Author and Cultural Critic Roxane Gay speaks at Bunker Hill Community College
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
BOSTON, March 14, 2019—Author and cultural critic Roxane Gay spoke on Thursday, March 7, 2019, as part of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)’s Compelling Conversations Series.
Named “America’s brightest new essayist” by The Guardian, Gay is the author of New York Times bestsellers Bad Feminist and Difficult Women. She recently became the first black woman to write for Marvel, penning a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.
Gay’s work garners international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. At Thursday’s event, she read excerpts of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, a book that explores what it means to be overweight in a world where body size and image is a focal point, and the struggle of overcoming trauma.
From Hunger, Gay shared with the audience her distaste of exercise, her love for Ina Garten and The Barefoot Contessa and the joy that comes from enjoying the Haitian cuisine of her childhood, before opening the discussion to student questions.
“When I write, especially when I write something personal, I tell myself that no one is going to read my work,” said Gay when asked how she’s able to balance truth in storytelling with personal humility. “If I think too much about audience, then I’m not going to have the courage to say the kinds of things that I most need to say, and I’m not going to be as honest as I need to be on the page.”
Trustee and BHCC alumna Cathy Guild delivered the opening remarks to Thursday’s presentation. “I came to Bunker Hill Community College as an adult learner, wanting to change my life not only for myself but for my children. I not only achieved my goal, but I also left confident in who I am and what I can be. I found a different life that opened up a multitude of opportunities, and through time, your goals too will be accomplished.”
In partnership with BHCC’s newly launched Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth, the series of speakers for 2018-2019 is intended to support meaningful and relevant discussion both inside and outside the classroom as part of the College’s ongoing exploration of power, privilege, equity and cultural wealth which served as the focus of the College’s first Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute in May 2018.
Arlene Vallie, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, introduced Gay to the BHCC community. “Courageous, humorous, smart – these are words frequently used to describe today’s speaker,” she said. “Ms. Gay is revered nationally and internationally her for deft eye on modern culture and social critique and criticism.”
For more than ten years, BHCC has hosted nationally-recognized thought leaders and speakers to share their experiences and opinions in onstage conversations, literary readings and compelling lectures that both expand and challenge the BHCC community’s awareness of contemporary issues. For a complete list of speakers, past, present and future, please visit bhcc.edu/cc.
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About Bunker Hill Community College
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.