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Author Talk and Book Signing Featuring Erica Armstrong Dunbar
February 9, 2017 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM ESTFree
Join us for an African American Read-in Celebrating Black History Month
Featuring Erica Armstrong Dunbar
MahoganyBooks is excited to host an African American Read-in featuring Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the author of the new book Never Caught. This book tells “a fascinating and moving account of a courageous and resourceful woman,” Ona Judge, a runaway slave owned by President George Washington. “Beautifully written and utilizing previously untapped sources it sheds new light both on the father of our country and on the intersections of slavery and freedom in the flawed republic he helped to found.”
“The African American Read-In (AARI), established by the Black Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is built on an ambitious yet confident premise: that a school and community reading event can be an effective way to promote diversity in children’s literature, encourage young people to read, and shine a spotlight on African American authors. As we celebrate the [27th] year since the event was created, it appears that it’s not only made progress toward these goals but will continue to be an inspiration to schools and communities for some time to come.”
In NEVER CAUGHT, Dunbar takes readers back to May 21, 1796, the day when Ona Judge, at twenty-two years old, reached her breaking point and fled, despite the danger and uncertainty that lay ahead. We fear for her as she runs into the night, pressing forward while leaving her beloved family behind. We anxiously turn each page as the intense manhunt initiated by George Washington ensues, hoping that Ona remains safe. And we cheer when Ona, a slave under the ownership of President George Washington, one of the few solo female fugitives (90% of fugitives from Pennsylvania to Virginia were male), against the odds, makes it to New Hampshire to begin her new life, albeit constantly having to look over her shoulders, frightened of being recognized and captured.
Upon learning about Ona Judge’s journey, Dunbar became devoted to telling her story. The result of Dunbar’s extensive research is an epic story of a woman with a fierce determination to pursue a lifetime of freedom, regardless of the laws of the land. NEVER CAUGHT is not just another slave narrative. This book is also a portrait of Washington few knew. It is a defining biography that offers a gripping account of a woman whose pre-meditated and daring escape from the President’s House most likely inspired later generations of enslaved people who also dreamed of a life of liberty, possibilities, and equality.
Join author Erica Armstrong Dunbar, MahoganyBooks, and Marsha Jews on February 9, 2017 at 7PM at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Museum at its historic location on the waterfront in Baltimore, MD. This event is beneficial for adults and students alike as we celebrate Black History Month, encourage reading and literacy, and recognize Ona Judges’ and others like her fight for the freedom we cherish today.
Praise for Never Caught
“A fascinating and moving account of a courageous and resourceful woman. Beautifully written and utilizing previously untapped sources it sheds new light both on the father of our country and on the intersections of slavery and freedom in the flawed republic he helped to found.”
— Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial and Gateway to Freedom
“Totally engrossing and absolutely necessary for understanding the birth of the American Republic, Never Caught is richly human history from the vantage point of the enslaved fifth of the early American population. Here is Ona Judge’s (successful) quest for freedom, on one side, and, on the other, George and Martha Washington’s (vain) use of federal power to try to keep her enslaved.”
— Nell Irvin Painter, author of Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol
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