Friday, October 23, 2015

This Fall in African American Books, Movies and Stage...

Hot discussion this past Tuesday on Medical Apartheid! One thing is clear: many African Americans of various ages and backgrounds feel deeply mistrustful of the American health care system. Stay tuned for more EPL health literacy programs in the near future.

titleWe'll be moving back into fiction for our next two discussions. On November 17th, we'll discuss Valerie Flournoy's The Turner House, a novel treating some of the same issues we wrangled with in Family Properties; African Americans who discover that their property has not accumulated the wealth they thought it had. Yet this is  also a rich story of African American family life in all its complexity, with brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles squabbling yet generally supportive of each others' needs and eccentricities. The Turner House is a National Book Award finalist.

We're skipping December (too much holiday shopping!) and will pick up again January 19th with I Say A Little Prayer, E. Lynn Harris's marvelous novel about a gay man confronting homophobia in the black church. I've been wanting to discuss a Harris book for ages, and this is one of his best.

titleFinally, February 16th we'll be teaming up with the KeepinitReal nonfiction group to read My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me, the memoir of a German-African woman who discovered that her grandfather was the notorious Nazi commandant featured in Schindler's List. How do you deal with the knowledge of such ultimate evil in your family tree, especially when that evil was directed at people who look like you?


In other news: be sure to catch the Chicago International Film Festival's Black Perspectives series, starting this weekend! Saturday night 10/25, pioneering black director Charles Burnett will be on hand  to present his classic To Sleep With Anger, starring Danny Glover.


If you missed Gem of the Ocean at Court Theater, you have another chance to see an August Wilson play next month. Joe Turner's Come and Gone is on stage at Depaul Theatre School November 6th-15th, with previews on the 4th and 5th. Tickets are only $5-$15!


Aaannnddd, Raven Theatre is doing a highly acclaimed musical, Direct From Death Row; The Scottsboro Boys, in which the 9 young black men accused of rape in the 1930s, "return from eternity to our stage, where they keep their story alive through songs, a magic act, skits and soft shoe - all to convey the tawdry show that their case became".Scottsboro Full cast

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