

Saturday April 6, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm EDT
Stuart Room - 4th Floor