Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History
Date: June 2017
Duration: 6 hours 25 minutes
As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille T. Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then a toddler. As they travel, Dungy is intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child but as black females. With a poet's eye, she celebrates the particular in the universal, such as a child's acquisition of language and what to pack in a diaper bag. At the same time, her horizons are wide, as history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers' and investors' dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.
With exceptional candor, Dungy explores our inner and outer worlds-the multitudinous experiences of mothering, illness, and the ever-present embodiment of race-finding fear and trauma but also mercy, kindness, and community. Penetrating and generous, far-seeing and intimate, her prose is an essential guide for a troubled land.