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Paterson Joseph Zoom Event

Conversation with Paterson Joseph | The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho
Moderated by Judy K. Tate

Paterson Joseph is an award-winning actor who has been fascinated by Sancho for over twenty years. He wrote and starred in the play Sancho: An Act of Remembrance in 2010, which was staged in the UK as well as the US, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C from 2014-2018. A veteran of the stage, TV, and film, Paterson has appeared at The Royal Shakespeare Company in King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, Loves Labours Lost and as Brutus in Julius Caesar; Television credits include: The Leftovers HBO, Timeless NBC, Doctor Who BBC; Noughts + Crosses BBC; films include The Beach, Aeon Flux and the upcoming Wonka. The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho is his first novel. (Photo Credit: Faye Thomas)

The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho Book.jpeg

“I had little right to live, born on a slave ship where my parents both died. But I survived, and indeed, you might say I did more.”

It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the twinkling lights in the Fleet Street coffee shops are blown out and the great houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho must dodge slave catchers and worse. The man he hoped would help him—a kindly duke who taught him to write—is dying. Sancho is desperate and utterly alone. So how does the same Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the king, write and play highly acclaimed music, become the first Black person to vote in Britain, and lead the fight to end slavery?


It’s time for him to tell his story, one that begins on a tempestuous Atlantic Ocean and ends at the very center of London life. And through it all, he must ask: Born among death, how much can he achieve in one short life? (Henry Holt and Co.)

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