Air Dates: October 23-29, 2023
The transition from childhood to adulthood ushers in a wide variety of difficult questions like who actually loves us, and why. Nyani Nkrumah explores those coming-of-age themes, as well as issues of race, identity, trauma, and who is responsible for the person we actually are.
Nkrumah was born in Boston and grew up in Ghana, West Africa and later Zimbabwe. Nkrumah holds a doctorate from Cornell University and attributes her love of writing to her mother, a former English and literature teacher who entertained her kids by reciting poetry and Shakespeare soliloquies on the way to school. Her book, “Wade in the Water,” tells the story of an unforgettable summer in 1982 seen largely through the eyes of Ella, an 11-year-old black girl trying to overcome familial abuse.
On this episode of “Story in the Public Square,” Nkrumah’s “Wade in the Water” examines the intersection of race and society. She says, “…really the story about Ella is a coming-of-age story, and it’s finding the strength within yourself as a Black girl, living under these circumstances and finding who you are intrinsically. And looking at the color of yourself, and loving it, and then also being able to look beyond the color to see the possibilities out there and to see that you’re more also than just the color of your skin.”
“Story in the Public Square” broadcasts each week on public television stations across the United States. A full listing of the national television distribution is available at this link. In Rhode Island and southeastern New England, the show is broadcast on Rhode Island PBS on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, Sundays at 4:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124. “Story in the Public Square” is a project of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University. The initiative aims to study, celebrate and tell stories that matter.