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Left of Black Presents: Small Talk at FHI with Author Nabil Ayers


Nabil Ayers

Author Nabil Ayers, born from the union between a white, Jewish, former ballerina and American funk, soul, and jazz musician Roy Ayers, joins the Webby Award-nominated podcast "Left of Black" for a special in-person event to discuss his new critically acclaimed memoir, My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for My Father and Discovering My Family. Ayers paints the portrait of a loving single mother who doted over her son while acknowledging the childhood pain from his celebrity father's intentional absence all while navigating a mixed-race identity through the 70's & 80's. Cleveland Review of Books states, "...Ayers achieves a tenor that few memoirs do, fully embracing and speaking to the old adage 'the personal is political.'" On Wednesday, October 25th, from 6:30 to 8pm, join host and series creator Dr. Mark Anthony Neal as he converses with Ayers at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) at Duke University. Copies of My Life in the Sunshine will be given for free to the first 25 attendees. The event will be held at the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall located in Bay 4 of the Smith Warehouse in Durham. "Left of Black Presents: Small Talk at FHI," is a new event sub-series inspired by the legendary jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron's first album, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. It is an attempt to recreate the same type of intimacy ever present in Scott-Heron's groundbreaking work. Named after famed African American historian John Hope Franklin, the FHI became the institutional home of the web series in 2019 during its 10th season. RSVP at


Featured, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, Reading