Race

Hammerin' Hank

Feb 19, 2018
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He was just 23 years old when, in 1957, he won the MVP award. I was in third grade, and hard as it might be to believe, I don't think I thought of him as Black. He'd come up from the Negro league in fact, the very last player to arrive in the Bigs, at a time when African-Americans were just beginning to get a place in major league baseball dugouts. 

Seems to me that Billy Bruton played next to him in centerfield, so he wasn't the only African-American on the roster. But he was early. Those old pics of that 1957 team--World Champ Milwaukee Braves!--have four or five others.

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When James Fennimore Cooper complained about the novel he was reading, his wife told him to put up or shut up, to write a better one himself. That tiff launched the Cooper’s career, a man considered America’s first novelist. His output was huge, even though Mark Twain claimed, “his English is a crime against the language.” That's an unsettling review. 

Lamb Theatre

Inspiration can strike from anywhere. Reading the obits one day, Kenneth Jones came across the story of Emily Wheelock Reed, a librarian who lived and worked in Alabama during the 1950's and 60's. Trouble began for her when she added illustrator Garth Williams' book The Rabbits' Wedding to her stacks, a book that portrays the marriage of a black rabbit and a white rabbit.

This Sunday, the Blue Cafe will host author Jordan Flaherty for a discussion of his book No More Heroes, a critique of the savior mentality and helping people from different historical, cultural, and racial contexts. Shelby Pierce and Ike Rayford of We Are Not A Monolith joined Jordan via Skype to ask how he has come to speak on this topic and what he has to say.

(Find the longer version of the interview here).

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There's very little to see now but row after row after row of foundations, a procession of rectangles angling down a long slope toward where there once stood a front gate. If you get there in June, the whole expanse will be awash in wildflowers, a bright yellow smiley face on a place you can’t help but grimace to remember.

Check It Out: Another Brooklyn

Feb 28, 2017

Today, I am recommending Another Brooklyn, a new adult novel by Jacqueline Woodson.  Woodson has written more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children.  She was the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming--which also won the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award, and was a Newbery Honor book.