February Literary Events
By Kate Gibbs
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Friday, January 31, 2003


    Michael Eric Dyson This month at Karibu Books, Michael Eric Dyson explains why he loves black women. (Photo by Brian Branch-Price/Associated Press)
All upcoming book events

In recognition of Black History Month, several events hosted by area booksellers provide opportunities to celebrate. There are formal lectures, fiction readings, children's events, even a valentine or two. Of all February's events, I most highly recommend Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela's appearance at Politics & Prose on Feb. 4. Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela is a clinical psychologist who served alongside Archbishop Desmond Tutu on South Africa's 10-person Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Her new book, "A Human Being Died That Night," chronicles her interviews with Eugene de Kock, formerly a commanding officer of apartheid death squads. De Kock is currently serving 212 years in prison for crimes against humanity. Gobodo-Madikizela appears to have written a primer on compassion. She has earned a large audience.

Tuesday, Feb. 4
Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela reads from "A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness," at Politics & Prose at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 5
Thomas Glave holds the distinction of being the second gay African American (second only to James Baldwin) to claim the O. Henry Prize for short fiction. Glave's prose cracks like a whip -- but does his speaking voice match the forcefulness of his debut, "Whose Song? And Other Stories"? He reads at the Butler Pavilion, American University, at 8 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 6
Roger Wilkins is a busy man. In addition to holding the position of Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University and earning a Pulitzer Prize, he's written a substantial treatise on the seeds of slavery. He'll read from his book "Jefferson's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism," at 7 p.m. in Room 105 at the National Archives. As with all readings hosted at the Archives, reservations are strongly recommended.

Tuesday, Feb. 11
Former editor in chief of VIBE magazine and editor at large at Time, Danyel Smith has turned her hand to fiction. At 7 p.m. at Olsson's-Metro Center, she'll read from "More Like Wrestling," her first novel. The book introduces sisters Paige and Pinch, who live in Oakland withstanding as best they can the wake of the 1980s crack epidemic.

Thursday, Feb. 13
John McWhorter's "Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority" picks up where his bestseller "Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America" left off. His essays (old and new) bust open hot topics like the reparations movement, hip-hop and the meaning of Cornell West's resignation. McWhorter doctors racial division with incisive language. He's sharp. Listen as he reads, then ask him a lot of questions, 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose.

Friday, Feb. 14
If you've seen Hilda Hutcherson on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," you must remember her. Dr. Hutcherson's advice about women's health is directed at women and men in a matter-of-fact fashion. To wit: "When was the last time you took a good look at your vulva?" Lucky you, the doctor is in to discuss and sign "What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex," at Karibu Books in Bowie Town Center. No quack, Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., is a co-director of the New York Center for Women's Sexual Health at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and associate dean for diversity and minority affairs at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Saturday, Feb. 15
Michael Eric Dyson arrives a day late, but he is still playing cupid. The author of "Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur" will discuss and sign his new book, "Why I Love Black Women," at Karibu Books in Bowie Town Center. Love in the afternoon: This reading begins at 3.

Thursday, Feb. 20
The Smithsonian Associates presents a two-hour panel discussion with some of the writers who captured firsthand the tumultuous movement that ended segregation and awakened America. Haynes Johnson, Hedrik Smith and June E. Johnson will be on hand in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $15; $12 for Smithsonian Associates. Advance registration is advised.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
From Joyce White, author of "Soul Food: Recipes and Reflections From African-American Churches," comes "Brown Sugar," a collection of down-home desserts gathered from African American cooks around the country. From Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies to Pecan Pie, a ribbon of brown sugar runs throughout the heritage recipes. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a discussion, Q & A and a five-course dinner (with five complimentary wines), book signing to follow. Cost for the dinner is $60 for National Press Club members; $75 for nonmembers. And no, you can't lick the spoon.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
Potentially the most incendiary appearance on this month's calendar, Dr. Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, discusses "Should America Pay? Slavery and the Debate on Reparations," at Olsson's-Metro Center. Like David Horowitz and Randall Robinson, Winbush is helping to chart the course of this debate. His most recent book catalogues source material: Essays by journalist Christopher Hitchens and linguist John McWhorter (see Feb. 13) are tempered by original documents like the First Congressional Reparations Bill of 1867 and the Dakar Declaration of 2001. Class starts at 7 p.m., sharp.

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