In Conversation with DaMaris Hill: A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing
On Tuesday, February 12, at 7pm at Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters, writer and scholar DaMaris B. Hill will discuss her new book A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland with writer, activist, and intrepid Hub City Writers Project board member Latria Graham. Presented by Hub City Bookshop and the Spartanburg County Public Library, the talk will be followed by a signing afterward.
A percentage of the proceeds from all book sales at the event will go to benefit Angels Charge Ministry, which offers a transitional housing program, case management, and advocacy to deter recidivism and to facilitate a healthy and productive re-entry into the local community for women during and after incarceration.
A revelatory work in the tradition of Claudia Rankine's Citizen, DaMaris Hill's searing and powerful narrative-in-verse is a Publishers Weekly Top 10 History Title for the season that bears witness to American women of color burdened by incarceration.
From Harriet Tubman to Assata Shakur, Ida B. Wells to Sandra Bland and Black Lives Matter, black women freedom fighters have braved violence, scorn, despair, and isolation in order to lodge their protests. In A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, DaMaris Hill honors their experiences with at times harrowing, at times hopeful responses to her heroes, illustrated with black-and-white photographs throughout.
For black American women, the experience of being bound has taken many forms: from the bondage of slavery to the Reconstruction-era criminalization of women; from the brutal constraints of Jim Crow to our own era's prison industrial complex, where between 1980 and 2014, the number of incarcerated women increased by 700%. For those women who lived and died resisting the dehumanization of confinement--physical, social, intellectual--the threat of being bound was real, constant, and lethal.
In A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, Hill presents bitter, unflinching history that artfully captures the personas of these captivating, bound yet unbridled African-American women. Hill's passionate odes to Zora Neale Hurston, Lucille Clifton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, and others also celebrate the modern-day inheritors of their load and light, binding history, author, and reader in an essential legacy of struggle.
DaMaris Hill is assistant professor of creative writing and African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky. Her previous books are The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage, Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the Heartland, and a collection of poetry, \ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \ (Visible Textures). She has two PhDs, one in English and one in women and gender studies. A former service member of the United States Air Force, she lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Latria Graham is a writer, editor and cultural critic currently living in South Carolina. Her writing interests revolve around the dynamics of race, gender norms, class, nerd culture, and- yes, football. Her work has appeared in multiple publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, Southern Living, and Teen Vogue.