On this episode, we discuss Heavy by Kiese Laymon with Dr. Charles HF Davis. For Dr. Davis, Heavy is the book that changed how he understands the complexities of Black life.
HF is an educator and creative committed to the lives, love, and liberation of everyday Black people. He is currently an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, where hisresearch and teaching broadly focus on issues of race, racism, and resistance in education and society.
From the back of the book: In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.
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