Elizabeth Alexander with Charles M. Blow: The Trayvon Generation

Wed. Apr 6, 2022 6:30pm - 7:30pm EDT
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This event, previously scheduled to take place in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, is only taking place virtually.

The bestselling author examines the power of art and culture to illuminate America’s unresolved problems with race.

Book Cover of The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth AlexanderIn the summer of 2020, following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, Elizabeth Alexander began turning a mother’s eye to her sons’ and students’ generation to reflect on the challenges facing young Black America. The Trayvon Generation, as she began referring to them, could not, even as children, be shielded from the brutality that has affected the lives of so many Black people. In her new book. Alexander weaves together those reflections with ruminations on groundbreaking works of art by some of our most extraordinary artists in order to ask how we reckon with who we are as a nation and how we move forward.

Alexander speaks with Charles M. Blow about the tragedies and hopes for young people at this crucial time in American history.

This program will be streamed live on the NYPL event page.

A live transcript will be provided. ASL interpretation is available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing accessibility@nypl.org. A pre-filled Gmail template is available by clicking hereAny media will be accompanied by alt text to reference before the program or by audio description.


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Elizabeth Alexander is a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author, renowned American poet, educator, scholar, and cultural advocate. Her memoir, The Light of the World, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Awards. She composed and recited “Praise Song for the Day” for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration and is currently president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in the arts, culture, and humanities.

Charles M. Blow is an acclaimed journalist and op-ed columnist for the New York Times who appears frequently on CNN. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones. He lives in Atlanta.


Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email sarabethjoren@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email publicprograms@nypl.org or use this Gmail template.

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Elizabeth Alexander © Djeneba Aduayom

Charles M. Blow © Beowulf Sheehan

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