MEMFLIX: A Memphis Reads Film Series
In honor of this year’s Memphis Reads book, join us for three viewings of films portraying themes discussed in Thick, and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom, followed by a discussion. The Thick, and Other Essays ebook is freely available to UofM students, faculty and staff through the University Libraries.
The Souls of Black Girls Viewing and Scholars Talk
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 6 PM - University of Memphis Campus, University Center, River Room
The Souls of Black Girls is an award-winning provocative documentary that raises the question of whether women of color are suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images. After the viewing, a panel will discuss the documentary’s topics and their relation to Thick, and Other Essays. The event will be in-person (masks required). This series is sponsored by the UofM African and African-American Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities, Multicultural Affairs, and the University Libraries.
Just Wright Viewing and Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 6 PM - University of Memphis Campus, Patterson
Just Wright is a classic romantic comedy starring Queen Latifa and Common, which subtly shows the struggles of being a plus-size woman. After the viewing, a panel will discuss the movie and how it relates to Thick, and Other Essays. The event will be in-person (masks required). This series is sponsored by the UofM African and African-American Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities, Multicultural Affairs, and the University Libraries.
Ouvrir la Voix / Speak Up Viewing and Panel Discussion
Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 1:30-4:30 PM - Benjamin L. Hooks Public Library, Garden (Lower) Level courtyard at the back of the Central Library
Ouvrir la Voix, or Speak Up, is a subtitled documentary which seeks to address issues and obstacles uniquely faced by women in the French community. The film is comprised of intimate, close-up interviews with twenty-four Black French women who discuss the challenges they face in French culture, ranging from their experiences of casual racism, both personal and official, to racial stereotypes, cultural standards of beauty, and the experience of alienation and otherness. The viewing will be followed by a discussion about how the documentary relates to Thick, and Other Essays and a Q&A session with the film's director, Amandine Gay, who will participate remotely from Paris. The event will be in-person (masks required) and virtual. For more information, visit the MPL event page.
About Memphis Reads
Memphis Reads is a community reading program based at Christian Brothers University, which was created to give Memphis students a common academic experience and to connect them with their campus communities, as well as the larger Memphis community. Each year, Memphis Reads selects a book that engages Memphians in issues that directly affect their lives. The chosen book for 2021 is Thick, and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom, which explores the Black female experience in today’s America. Author Tressie McMillan Cottom will be in Memphis at several Memphis Reads events, including speaking engagements at Christian Brothers University on October 13, Rhodes College on October 14, and at a Shelby County School. Memphis Reads partners will host several parallel events which will be free and open to the public. For more details, visit (link coming shortly). Memphis Reads is a community partnership between Christian Brothers University, Memphis Public Libraries, Facing History & Ourselves, City of Memphis, Shelby County Schools, Rhodes College, the University of Memphis, LeMoyne-Owen College, National Civil Rights Museum, NOVEL Bookstore, and Whole Child Strategies. Sponsors include International Paper, CBU, Rhodes College, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.