Waking With Enemies by Eric Jerome Dickey

Waking With Enemies is the ideal sequel to Sleeping With Strangers. Eric Jerome Dickey effortlessly picks up right where Sleeping With Strangers left off--something that sequels rarely do. The sequel answers many questions that were left unanswered in Sleeping With Strangers. EJD provides many unique twists and turns throughout this story. In this fast paced drama, nothing is what it appears to be so it is important to pay attention to all of the little details. Note: in order to fully understand Waking With Enemies you should read Sleeping With Strangers first.

If you don’t know, now you know

Check out Tyrell by Coe Booth, the winner of the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Fifteen-year-old Tyrell lives in a South Bronx homeless shelter with his mother and seven-year-old brother Troy. His mother refuses to find a job, his father is in jail, and his little brother is smart as a whip but stuck in special education classes so his mother can continue to collect Social Security checks. He wants to stay faithful to Novisha but how can he with Jasmine knocking on his door? Tyrell needs to make money to appease his mother, make sure his brother gets the education he deserves, stay faithful to Novisha, and help Jasmine realize her potential. And he wants to do it all without hustling. I can't put this book down! I hope there will be a sequel.

Already read it? What did you think? How unique to the Bronx is Tyrell’s situation?

African Lit 101

Interested in African literature (that is, novels by people from Africa about people in Africa)? The following should get you started:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
Xala by Ousmane Sembène (Senegal)
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya)
The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera (Zimbabwe/Rhodesia)
Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe)
A Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto (Mozambique)
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah (Ghana)
The Famished Road by Ben Okri (Nigeria)

Meet Patricia Smith, Poet and author of Teahouse of the Almighty!

Meet journalist, poet and author, Patricia Smith at the Neutral Zone, Tuesday, April 3 @ 7:00 PM. Patricia is a four-time national poetry slam champion and was featured in the film Slamnation. She is the author of four poetry collections - including Teahouse of the Almighty. The evening will kick-off with some local slam poets - a great evening for sure!

Officer Clayton Collins

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The Ann Arbor Police Department's first African American police officer, Clayton James Collins, died February 8, 2007. Officer Collins served from 1950 - 1955 and then worked in several departments at the University of Michigan. His obituary appeared in the Ann Arbor News, March 14, 2007. To learn more about the AAPD, visit the Ann Arbor Police Department Online History Exhibit.

Embracing Eatonville at UMMA Off/Site

EMbracing EatonvilleEMbracing Eatonville

There is still time to visit the photography exhibition Embracing Eatonville at the University of Michigan Musuem of Art Off/Site (through March 18th).

Located in Orange County, Florida, Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American community in the nation. Today, it is perhaps best known for its annual showcase of arts, literature and culture that celebrates native daughter Zora Neale Hurston.

The current exhibition "celebrates the spirit and character of Eatonville through the work of contemporary photographers Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, each of whom have created a new body of work for this exhibition as they explore the importance of place to individual and collective identity".

History Bits - African-American Artists

Introduce kids to African-American history through visual arts. Two books that overview African-American artists since slavery are In Praise Of Our Fathers And Our Mothers: A Black Family Treasury and Wake Up Our Souls. Three youth level biographies with color illustrations of the artist's work are Romare Bearden a collage artist; Don't Hold Me Back with poetry by Nikki Giovanni and art by Winfred Rembert; and Faith Ringgold.

If you wish to find names of African-American artists you can use our database called Biography Resource Center and use the "biographical facts search".

Ann Arbor is getting krump!

Tommy the Clown and the Hip-Hop Clowns are coming to Ann Arbor as part of the 2007 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, an annual series of events honoring the life and vision of Dr. King at the University of Michigan. Tommy the Clown invented clown dancing and has since offered membership in his dance team to youth as an alternative to gangs. They will perform a tribute to Dr. King, Wednesday, February 7th at the Michigan League Ballroom at 7:30pm.

If you want to learn more about an incredible new style of dance, check out Rize. This exhilarating movie documents the origins of krumping and clown dancing in South Central Los Angeles.

Ann Arbor's African American Community to be Discussed

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, local authors Carol Gibson and Lola Jones will be presenting an introduction to the history of the African American community in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County at the Sunday, January 14 session of 'Sunday Edition' at the Downtown Library at 2:00 pm. Their presentation will be based on their new book Another Ann Arbor, a photographic survey of the history and contributions of African Americans. The program will include a selection of the images from the book. Additional information about the local African American community can be found at the Another Ann Arbor web site. The 'Sunday Edition Program' is free and open to all.

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