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Join us in a digital conversation with popular CNN Anchor Zain E. Asher as she discusses her moving and inspiring memoir, Where the Children Take Us.
Asher tells the story of her mother’s harrowing fight to raise four children as a widowed immigrant in South London. There is tragedy in this tale, but it is not a tragedy. Drawing on tough-love parenting strategies, Obiajulu Ejiofor teaches her sons and daughters to overcome the daily pressures of poverty, crime and prejudice–and much more. With her relentless support, the children exceed all expectations, becoming a CNN anchor, an Oscar-nominated actor (Asher’s older brother Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave), a medical doctor, and a thriving entrepreneur.
When grief threatens to engulf her fractured family after a fatal accident, Obiajulu, suddenly a single mother in a foreign land, refuses to accept defeat. As her children veer down the wrong path, she instills a family book club with Western literary classics, testing their resolve and challenging their deeper understanding. Desperate for inspiration, she plasters newspaper clippings of Black success stories on the walls and hunts for overachieving neighbors to serve as role models, all while running Shakespeare theatre lines with her son and finishing homework into the early morning with Zain. When distractions persist, she literally cuts the TV cord and installs a residential pay phone.
This is the story of a woman who survived genocide, famine, poverty, and crushing grief to rise from war-torn Africa to the streets of South London and eventually the drawing rooms of Buckingham Palace. Where the Children Take Us is an unforgettable portrait of strength, tenacity, love, and perseverance embodied in one towering woman.
About the Author:
Born and raised in London, Zain Asher graduated from Oxford University where she studied French and Spanish and graduated with a distinction in oral Spanish. In 2006, she earned an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Asher is an anchor for CNN International based in New York. She anchors the new global news program, One World with Zain Asher, and also hosts Marketplace Africa, CNN International’s weekly business show about the continent and its place within global markets. Where the Children Take Us is her first book and was published in April 2022.
This event is held in partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium. For more information or to register, click here.
February 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
February 8 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm