The third year of First-Year Reads (FYR) will culminate on campus this semester on Oct. 23 with an on-campus talk featuring Ishmael Beah to discuss his memoir “A Long Way Gone.”
Before coming to campus, all first-year students downloaded “A Long Way Gone” on their iPads to read over the summer. This fall, all students can participate in numerous programs sponsored by FYR.
“We are proud to be able to bring famous authors such as Ishmael Beah to Hood College and want to make his visit to our campus as rich and rewarding as possible. The FYR program is all about community and making connections with issues and events that affect our lives,” Dr. Martha Bari, the head of FYR said.
During orientation, first-year students discussed Beah’s memoir within their orientation groups with both staff and upperclassmen student facilitators.
On Sept. 6, FYR will sponsor the film “Bling: A Planet Rock that ties in several issues presented by Beah’s memoir.
“‘Bling: A Planet Rock’ starring Ishmael Beah and Kanye West, on September 6 as part of Student Affairs’ double feature movie night. This short film connects the “blood diamonds” mined by slave labor during Sierra Leone’s civil war to the funding of this conflict, making a direct connection between hip-hop’s cult of diamond jewelry and the violence and suffering in that country,” Bari said.
Beah’s visit in October will allow students to talk about the issues presented in both the memoir and the film, and even the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Beah.
After the discussion, there will be a book-signing.
“[Beah’s visit] will be an exciting and rewarding experience. There will be opportunities to meet the author one-on-one in an intimate reception and to hear him speak publicly in conversation with Dr. Conway-Turner. Students can ask questions, challenge the author, find out why Beah did things the way he did, and witness the inspiring kind of man he has become as a result of his terrible trauma. This is the type of event that makes a student’s time at Hood especially unique and enriching. It would be a shame to miss Beah’s visit,” Bari said.