Brooklyn Reads: Bird Uncaged with Marlon Peterson and Ilyasah Shabazz

In honor of Malcolm X’s 96th birthday, author Marlon Peterson joins writer, educator, and daughter of Malcolm X Ilyasah Shabazz to discuss his memoir Bird Uncaged and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement icon on his life and writing. Bird Uncaged chronicles Peterson’s experience coming of age in Crown Heights in the 1980s and surviving incarceration. This contemporary abolitionist memoir uncovers the many cages—from daily violence and the trauma of poverty as well as policing, enforced masculinity, and the brutality of incarceration—created and maintained by American society, and calls for a radical new vision of justice that shifts from punishment to healing. Together, Peterson and Shabazz relate Malcolm X’s activism to demands for transformative justice and prison abolition today, and discuss how his rich legacy can inform current political organizing. Presented in partnership with the Shabazz Center, a memorial and cultural space that facilitates thought exchange around racial equity, justice, and cultural production. This program is free, but please RSVP; a Zoom link will be emailed upon confirmation. Purchase a copy of Bird Uncaged in our Shop. Captioning for this program is available on Zoom. To request additional accommodations, such as American Sign Language interpretation, email us at access@brooklynmuseum.org. Image caption and credit: Cover, Bird Uncaged by Marlon Peterson (2021)

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