Manage episode 295259950 series 1570276
Celebrate Juneteenth with this conversation with Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of the novel Libertie. An historical novel, Libertie was inspired in part by the true story of Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward who in 1869 became the first Black female doctor in New York and then co-founded of a hospital for women in Brooklyn. Greenidge shifts the timeline to before, during, and after the Civil War and creates the character of Dr. Kathy Sampson—a widow who is raising her daughter Libertie to walk in her footsteps in a Black community in Brooklyn, regardless of the girl’s wishes. As she runs up against gender roles, class and parental expectations, and colorism, Libertie seeks to create the life she wants. Kaitlyn Greenidge parallels Libertie’s struggles with autonomy to the ways Black people sought to enrich their lives and their communities in the aftermath of slavery, and she traces their ongoing discussions about what freedom would look like for Black people in America. In this podcast, Greenidge talks about writing an historical novel, the possibilities that Reconstruction offered Black people and the country as a whole, her decision to set her novel solely in Black communities and make white society peripheral to the story, and the pervasive and ongoing challenges of colorism.