Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Power to the People

DeRay Mckesson talks to writers Casey Gerald, Ibram X Kendi, Fatima Bhutto and Regina Porter about why everyone, no matter who they are, should have a role in making a better society.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Power to the People

About Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Power to the People

Guest Selector: DeRay Mckesson

As a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, DeRay Mckesson is passionate about giving voice to ordinary people who want to change the world for the better, leading him to be named as one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine in 2016. He is particularly focused on issues of equity, justice and youth rights, and has been praised by Barack Obama for his work as a community organiser, not least for in Ferguson after the fatal shooting of Mike Brown. Mckesson talks to writers Casey Gerald, Ibram X Kendi, Fatima Bhutto and Regina Porter about why everyone, no matter who they are, should have a role in making a better society.

Ibram X Kendi with DeRay Mckesson
BUILDING AN ANTIRACIST SOCIETY
Saturday 10 August 10:30 - 11:30
We all occasionally do things that are racist, yet often fail to recognise them. Ibram X Kendi is a founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center in Washington DC. How To Be an Antiracist is his extraordinary, inspiring guidebook which helps build a vital new understanding of racism – and how to work against it. This superb teacher and storyteller talks to educator and activist DeRay Mckesson, a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement and our 2019 Guest Selector.

Derek Owusu & Johny Pitts
BLACK EUROPEAN LIVES MATTER
Saturday 10 August 16:00 - 17:00
With white supremacism on the rise across the world, the battle against racism in Europe is far from won. Derek Owusu and Johny Pitts take up the fight with books that illuminate the interplay between black lives and European cultures. Owusu is editor of Safe, a wide-ranging and generous anthology of writing by black British men, while Pitts has written Afropean, a warmly compassionate documentary of the lives of black Europeans.

Casey Gerald with DeRay Mckesson
MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN
Saturday 10 August 19:15 - 20:15
Called ‘extraordinary’ and ‘electrifying’ by Marlon James and Colm Tóibín, Texan writer Casey Gerald’s powerful memoir traces fault lines in American racial and masculine identity. There Will Be No Miracles Here examines how Gerald grew up underprivileged, black and gay in Dallas but went on to study at Yale and Harvard, and work on Wall Street. It’s an American Dream story; so why does he spurn the classic rags-to-riches narrative? He shares his thoughts with educator and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, one of our 2019 Guest Selectors and a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fatima Bhutto & Regina Porter with DeRay Mckesson
POWERFUL PORTRAITS OF HUMANITY
Sunday 11 August 14:15 - 15:15
Do novels fairly reflect human diversity? Fatima Bhutto’s The Runaways and Regina Porter’s The Travelers offer sweeping portrayals of life and society in Pakistan and the USA. Bhutto’s novel moves between Karachi and southern England, telling a story of radicalisation and identity, while Porter’s beguiling debut chronicles two families journeying through the American 20th century. Activist and educator DeRay Mckesson, a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement and our 2019 Guest Selector, interviews them today.

DeRay Mckesson
THE INSPIRATIONAL ACTIVIST
Sunday 11 August 17:00 - 18:00
In 2014 DeRay Mckesson quit his job and moved to Ferguson, Missouri to protest against the police shooting of Michael Brown Jr, an unarmed African-American teenager. He spent the next 400 days on the streets as an activist and helped bring the Black Lives Matter movement into existence. In conversation with Lauretta Charlton, Race/Related editor of The New York Times, Mckesson discusses his deeply-moving book, On the Other Side of Freedom, in which he inspires the hope and belief that together we must imagine – and build – a more equal world.

Jeanne Marie Laskas with DeRay Mckesson
LISTENING TO THE STORIES OF THE PEOPLE
Sunday 11 August 19:15 - 20:15
Every day, President Obama received 10,000 letters from ordinary Americans; every night he read ten, and he wrote back. In To Obama, Jeanne Marie Laskas describes this unique correspondence, interviewing the letter-writers, White House staff and the President himself. Laskas talks to our Guest Selector DeRay Mckesson about how the book became a story of the state of a nation: revealing the love, joy, hate and despair – and one man’s special relationship with the American people.

While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Power to the People are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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