Friday, April 14, 2017

Underground Railroad: Concretizing a metaphor

Our book for next week is Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Whitehead was recently in Evanston, speaking for the Family Action Network series and then in Winnetka for the New Trier Seminar Day, "Understanding  Today's Struggle for Racial Civil Rights". Check out this 10 minute video in which he discusses how he came up with the idea for the book (16 years ago!) and how he sees each "stop" along the railroad as a different possibility for  race relations in the U.S. Whitehead describes the journeys Cora takes as kind of a Gulliver's Travels of African American life, with fantasy standing in for deeply troubling realities.We'll be meeting Tuesday April 18th, 7 pm at the Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, 1823 Church Street in Evanston.


For another similar "what if?" take on the same topic, try Ben Winters'  Underground  Airlines, in which  a black  slave catcher in an alternative contemporary America tracks his prey from the "Hard 4" states which have never abandoned slavery. A future possible AAL choice!



Evanston Literary Festival




From April 29 to May 11, 2017, Evanston comes alive with free readings, live lit, and workshops. Featured speakers of African American interest this year include Angela Jackson, Mary Barr, Alex Kotlowitz, John Keene, Martin Deppe and Sandra Seaton. Of special note: a celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks, and a trilogy of plays about black life on the South Side of Chicago directed by Fleetwood-Jourdain's Tim Rhoze.

 



Sunday Salon

 

Sunday Salon

  • The Celtic Knot
Sunday Salon Chicago is a larger-than-life reading series in the Windy City featuring a refreshing blend of local and international literary voices. We’re thrilled to have five writers for our 2017 Evanston Literary Festival pop-up reading event, each one of them proving that the power of language and the freedom to share our work has never been more important (visit http://www.sundaysalon.com/chicago-salon). Toni Nealie, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Lauryn Allison, Ryan Kenealy, and Suzanne Clores are this month's featured readers.







Operation Breadbasket: An Untold Story of Civil Rights in Chicago

Operation Breadbasket: An Untold Story of Civil Rights in Chicago

  • First United Methodist Church
Author Martin L. Deppe was one of the founding pastors of Operation Breadbasket, the interfaith economic justice program in from 1996-1971 that transformed into Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH (now the Rainbow PUSH Coalition). Begun by Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement, Breadbasket was directed by Jackson. Deppe digs deeply into the program’s past to tell Breadbasket’s little-known story in the fight for civil rights in Chicago.



Black Women as Giants: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

Black Women as Giants: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks

  • Lutkin Hall
 Acclaimed poets, Toi Derricotte, Nikky Finney, Vievee Francis, Angela Jackson, and Patricia Smith come together as an unprecedented collective to celebrate and reflect on the life, work and impact of Chicago’s literary giant. This roundtable discussion, moderated by Parneshia Jones, will focus on the literary impact of Gwendolyn Brooks, her  stark literary portraits of the often overlooked and oppressed black life in America, and her social and artistic influence as a cultural and community worker.  The panelists will reflect and discuss Brooks’ significance on their personal literary careers, her importance during the Black Arts Movement, and how her work and legacy continue to be a defining voice in literature. Generous support provided by the Poetry Foundation. This event is co-sponsored with the Northwestern University Libraries, Center for Writing Arts, Department of African American Studies, Department of English, Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, Women’s Center.




Evanston Literary Salon: The Rhythm in the Words: How Music and the Beat Informs Books for Kids and Teens

  • Evanston Public Library
Musicians make music. Authors write books. And when musicians write books, the results can be eclectic. Join musicians Mike Grosso (I Am Drums) and Donovan Mixon (Ahgottahandleonit) as they discuss their latest books for children and teens with librarian Betsy Bird, and reveal how the influence of music, rhythm, and beat pervades their writing styles and works particularly well in books for young readers.







          
    
The Chicago Trilogy Stage Reading

The Chicago Trilogy Stage Reading

  • Evanston Public Library
Sandra Seaton brings to life the world of Cyrus Colter. Experience the 1960s and the frustrations and triumphs of black life on Chicago's South Side in this powerful adaptation of Colter's prize-winning short stories. This stage reading of Seaton's trilogy of one-act plays is directed by Tim Rhoze, artistic director of Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre. This event is cosponsored by the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Guild Literary Complex, and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre.





Northwestern Spring Writers Festival: John Keene

Northwestern Spring Writers Festival: John Keene

 John R. Keene.was born in St. Louis in 1965. He graduated from Harvard College, and New York University, where he was a New York Times Fellow. In 1989, Keene joined the Dark Room Writers Collective, and is a Graduate Fellow of the Cave Canem Writers Workshops. He is the author of Annotations and Counternarratives, both published by New Directions, as well as the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. He teaches at Rutgers University-Newark. , Keene received an award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation and fellowships from Cave Canem, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New York Times Foundation, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Pan-African Literary Forum. He has taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers University and served as the managing editor of Callaloo.




Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston

Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston
  • Second Baptist Church
Clemson professor Mary Barr discusses her book about local racial segregation, Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston. Northwestern sociology professor Al Hunter moderates the discussion with audience members about racism in Evanston, past and present. This Illinois Speaks program is made possible in part by a grant from Illinois Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

No comments:

Post a Comment