Last year, shortly after she appeared at Politics & Prose to discuss her new book, The Presidency in Black and White, journalist April Ryan proposed working with the store to convene a panel of authors for a discussion on race in America. Her idea sprang from events in the news—story after story of young black men being shot by police—and from insights she had gained (and writes about in her book) as one of the first African American reporters in our nation assigned to cover the White House. During nearly 20 years as the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio, she has covered three presidents—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—delivering news to millions of Americans in communities often ignored or marginalized by the news media.

So with April’s help organizing and serving as moderator, last fall we hosted P&P’s first Race in America Today panel with authors Joy-Ann Reid, a political reporter for MSNBC, Georgetown sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson, and Georgetown law professor Paul Butler. It was such a success that April proposed the idea of making it a continuing series. And this month—Black History Month—we were delighted to work with April to present our second panel, this time with Wes Moore, Professor Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., and former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder. Once again, the room was packed, and the audience engaged with April and her fellow authors for nearly two hours of lively and provocative discussion, questions, and conversation. (A video of the event will be available soon on P&P’s YouTube channel.)

Coinciding with Black History Month, we also have on display in the store a range of books—fiction and non-fiction—that relate to black history and the black experience. Included are some of April’s own “must reads”: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me (winner of the National Book Award for non-fiction in 2015); Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison; and The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House by Jesse Holland.

Throughout February our events calendar also showcases books about black lives and experiences, such as The Black Calhouns by Gail Lumet Buckley (the event has taken place but we have some signed copies available); United by Senator Cory Booker (the event, being held at Sixth & I Synagogue, is sold out); and on February 20, both The Lives of Frederick Douglass by Robert S. Levine (at 1 p.m.) and The Black Presidency by Michael Eric Dyson (at 3:30 p.m.).

While we’re proud to do as much as we can during Black History Month to celebrate books that enrich awareness, appreciation, and understanding of how and why black lives matter, we also know that reading, thinking, and talking about race in America needs to take place every day, week, and month of the year. In short, not just during the month of February.

So we encourage you to join us for activities throughout the year and help promote much needed conversation about one of the most important topics of our time. Please use your favorite social media platform or #MoreThanAMonth on Twitter to share your thoughts, suggest readings, or provide other comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

— Brad and Lissa

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Last Chance!

March 25 through April 1

For the first time in decades, we can visit our Caribbean neighbor. We invite you to a trip to Cuba! Join us for a unique travel opportunity and discover Cuba—retrace its paths of revolution and deepen your understanding of the country today—with the help of acclaimed author Wil Hylton acting as the trip leader on this eight-day journey.

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Women's History Month

Tuesday, March 1, 1 p.m.

To mark Women’s History Month, we invite readers to join this class which focuses on four major events that helped spark reform. In focusing on these major themes—employment, suffrage, birth control, and civil rights—we will discuss women’s progress and setbacks in the press, and the ongoing quest for equal rights for all.

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Just Announced

Sunday, April 17

This Spring, Politics & Prose invites you to a perennial P&P favorite: the wonder of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater! We are leading a trip to the wooded area of western Pennsylvania where you can enjoy spring blossoms and explore the house known worldwide as a feat of architectural achievement.

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@ Bethesda Library

Thursday, February 11, 7 p.m.

Join us for a stellar evening of YA fantasy. Susan Dennard's Truthwitch follows the path of two friends—one with the power to detect lies, the other to see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—as they strive to save their homeland from an existential threat. Kami Garcia continues her Dangerous Creatures series with Dangerous Deception, which opens with our heroine kidnapped and struggling to survive at the hands of her nefarious captors. Finally, Veronica Rossi will discuss Riders, the saga of young solder's venture into the paranormal and the upcoming apocalypse he may herald.

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Music News

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Second Season of Contemporary Fiction Reading Series from Politics & Prose and PEN/Faulkner

Politics & Prose and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation invite you to join us for the second season of our Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. Following a fantastic fall launch, we’re back with an incredible lineup of events for spring – all free and open to the public! – hosted at P&P’s Busboys and Poets locations throughout the city and featuring some of the most exciting voices in American and international fiction.

February 11, 2016 – Alexander Chee 
Queen of the Night  
6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets @ Brookland  
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February 21, 2016 – Hanya Yanagihara  
A Little Life  
6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets @ Takoma 
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March 7, 2016 – A. Igoni Barrett  
Blackass 
6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets @ 14th & V 
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April 21, 2016 – Helen Oyeyemi 
What is Not Yours is Not Yours 
6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets @ Takoma
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Children & Teens

New in Hardcover

Benji Davies
I Love You Already!
(HarperCollins, $17.99)

 

Blast from the Past

Mac Barnett
The Skunk
(Roaring Book Press, $17.99)

 

YA Pick

Mildred D. Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
(Dial Books, $18.99)

read more about these books.

Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Contact Kate Shawcross if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

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