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This event is presented in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center.
Committed to the struggle for civil rights, in the late 1950s Joan Steinau marched and protested as a white ally and young woman coming to terms with her own racism. She fell in love and married a fellow activist, the Black writer Julius Lester, establishing a partnership that was long and multifaceted but not free of the politics of race and gender. As the women's movement dawned, feminism helped Lester find her voice, her pansexuality, and the courage to be herself.
Braiding intellectual, personal, and political history, Lester tells the story of a writer and activist fighting for love and justice before, during, and after the Supreme Court's 1967 decision striking down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. She describes her own shifts in consciousness, from an activist climbing police barricades by day and reading and writing late into the night to a woman navigating the coming-out process in midlife, before finding the publishing success she had dreamed of. Speaking candidly about every facet of her life, Lester illuminates her journey to fulfillment and healing.
Joan Steinau Lester is an award-winning commentator, columnist, and author of critically acclaimed books, including Mama's Child and Black, White, Other. Her writing has appeared in such publications as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and Huffington Post.
Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, is president emerita of Spelman College and in 2014 received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association. She is the author of
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.