Bridgett Davis, professor of journalism and creative writing at Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, author of the memoir, The World According to Fannie Mae Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, announced the book will be adapted for a feature film by Searchlight Pictures, the Disney-owned arthouse studio, and Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment. See Detroit MetroTimes.
“This memoir about my family is, I believe, a timely referendum on the racial issues that have continued to impact African- American lives for hundreds of years,” said Professor Davis. “Playing the numbers constituted an alternative banking system in the Black community that helped my family and many, many others realize a middle-class life,” explained Professor Davis. “Millions of African-Americans migrated from the racist south, like my family from Tennessee, to create what they called ‘a way out of no way.’ However, when they arrived in urban cities, they were confronted with an equally virulent Northern racism, which restricted their access to good jobs, or even steady employment.
Davis will be writing the feature film script with an assist from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The author of novels as well as this memoir said she’s excited to convert her story to film because it will “reach a wide audience, illuminating the ingenuity of black folks like my mother, who always believed she too, was entitled to the American Dream.”
The World According To Fannie Davis was released a year ago to rave reviews, recognized as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, and named a Best Book of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews, BuzzFeed, NBC News, and Parade Magazine. Professor Davis’ essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Millions, Real Simple, the LA Times, Salon, and O, Oprah Magazine.
In related news, out of the 18 books selected by the First Year Text Committee, the final choice was made out of three books recommended to the College president, provost, and vice president for student affairs per the final selection protocol. Dr. Lisa Blankership, chair of the Committee announced Weissman Professor of Journalism, Bridgett Davis, author of The World According To Fannie Davis-My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, was selected as the mandatory reading first-year text for incoming Fall 2020 semester first-year students. Each year, a campus-wide call for recommendation of books suitable for the First Year Seminar, the selection committee is guided by these considerations: ability to engage a wide Baruch audience of diverse interests and opinions; application to a variety of disciplines; contemporary appeal of story and character(s); and exemplifies quality writing. The author will be the featured speaker at the Fall Student Convocation.
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