MahoganyBooks

MahoganyBooks + Very Smart Brothas Book Club: Book Discussion

About

THE EVENT



The MahoganyBooks & Very Smart Brothas book club is excited to announce our January book club read, I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying by Bassey Ikpi. In I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life--as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist--through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy. Join us for a discussion of this beautifully written work. Deep, compelling, and poetic, this work will spur an engaging and illuminating conversation on mental health and how we cope, lean in to, or attempt to escape trauma.



Open to the public, as well as, live streamed to Facebook, the MahoganyBooks + Very Smart Brothas book club is a monthly book club that reads a wide range of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora then meets the first Friday of the following month to discuss and debate the book and its associated themes. Join the MahoganyBooks + Very Smart Brothas Book Club on February 7, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for to discuss our first read of 2020.



THE BOOK







I'M TELLING THE TRUTH, BUT I'M LYING




A The Root Favorite Books of the Year -- In I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life--as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist--through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.


"We will not think or talk about mental health or normalcy the same after reading this momentous art object moonlighting as a colossal collection of essays." --Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy


From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression--sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.


In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives--how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves--and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal." Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are--and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.




THE AUTHOR





Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-American writer and mental health advocate. Her debut essay collection, I’M TELLING THE TRUTH BUT I’M LYING (Harper Perennial 2019), is a New York Times Best Seller. 


Appearing on stages across the world as a public speaker and TV personality, Bassey featured on HBO’s ‘Def Poetry Jam’ and joined the touring company for their Tony Award-winning Broadway show. She was the resident pop culture critic for Philly’s WURD FM radio station and is currently a contributing editor for Catapult. An active voice in pop culture commentary and the mental health community, Bassey’s essays have been published by The Root, Ebony, Huffington Post, and Essence, as well as the anthologies Rookie On Love and Who Will Speak For America. In 2015, Bassey was commissioned by Nike’s global nonprofit Girls Effect to write and perform a short film, Invisible Barriers, which premiered at a panel discussing female empowerment as a means for societal growth at Aspen Ideas Conference.


Bassey is the founder of The Siwe Project, a mental health organization that centers Black and Brown people in an effort to spread mental health awareness. Recognized by MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show for her advocacy work, Bassey is also the creator of #NoShameDay, an initiative that attempts to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness.


As a performing poet, Bassey has opened for Grammy-winning artists India Arie, Luther Vandross, and Alicia Keys. She tributed Venus and Serena Williams at the NAACP Image Awards and opened for Conde Nast Traveler’s 25th Anniversary Visionaries Award, performing original poems composed in recognition of attending honorees Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Christy Turlington, Olivia Wilde, and Susan Sarandon, among others.


Bassey currently lives in Maryland and is working on various projects. 


THE SPONSOR


VerySmartBrothas is an award-winning blog about pop culture, race, and relationships. Damon Young and Panama Jackson are the two writers of the blog. They are awesome.


Event Experience Powered by Addmi
Addmi logo