Hudson Valley Writers' Center presents a reading with
Then and Now
Wesley Brown recently retired from 26 years of teaching writing and literature at Rutgers University, where his admiring and grateful students included Junot Diaz and other now-published writers. He is also well-known for his own strong body of work that interweaves history and culture.
His debut novel, Tragic Magic (1978), is about a man jailed for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War and how this affected family and friends. A second novel, Darktown Strutters (1994) is about a minstrel show both before and after the Civil War. He has had several of his plays produced in NYC and elsewhere, including Boogie Woogie and Booker T., Life During Wartime, A Prophet Among Them (about James Baldwin), and most recently, The Murderess. He has co-edited two anthologies of multicultural American writing, Imagining America and Visions of America. A novel and story collection are about to be published.
He will read for us from Darktown Strutters. The book’s depiction of the origins of blackface performance and the “Jim Crow” stereotype helps us understand these important historical and cultural phenomena and demonstrates the way Brown’s art both entertains and illuminates important public issues.
Louise Meriwether, a native New Yorker, is a graduate of New York University and the University of California at LA. While living on the West Coast, she worked at Universal Studios as the first Black Story Analyst in Hollywood's history.
She is the author of several books, including the beloved classic Daddy Was A Number Runner, first published in 1970 with a foreward by James Baldwin. It is a novel about growing up in Harlem during the Depression and post-Harlem Renaissance era.
She has also written historical biographies for children on Civil War hero Robert Smalls, pioneer heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, and Rosa Parks. She has taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Houston University, and she is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Rabinowitz Foundation.
All readings include a question & answer period and a reception with books by the author(s) for sale.
Programs and events at The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center are made possible, in part, by grants from the Bydale Foundation, the David G. Taft Foundation, the Orchard Foundation, and the Thendara Foundation; with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and by the Basic Program Support Grant of the Westchester Arts Council with funds from Westchester County Government.