The Center for Fiction Presents: Hafizah Augustus Geter on The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin with J Wortham
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EST September 21, 2022
The Center for Fiction
In-person tickets include a $10 bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
Who writes the stories that attach themselves to our identities, for better and often for worse? In The Black Period, poet Hafizah Augustus Geter shows us that, for her, revision means unlearning the internalized stories from white supremacist narratives and finding ways for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish together. Geter’s combination of cultural criticism, memoir, political analysis, art, and reflection proves it is possible to hold space for all the troubling realities of inequality and also beauty, hope, love, and joy.
New York Times Magazine staff writer, author, and podcaster J Wortham (Still Processing, Black Futures) will join for a richly nurturing conversation filled with Afrofuturist thought.
This event is co-presented by passerby, a magazine that celebrates the women who pass us by through intimate portraits, curated recommendations, and more.
Hafizah Augustus Geter
Hafizah Augustus Geter
Hafizah Augustus Geter is a Nigerian American writer, poet, and literary agent born in Zaria, Nigeria, and raised in Akron, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina. She is the author of the poetry collection Un-American, an NAACP Image Award and PEN Open Book Award finalist. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Bomb, the Believer, the Paris Review, among many others. The poetry committee co-chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, she is a Bread Loaf Katharine Bakeless nonfiction fellow, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a 92Y Women inPower Fellow and holds an MFA in nonfiction from New York University, where she was an Axinn Fellow. Hafizah lives in Brooklyn, New York.
J Wortham (she/they) is a sound healer, reiki practitioner, herbalist, and community care worker oriented towards healing justice and liberation.
J is also a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, and co-host of the podcast Still Processing. Their work has won multiple awards, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, the Webbys, and a finalist from the National Magazine Awards. J is also the proud editor of the visual anthology Black Futures, a 2020 Editor’s choice by the New York Times Book Review, along with Kimberly Drew, from One World. She is also currently working on a book about the body and dissociation for Penguin Press called Work of Body. When not in or near a body of water, J primarily lives and works on stolen Munsee Lenape land, now known as Brooklyn, New York.
The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin
By Hafizah Augustus Geter
Published by Penguin Random House
At nineteen, she lost her mother to a sudden stroke. Weeks later, her father became so heartsick that he needed a triple bypass. By her thirties, she was constantly in pain, pinballing between physical therapy appointments, her grief, and the grind that is the American Dream. Hafizah realized she’d spent years internalizing the narratives that white supremacy had fed her about herself. Suddenly, she says, I was standing at the cliff of my own life, remembering.
Recalling her parents’ lessons on the art of Black revision, and mixing history, political analysis, and cultural criticism, alongside stunning original artworks created by her father, renowned artist Tyrone Geter, Hafizah maps out her own narrative, weaving between a childhood populated with Southern and Nigerian relatives; her days in a small Catholic school; a loving but tragically short relationship with her mother; and the feelings of joy and community that the Black Lives Matter protests engendered in her as an adult. All throughout, she forms a new personal and collective history, addressing the systems of inequity that make life difficult for non-able-bodied persons, queer people, and communities of color while capturing a world brimming with potential, art, music, hope, and love.
A unique combination of gripping memoir and Afrofuturist thought, in The Black Period, Hafizah manages to sidestep shame, confront disability, embrace forgiveness, and emerge from the erasures America imposes to exist proudly and unabashedly as herself.
About Our Partner
passerby is a magazine that celebrates the women who pass us by through intimate portraits, curated recommendations, and more.
Since 2015, passersby from all over the world have welcomed us into their homes, offering honest looks into their lives—the unconventional paths, mistakes, and small victories—as well as their book, film, and music libraries. Conceived by Clémence Polès, passerby was born from her curiosity about the women she encountered all too briefly while people-watching. Wanting to hear from the people who sat beside her on the subway, from those who served her coffee or passed her on the sidewalk, she set out to broaden the scope of typical media portrayals, asking the women she saw to speak with her.
Hundreds of conversations later, passerby has become a venue for a diversity of perspectives, a driver of creative exchange, and a home for a community of worldwide passersby. passerby pushes against traditional narratives of who is seen and what can be discussed, providing a rare space for reflection on an increasingly busy internet.