Melissa Stiers steps up as part of the GPB Southern Lit Cadre this weekend, interviewing Atlanta-based essayist, poet, journalist and novelist Pearl Cleage. Cleage ventures into new territory as an artist and American in her latest novel Seen It All and Done the Rest—that of reclaiming her citizenship. On Sunday's edition of Cover To Cover, Cleage talks about how she’s been as much an activist in her life as an author. And the activist in her, fighting for civil rights as an African American in the 1960’s and 70’s and women’s rights after, dissociated herself from being American.
But on a recent journey out West, where her new novel began to bud, she saw herself in the beauty of the land and the kindness of the people. Coupled with two Democratic potentials for president that she can identify with as a black woman, she’s in new terrain, where, in her own words, she’s "putting down the sword and making ploughshares."
Cleage explores this idea with a new heroine, Josephine Evans, an actress of the international stage who returns stateside. Through Evans and the characters she encounters (some familiar— Abbie Browning’s back and Zora too), Cleage breathes life into current events and the issues of our age that read black and white in newspaper headlines. Josephine asks questions like "What is the free woman’s role in wartime," and with the full palette of human feelings, Cleage masterfully answers. Tune in Sunday night at 8pm for this fascinating conversation between two interesting women.