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Home Events Author Books Educational Presentation Shopping Taiyon J. Coleman’s TRAVELING WITHOUT MOVING


Sep 26 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Content welcomes Taiyon J. Coleman to Northfield for a reading from her new book TRAVELING WITHOUT MOVING: ESSAYS FROM A BLACK WOMAN TRYING TO SURVIVE IN AMERICA. Join us on Thursday, September 26th at 7 pm for an enlightening reading and Q&A.

A stunning lyrical commentary on the constructions of race, gender, and class in the fraught nexus of a Black woman’s personal experience and cultural history

The Fair Housing Act passed in 1968, and more than fifty years later, yours seems to be the only Black family on your block in Minneapolis. You and your Black African husband, both college graduates, make less money than some White people with a felony record and no high school diploma. You’re the only Black student in your graduate program. You just aren’t working hard enough. You’re too sensitive. Sandra Bland? George Floyd? Don’t take everything so personally. Amid the White smiles of Minnesota Nice and the Minnesota Paradox—the insidious racism of an ostensibly inclusive place to live—what do you do? If you’re Taiyon J. Coleman, you write.

In TRAVELING WITHOUT MOVING, Coleman shares intimate essays from her life: her childhood in Chicago—growing up in poverty with four siblings and a single mother—and the empowering decision to leave her first marriage. She writes about being the only Black student in a prestigious and predominantly White creative writing program, about institutional racism and implicit bias in writing instruction, about the violent legacies of racism in the U.S. housing market, about the maternal health disparities seen across the country and their implication in her own miscarriage. She explores what it means to write her story and that of her family—an act at once a responsibility and a privilege—bringing forth the inherent contradictions between American ideals and Black reality.

Using a powerful blend of perspectives that move between a first-person lens of lived experience and a wider-ranging critique of U.S. culture, policy, and academia, Coleman’s writing evinces how a Black woman in America is always on the run, always Harriet Tubman, traveling with her babies in tow, seeking safety, desperate to survive, thrive, and finally find freedom.

Taiyon J. Coleman is a poet, writer, and educator whose work has been anthologized widely. A Cave Canem and VONA fellow, she is a 2017 recipient of a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship in Creative Prose and is one of twelve emerging children’s writers of color selected as a recipient of the 2018–2019 Mirrors and Windows Fellowship funded by the Loft Literary Center and the Jerome Foundation in Minnesota. She is associate professor of English and women’s studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.