On Tuesday, March 13, Robin Greene, an author and professor, will present Augustus: Narrative of a Slave, Woman at the Pate Room of the Headquarters Library.
Greene, an author, professor, director of the writing center and editor at Longleaf Press at Methodist University, grew up in the fast-paced city of Long Island, N.Y., where she enjoyed the multicultural atmosphere with her husband, fiction writer Michael Colonnese.
She attended college at the age of 16 to take her 11th grade curriculum. After a brief return to high school for her senior year, she discovered that high school was no longer suitable for her. At age 17, she was accepted at Shimer College.
“I really enjoyed Shimer College, The Great Books College, where we were ex-pected to read really big books that contained between 500-1,000 pages a week,” Robin said.
It was not the traditional way to complete school, but this feminist artist enjoys doing things the non-traditional way.
In 1989 Greene, along with her husband and two children, relocated to North Carolina. “I was transplanted to the south after growing up in New York. Coming down here, race seemed (to Greene) to be a different kind of issue then what I was used to, it seemed to underscore things here,”she said.
“My brother is married to an African-American woman and my two nieces identify as African American,” explained Greene.
Puzzled by what she perceived as dirty looks from strangers when she was out with her nieces, Greene began her quest for a better understanding of the racial dynamic in the south. One day in the public library, she discovered a collection of WPA (Work Progress Association) — first person accounts of blacks talking about their slavery experiences.
“It was like I opened up a treasure chest of stories and lives of women. It was like I could hear the voices of the women as they told their stories. I read all 2,300 narratives of the slaves and I just was riveted by their stories,” said Greene. The story that resonated most regarded Sarah Louis Augustus, from Fayetteville. It is this experience that Greene has agreed to share with the residents of Fayetteville.
Join Greene as she discusses Augustus: Narrative of a Slave, Woman. She will present a first-person account of Sarah Louise Augustus, who came of age dur-ing the Civil War and whose story involves a head-on collision with the moral ambiguities of slavery.
Greene becomes Professor Greene in this historical novel, the fictional narrator whose commentary frames the story and whose own scholarly need for authen-ticity and precision nearly costs her more than she is willing to lose. This event is on March 13, in the Pate Room at the Cumberland County Headquarters Library at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the pub-lic. For more information call 483-7727.
Photo: Robin Greene, author/professor, will speak at the Pate Room at the Headquarters Library on the life of Sarah Louis Augustus, a slave who came of age during the Civil War.