Washington Independent Review of Books

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Natasha S. Alford Discusses American Negra w/ April Ryan

Location 1201 K. St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Date Sunday, March 24, 2024 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Duration   1 hours, 30 minutes
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On Sunday, March 24, 2024, the Eaton Hotel in Washington, DC will host a captivating discussion between award-winning journalist Natasha S. Alford and bestselling author April Ryan. The event, organized by MahoganyBooks, centers around Alford's latest work, "American Negra," a poignant memoir exploring the complexities of AfroLatinx identity in America. Alford, the daughter of an African American father and Puerto Rican mother, recounts her upbringing in a working-class family in Syracuse, NY, offering a narrative that intertwines memoir and cultural analysis. In "American Negra," Alford eloquently reflects on the challenges of being multiethnic in Upstate New York, shedding light on society's flawed teachings about identity. The discussion delves into Alford's experiences of shame for not speaking Spanish fluently during her first visit to Puerto Rico, as well as her encounters with societal perceptions of hair and beauty. From underfunded public schools to Harvard University, Alford grapples not only with her ethnic identity but also with imposter syndrome, a surprising medical diagnosis, and the pursuit of success on her own terms. The narrative takes an unexpected turn during a study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic, reshaping Alford's perspective on Afro-Latinidad and prompting a deeper exploration of her own Latin roots. With doors opening at 1:30 PM and the conversation starting at 2:00 PM, this promises to be an unmissable event for those eager to engage in a powerful diasporic dialogue.

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