Monday, October 14, 2013

Pearl Cleage Comes to Claflin

Back in February, a librarian friend and I were talking about authors we had seen in person.  She told me that Pearl Cleage was coming to Claflin University in Orangeburg (where she works), but didn't know the exact date. I filed it in my memory bank, waiting to hear on the date.

Several weeks later, the thoughts of Pearl coming to Claflin returned in my head.  When I did a Google search to find out when she was coming, I found out she would be on campus THE NEXT DAY, which was March 19.  After finding out that she was doing a 6 p.m. lecture, I gather up my books and camera and decided to leave work early to drive one hour to see Pearl.

And it was worth the drive!

Pearl talked about her journey as a writer, which first started when she started reading Langston Hughes and from that point, knew that she was going to be a writer.  Pearl also talked how she finds a way to make her stories relevant to the times, saying that African-Americans and other minorities "shape the stories of new America".

She also talked about President Obama and how "everything is different when the President looks like family".  Even though other politicians have given the President a hard time, Pearl says she still believes in democracy.  "Democracy is messy and ongoing, but when it works, it's beautiful," she said.  She added that it takes more than one great president to make democracy work, but also active citizens to live up to the "promise of democracy".

Pearl also talked about her writing process.  She says that her process starts with a character, who eventually becomes a real person to her.  She also writes long-hand and uses pens in different colors.  Pearl also says that she is also looking at people. "They are a walking book," she said.  She encourages future writers to write everyday and to be engaged in the writing process.

After the lecture, I got a chance to talk to Pearl. She told me about her new book, which at the time was scheduled to be released in November (it will now be released in April).  She also asked my how did I get my name (My grandmother found the name in Jet Magazine after Minnie Riperton's passing.  Little did we know that her daughter was going to be so famous!).  Pearl is one of my favorite authors and I was so excited to finally get a chance to meet her!  It was worth the drive!

No comments:

Post a Comment