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Tuesday, 7:00 pm January 14, 2020
Jeffrey Colvin’s epic family saga Africaville is the remarkable result of 20 years of research on the little-known free black communities throughout North America. The debut novel tracks three generations of the Sebolts, a free black family that settled in Nova Scotia. Colvin takes kernels of fact from the real Africville and constructs an unforgettable fictional place filled with uncompromising characters who face universal truths. He will discuss writing, revising, and publishing his book with his editor Patrik Henry Bass of Amistad Press.
Jeffrey Colvin served in the Marine Corps and worked as a congressional aide and nonprofit manager before embarking on a writing career. His reviews, essays and short fiction reflecting his interest in history have been published in literary magazines and other venues. He graduated from the US Naval Academy, Harvard University and Columbia University from which he received an MFA in fiction. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and an assistant editor at Narrative magazine.
Patrik Henry Bass
Patrik Henry Bass
Patrik Henry Bass joined HarperCollins as a senior editor in June 2018. For nearly two decades he was a part of ESSENCE’s editorial team first as books editor and for his last five years as Editorial Projects Director. Bass was also a member of the magazine’s senior features team, where he worked with a range of writers from Maya Angelou, Bebe Moore Campbell, and Terry McMillan to Pulitzer Prize winners Isabel Wilkerson, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Robin Givhan.
Bass has written and edited for numerous publications including the New York Times, Paris Review, and the Washington Post. He is co-author of In Our Own Image: Treasured African-American Traditions, Journeys and Icons (Running Press, 2001) and wrote Like A Mighty Stream: The March on Washington, August 28, 1963 (Running Press, 2002), and The Zero Degree Zombie Zone (Scholastic), his first children’s book. He is an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.
By Jeffrey Colvin
Africaville (Amistad; December 10, 2019), weaves a rich narrative tapestry from the colorful threads of multiple generations in one family. The title is inspired by Africville, a real settlement in Halifax, Nova Scotia, whose black population—largely the descendants of slaves from the American South and the Caribbean– carved out a community against the harsh maritime landscape and against bigotry and racism. In telling this story, Colvin hopes to highlight the many “lost” free black communities throughout North America that have faded from history books and memory.
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