February is African American History Month. During these days of the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, there is much talk about the issue of slavery as a cause of the conflict. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a best seller when it was published in installments from 1851-1852, fueled the debate about abolition and slavery. The library has a good selection of books about the experience of slavery. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation edited by Ira Berlin gathers first person accounts. John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom traces the institution in the English colonies and then the United States; he details the way of life of the enslaved people and their struggle for freedom.
The Library of Congress has a remarkable online collection of interviews with slaves who were born between 1823 and the early 1860s. The audio files on “Voices from the Days of Slavery” are supplemented by biographies of each person.
If you missed or forgot these two television productions, now might be a good time to check them out. Ken Burns’ PBS production, Civil War, discusses the impact of slavery on the north as well as the south. Alex Haley’s Roots follows the story of his ancestor Kunta Kinte as he was sold into slavery and his and his family’s struggle for freedom. The Underground Railroad follows the route slaves took as they tried to escape to the north.
Kaolyn Smardz Frost’s book, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad, recounts the inspiring tale of Lucie and Thornton Blackburn who were aided by the African American community and managed to escape to Toronto. Another book which delves into the Underground Railroad is Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad by Ann Hagedorn.
– posted by Brenda, Reference Services
I recently borrowed the new DVD “Catfish” and I enjoyed this little documentary so much I thought I would recommend it, through this blog, to a larger audience. While our DVD collection is usually spoken for over the weekends, the four copies of “Catfish” seem available most of the time.
The film follows New York photographer Nev Schulman who received a painting of one of his photos from eight-year-old Abby. Flattered by her interest in his work, he adds her as a friend on Facebook. This expands to include her family, including her mother, Angela, and her older half-sister, Megan. Nev develops a strong friendship with Megan, who has dozens of pictures on her Facebook account.
I don’t want to revel any more of the plot as any further explanation would give away the twists that make this documentary so entertaining, touching and emotional. I highly recommend it.
-posted Jill, Readers’ Services
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Friday, January 28, 2011
at 2 PM & 7 PM
Before Julian Assange and “WikiLeaks” there was Daniel Ellsberg and the “Pentagon Papers”. Ellsberg was prosecuted in 1973 for leaking thousands of internal Defense Department documents dealing with the Vietnam War to the New York Times. Nearly 40 years have passed since what was considered at the time to be the largest classified military leak in United States history.
” ’The Most Dangerous Man in America’ ” tells the inside story, for the first time on film, of this pivotal event that changed history and transformed our nation’s political discourse. It is told largely by the players of that dramatic episode-Ellsberg, his colleagues, family and critics; Pentagon Papers authors and government officials; Vietnam veterans and anti-war activists; Watergate principals, attorneys and the journalists who both covered the story and were an integral part of it; and finally-through White House audiotapes-President Nixon and his inner circle of advisers.” (IMDB.com)
The documentary will be shown at 2 PM and again at 7 PM.
There will be a discussion of the film following the 2 PM showing.
– posted by Lisa J. – Readers Services
Spend an afternoon at the library as we watch
Friday, November 19th at 2 PM
One day in the early 1990s, retired truck driver, Teri Horton, bought a huge painting at a thrift shop for $5 for a friend as a lark and was stuck with the painting when the friend didn’t have room for it. Little did Ms. Horton know that she was about to embark on a quite an adventure- the painting looked remarkably like the work of famed artist,Jackson Pollock, and could be worth millions. The entertaining documentary “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?” follows Horton’s quest to get the art world to accept her painting as the “real deal”.
A discussion will follow the showing of the film,
with Sonia Grgas, Readers’ Services Librarian. The program is free.
The film will also be shown at 7 PM, No discussion follows this viewing.
– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services