Shirah Shulamit Ojero has four loves, her African American culture, her Jewish heritage, academic study — especially the study of literary epics — and her city, Washington, DC. Peacesong DC displays the interconnection of these four loves as Shirah grows up in the Washington DC neighborhoods of Mayfair Mansions, Kenilworth, Anacostia, Takoma DC. and downtown.
Throughout her life, Shirah connects with the buildings and images of the National Mall which she considers the epic center of the United States. After graduating from DC Public Schools (Neval Thomas, Woodson, and Coolidge), Shirah pursues academic degrees at Howard University, Eastern Baptist College, Villanova University, the Folger Library Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Although all of the stories told in Peacesong DC are based on actual events in the author’s life, the book is classified as fiction rather than non-fiction because the stories bend toward the arc of storytelling rather than that of rigid facts. If something in the story appears particularly improbable, it is likely to be the truth.
For the full hilarious story of how Shirah (aka Asenath) becomes an educator at Harvard University (West Cambridge U) and a librarian in ancient Egypt, see the author’s longer work, Asenath and the Origin of Nappy Hair.