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SECOND TUESDAY: ROBERT JONES, JR. IN CONVERSATION WITH DONJA R. LOVE.
April 13, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm
Robert Jones, Jr., author of the instant New York Times best-selling novel “The Prophets,” joins us for a special Second Tuesday to discuss his debut novel with acclaimed playwright Donja Love. “The Prophets” is described as a stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. RSVP AT : https://gaycenter.org/robert-jonesjr/ Purchase The Prophets, by Robert Jones, Jr., from the Bureau and receive 25% off with this code: WSEHP1GX19HJ. Good for one purchase through April 14, 2021. Enter the promotional coupon code above when you check out to receive the discount. Thank you for supporting the Bureau! ABOUT “THE PROPHETS” Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older fellow slave seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony. With a lyricism reminiscent of Toni Morrison, Robert Jones, Jr. fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike, from Isaiah and Samuel to the calculating slave master to the long line of women that surround them. As tensions build and the weight of centuries culminates in a climactic reckoning, “The Prophets” masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love. ABOUT ROBERT JONES, JR. Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer from New York City. He received his B.F.A., magna cum laude, in creative writing, and M.F.A. in fiction from Brooklyn College. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Essence, and The Paris Review. Jones was recently featured in T Magazine’s cover story “Black Male Writers of Our Time.” He is the creator and curator of the social justice social media community Son of Baldwin, which has over 250,000 followers across platforms. It was created in 2008 as tribute to legendary author James Baldwin, answering his call to “find [him] in the wreckage” and continue the work of dismantling the human-made structures that oppress the marginalized. Son of Baldwin is specifically interested in critical analysis, and in leading and participating in conversations that shed light on matters from a Black queer perspective. Intersections of ability, age, body type, class, gender, gender identity, sex, sexuality, and any other identity category endangered by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy are also considered. ABOUT DONJA LOVE Donja R. Love (he/him/his) is Black, Queer, HIV-Positive, and thriving. A Philly native, his work examines the forced absurdity of life for those who identify as Black, Queer, and HIV-Positive–a diverse intersection filled with eloquent stories that challenge the white supremacist, heteronormative structures that exist in American culture. He’s the recipient of Antonyo’s inaugural Langston Hughes Award, the Helen Merrill Award, the Laurents/Hatcher Award, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Award. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ+ People of Color. Plays include soft, one in two (The New Group), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Sugar in Our Wounds (Manhattan Theatre Club, Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Nominations), and The Trade. He’s a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School.