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Talks & Forums

The Big Read Closing Ceremony

50 Evt Img Big Read

Join us for an exciting Big Read in Charlotte culminating ceremony featuring a talk with Homegoing author Yaa Gyasi. The talk is moderated by Dr. Valerie Kinloch, president of Johnson C. Smith University. Drums 4 Life ushers in the spirit and energy of Ghana through their electrifying performances. The evening also includes several students who highlight their winning poetry and art.

This free and family-friendly event is open to all ages! Wells Fargo Auditorium is located on the lower level of the Knight Theater.

About the Big Read

The Big Read in Charlotte is a five-month-long series of free events designed to inform, engage, and promote literacy in our community – centered on the community-wide reading of Yaa Gyasi’s novel, Homegoing. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest created to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience.

About The Speaker

50 Headshot Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi is the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel Homegoing and a recipient of the National Book Foundation's 2016 "5 Under 35" Award. Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she held a Dean's Graduate Research Fellowship. Her second novel, Transcendent Kingdom, was published in September 2020. She lives in New York City.

About The Moderator

50 Headshot Valerie Kinloch

Dr. Valerie Kinloch became the 15th president of Johnson C. Smith University on August 3, 2023. With nearly three decades of experience in higher education, Kinloch has distinguished herself as a passionate educator who has taught and/or served in administrative roles at The Ohio State University, Columbia University's Teachers College, University of Houston-Downtown, and most recently, the University of Pittsburgh.

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