Regina E. Mason – “Gina’s Story: The Life of William Grimes as Art and Testimony”

Author, speaker, and storyteller Regina E. Mason is the great-great-great granddaughter of William Grimes, the author of the first published U.S. American slave narrative. Grimes was held in bondage in many states, including Georgia.

Mason will discuss her journey as a researcher to recover the story of her ancestor in relation to themes of belonging and citizenship. After an introductory discussion, she will screen her 80-minute documentary, Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes (2016), which tells both Grimes’ story and the 15-year process she spent to authenticate his extraordinary narrative of flight from bondage to liberty. With the literary critic and expert William L. Andrews, Mason also co-edited the authoritative 2008 Oxford University Press edition of The Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave. She has shared her work with national and international campus and university communities, including Mansfield College of Oxford, England. SUNY-Buffalo, Yale University, and the University of California-Berkeley.

This event is part of This is (Not) What I Expected: Difference and Dignity Through Literature and the Arts, a series of events centered around and inspired by Citizen by Claudia Rankine.

Events in the series have been supported by funds from the Willson Center, the Leighton M. Ballew Lecture Series in English, Verse magazine, and Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development through funding from the Georgia General Assembly.