Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AAL Winter/Spring Selections

Greetings! Looking forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday February 17th for our discussion of the Harlem Hellfighters!

Here's the schedule of our upcoming discussions for AAL, (all discussions meet in the Small Meeting room of the Evanston Public Library at 7 pm on Tuesdays):

Tuesday, March 17 The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln, by Stephen Carter

In an alternate history novel, Lincoln escapes assassination by John Wilkes Booth only to face impeachment, and Abigail Canner, a young black woman involved in his defense, helps investigate the murder of the president's counsel.


Tuesday, April 21 Stand up Straight and Sing!, by Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman, one of America's most admired and decorated singers tells her inspiring life story, from the segregated South to the world's greatest stage.She recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South, but also as an adult out and about in the world.

Tuesday, May 19 The Wedding, by Dorothy West

titleIn the 1950s, a girl from the black bourgeoisie in Martha's Vineyard announces her engagement to a white musician. The novel follows the impact this has on her family and the community around them.  Dorothy West's crowning achievement, this is a wise and heartfelt novel about the shackles of race and class we all wear and the price we pay to break them. It is also an unforgettable history of the rise of the black middle class, written by a woman who lived it.

Tuesday, June 16 Stokeley: A Life, by Peniel Joseph

titlePreeminent civil rights scholar Peniel E. Joseph presents a groundbreaking biography of Stokely Carmichael, arguing that the young firebrand's evolution from nonviolent activist to Black Power revolutionary reflected the trajectory of a generation radicalized by the violence and unrest of the late 1960s. Fed up with the slow progress of the civil rights movement, Carmichael urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality, inspiring countless African Americans to demand immediate political self-determination 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Democracy Abroad. Discrimination at Home: Black Soldiers During The Great War

This month we'll be looking at the story of the Harlem Hellfighters, one of the most decorated American army units in World War I. Originally the 15th New York National Guard, and limited to white officers and given menial tasks, the unit of New York born soldiers were exposed to the full brunt of Jim Crow racism during their training in Spartanburg South Carolina. Ironically, this experience may partially account for the Hellfighters legendary discipline.

"What separates a soldier from a civilian is discipline — the notion of mental control and the notion of restraint,"says Max Brooks, author of a graphic novel history of the unit. "I don't think any soldier, short of a samurai, has shown more restraint than the Hellfighters at Spartanburg."

Renamed the 369th Infantry Regiment, the Hellfighters went on to be come one of the most feared and respected American units, earning the French Croix de Guerre for 171 members, and one for the unit as a whole.

Yet despite their bravery, and the adulation they received from France, the Hellfighters returned to the same racism they had left behind, culminating in the riots of the Red Summer of 1919.

Join us Tuesday February 17th as we discuss, A More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home . Unfortunately, we are low on copies, so I've also pulled 4 other books on the Hellfighters which you can read instead (ignore the "checked out" message: these are on hold at the 2nd floor desk):

by Bill Harris

By Stephen Harris.
by Patrick Lewis
by Max Brooks, (this one's a graphic novel!)

aaannnddd...what an excellent time to check out the wonderful 2 part documentary. ..
 To reserve any of these materials, call us at 847-448-8620. See you on February 17th!