The Hundred Wells of Salaga | Mechanics' Institute

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The Hundred Wells of Salaga
Author Ayesha Harruna Attah in conversation with Jewelle Gomez. Cosponsored by MOAD (Museum of the African Diaspora)

Author Ayesha Harruna Attah in conversation with playwright/poet Jewelle Gomez

Black History Month brings forth a book by a new Ghanaian literary voice, Ayesha Harruna Attah.  Her breakout novel explores slavery, power and freedom and the lives of two women during the scramble for Africa in Pre-colonial Ghana.  Ayesha wrote this book because she is the descendant of a woman who was called ‘the slave’ She exposes the less known issues of slavery within the continent of Africa in this compelling story of forced migration.

"The strength of Attah's novel is in these two fully realized women, who must navigate their own ever changing circumstances against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile political landscape, in which feuding royals are competing for power among themselves but also with the Germans and the British. On the whole it is a rich and nuanced portrayal. Attah is adept at leading readers across the varied terrain of 19th-century Ghana and handles heavy subjects with aplomb..." --KIRKUS REVIEWS



Ayesha Harruna Attah was born in Accra and educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University, and NYU. A 2015 Africa Centre Artists in Residency Award Laureate and Sacatar Fellow, she won the 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship for non-fiction. She currently lives in Senegal and loves making ice-cream and staring at the ocean.


Jewelle Gomez, (Cape Verdean/Wampanoag/Ioway), playwright, novelist, poet and cultural worker is the author of eight books including the first Black Lesbian vampyre novel, THE GILDA STORIES, which has been in print more than 25 years and will soon be seen as a television mini-series. Her work has appeared in over 100 anthologies from HOME GIRLS to the OXFORD WORLD TREASURY OF LOVE STORIES to RED INDIAN ROAD WEST.

Her trilogy of plays about African American artists in the first half of the 20th century was commissioned by New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco where she is playwright-in-residence. The first in the series, WAITING FOR GIOVANNI, about writer/activist James Baldwin, premiered at NCTC and had its New York City premiere in 2018. LEAVING THE BLUES, about singer/songwriter Alberta Hunter, premiered in 2017. The third play in the trilogy, UNPACKING IN P’TOWN, will premiere in 2021. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @VampyreVamp.





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Future Activities

Aug 27 - 5:30pm

Knit Happens
Last Tuesday of the Month

Detail of the map

Aug 28 - 6:00pm

Mapping the City: A discussion of the 1854 map drawn by R.P. Bridgens
with Jimmie Schein from Schein & Schein Antique Maps and Prints

Aug 29 - 11:00am

Teacherless Writing
A member-led writing group

Sep 5 - 11:00am

Teacherless Writing
A member-led writing group

Sep 12 - 11:00am

Teacherless Writing
A member-led writing group