Jewell Parker Rhodes talks at the Oxford Literary Festival

Jewell Parker Rhodes talks to Catherine Johnson

Towers Falling: 15 Years After 9/11

Jewell Parker Rhodes
Jewell Parker Rhodes

Award-winning American author Jewell Parker Rhodes talks about her new novel that helps children who were not alive at the time to understand the horrific impact of the events of 9/11.

Rhodes’s newest book Towers Falling follows 15-year-old Brooklyn resident Dèja as she discovers the story of 9/11 and grows to understand the monumental impact it bears on her life. The New York Times calls Towers Falling “Powerful, clear-eyed . . . Rhodes doesn’t assume her readers know the magnitude of 9/11; she walks them tenderly through it”. Rhodes will read from the book and discuss its delicate subject matter.

Rhodes’s books for children and adults have won awards such as the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award, and the American Book Award. She is Piper Endowed Chair of the Virginia G Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Here she talks to fellow children’s writer Catherine Johnson, author of Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo and Blade and Bone.

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson

Sunday 26 March 2017  10:00am

Duration 1 Hour

Venue Corpus Christi: Rainolds Room

Ticket price £7

Age 8-12

Programme of American literature and culture


What’s Happening in Black British History III

29 October 2015, 10:30 – 18:00

Event Type: Workshop
Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall (Senate House, first floor)
Venue Details:
Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

Convenors: Miranda Kaufmann and Michael Ohajuru


10.30-10.45 Registration: tea & coffee

10.45-11.30 Keynote address: Eric Huntley

11.30-1.00 Session One: Challenging the Conventional Narratives

Chair: Rovianne Matovu (Freelance Museum Educator)

Catherine Johnson (Author and Educationalist), ‘Looking at Our Past Through Fiction: Engaging Young Readers With Black British History’

Ryan Hanley (New College, Oxford), ‘A More Interesting Narrative: Moving beyond Equiano and Slavery in the study of Eighteenth-Century Black British Writing’

David Killingray (ICwS), ‘Black British history is happening – but to what end?’

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2.00-3.30 Session Two: Teaching Black British History

Chair: Kwaku (Black British Music)

Martin Spafford (Retired history teacher), ‘The new GCSE course on migration to Britain: Black British history on the official exam curriculum’

Dema Wonga (Narrative Eye), ‘Inclusive Curriculum: Learning to see the diversity of Britain’

Robin Whitburn (Institute of Education) and Abdul Mohamud (Institute of Education), Black British History: Justice and Political Action in the Classroom.

3.30-4.00 Tea/coffee

4.00-6.00 Session Three: New Perspectives on the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Chair: Miranda Kaufmann (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

Ian Duffield (University of Edinburgh) ‘“Through a Glass Darkly?” Black Women in London, 1760-1860, as seen via the Old Bailey Sessions Papers trial reports online and related online newspaper reports.’

Jeffrey Green (Independent Historian), ‘The murderer, the servant, and Lady Mary Grey:
Victorian Africans and the historical record’

Jan Marsh (National Portrait Gallery), ‘Re-framing the Nation’

Advolly Richmond (Independent Researcher), ‘God and Coffee: The Forgotten Story of the Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman, Botanist’

6.00-6.30 Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Chair: Michael Ohajuru

Panel: Sean Creighton, Miranda Kaufmann, Abdul Mohamud, Paul Reid, Martin Spafford

6.30-7.30 Reception

There will be a registration fee of £20 (£5 for students/unwaged) to cover the costs of lunch and refreshments.

Registration is now open. To book a place please go to: