Bonnie Greer: An Education – #wordfromtheyurt

In #edbookfest, HOME, LITERATURE by Sam Prance

#wordfromtheyurt: watch, talk, type, think.

American Writer and Playwright, Bonnie GreerThis is both my second #wordfromtheyurt and my second #wordfromtheyurt fail – like with Will Self, I was very ignorant about Bonnie Greer before seeing her speak at the EIBF. The people surrounding me in the Bonnie Greer tent were not – all avid fans of her in fact, so it was just me sitting silly in the midst of them. Come to think of it – perhaps this feature should just be renamed #ignortantsam…I digress.

The difference between seeing Self talk and Greer, however, was that you needn’t be aware of Greer’s work to be touched by her words. Listening to her was an education. So, enough of my ramblings, here’s what Greer had to say.

On the effects of growing up and taking part in the Civil Rights Movement: ‘To this day I never walk behind a white woman. I always walk in their peripheral vision.’ 

On racism in America: ‘America has a birth defect. Racism is still so ingrained in American culture that you have to work against it.’ 

On the right to bear arms: ‘One of the main fears in the U.S. is home invasion. As long as that fear exists, the home ownership of guns will too.’

On home life growing up: ‘It was always hard work, no emotion.’ ‘If you wanna get a hug, buy a dog.’

On her father’s philosophy: ‘Education is the most important thing. They can take everything away from you but what you know.’

Bonnie Greer’s autobiography, A Parallel Life, is available for purchase now and the Edinburgh International Book Festival runs until August 25th. For more info on the festival and to get tickets, check out their website here: EIBF.

Sam Prance

Sam Prance is the Editor of Prancing Through LIFE. He studies French and Italian at the University of Edinburgh. His favourite novel is Cloud Atlas and he has Madonna marathons on a regular basis. He is currently writing this auto-bio in the third person. He will now stop writing this third person auto-bio in order to save himself some embarrassment.

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