Austin Channing Brown: Racial Justice & the Power of the Pen
Memoirist and racial justice leader, Austin Channing Brown, is here to chat about her celebrated debut: I’M STILL HERE: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. From the book’s first line—“White people can be exhausting,” she had my undivided attention as I—like countless white women—am exasperated by white privilege and feel a great urgency to cease being exhausting. But where do we start? There is so much to learn! Thankfully, Austin is wise and patient, huge-hearted and playful. As she masterfully lays out what we need to know, we can’t help but hang on her every written word. Because it’s time. Time to know better. Be better. Do better.
My prediction is that upon hearing Austin read an excerpt from her chapter, “Why I love being a black girl” you’ll instantly understand why Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, and Jen Hatmaker are fans. By the close, when she shares part of a letter she wrote to her then unborn son, you will be too.
Our guest co-host on this episode, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, is a dear friend of Austin’s and their easy laughter is contagious. Daniel is the author of the New York Times bestseller TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters, and the recent, THE MERRY SPINSTER: Tales of Everyday Horror—a collection of short stories based on fairy-tales. He is also the Slate advice columnist, Dear Prudence, syndicated in over 200 newspapers. But you’d never know any of that by his humble nature and hilarious newbie stories.
Listen in as we delight in talking shop together. Other topics include: life-changing tech programs we use to organize our writing; favorite writing books on craft that have been career game changers; details of landing agents and book deals; how we’ve utilized groups and beta readers for up-leveling our work pre-publication; persevering through early rejections, and how sometimes life indeed conspires to make your dreams come true.