This Saturday, July 27, author and journalist Rochelle Riley will visit the Los Angeles Central Library to discuss her 2018 book, “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery,” a poignant collection of essays on America’s unfinished business with the aftermath of Black enslavement. The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Taper Auditorium, at 630 W. 5thStreet in Downtown Los Angeles. Riley will be joined by two of the essayists in her book, author and filmmaker Paula Madison and actress T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh.
Upon its release, “The Burden” garnered praise from prominent Black figures such as former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, author and activist Tananarive Due, former president of Spelman College Johnetta Betsch Cole, and award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi.
Cole called the book “overflowing with truth telling” and Abdul-Jabbar called it “one of the most comprehensive, enlightening and thought-provoking books I have ever read on African American history.”
Riley has traveled across the United States hosting more than 75 conversations on the current state of race relations and the lingering effects of slavery.
Riley earned a great deal of acclaim during her long-running stint as a newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, where she lent her voice to the causes of improved government, amicable race relations, education and children. She has won many honors, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, to name a few. She was inducted this year into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame.
Riley recently ended her nearly 20-year career in journalism to become the Director of Arts and Culture for the City of Detroit. She hopes to reinvigorate the Detroit’s arts and entertainment industry in order to restore its status as a major cultural and artistic hub.