Little Rose brings the thunder!

Looking for a fun western tale to share with your little one? Try Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. This is the inspiring tale of a precocious little girl who chooses her own name, wrestles a bull into loyalty, and rides the thunder right into the sunset. Rose is no ordinary girl, nor will she stand to be thought of as such. She is a strong heroine with a brave song. Jerdine Nolen and Kadir Nelson continue to offer wonderful books with positive, diverse and glowing images of African-American children.

"Daughters of the Dust" at the Michigan Theater

Eli Peazant: "What're we supposed to remember, Nana? How, at one time, were we able to protect those we loved? How, in Africa world, we were kings and queens and built great big cities?"
Nana Peazant: "Eli, I'm trying to teach you how to touch your own spirit. I'm fighting for my life, Eli, and I'm fighting for yours. Look in my face! I'm trying to give you something to take north with you, along with all your great big dreams."

Originally released in 1991, Daughters of the Dust tells the story of the Peazant family, an early 20th century African American family trying to make the difficult decision to migrate north or remain on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where they have maintained their Gullah language and culture. Director Julie Dash creates a stunning portrait of three generations torn between maintaining tradition and the prospect of a new life. Daughters of the Dust won the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Cinematography in 1991. It will show at the Michigan Theater this Thursday, October 12th at 7:15pm and again Sunday, October 15th at 6pm.

Alice Coltrane Quartet Comes to Ann Arbor

Jazz fans won't want to miss the performance of the Alice Coltrane Quartet at Hill Auditorium on Saturday, September 23. Sponsored by the University Music Society, the concert features Alice Coltrane, her son Ravi, Charlie Haden, and Roy Haynes and celebrates the legacy of the late jazz great John Coltrane. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office.

Idlewild

According to Sunday's Ann Arbor News, Idlewild, the new film opening this week, is named after the famous Lake County Michigan resort, otherwise known as the Black Eden of Michigan in the 1920s and '30s and the Summer Apollo of Michigan in the 1950s and '60s. Idlewild, Michigan, hosted great jazz acts in its day, including Duke Ellington, and was the vacation spot of choice for such black luminaries as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Even W.E.B. Du Bois owned a home there. But the film itself is set in Georgia and its "Idlewild" is a small-town speakeasy. It does take place during the same period and features the music of OutKast (a bit of a historical stretch, but oh well). So far, reviews are mixed but Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

You can read more about the real Idlewild in Idlewild: the Black Eden of Michigan by Ronald J. Stephens.

Barry Harris: The Spirit of Bebop

Barry Harris

Monday, June 5, 7:00-8:30 pm Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Come see this fascinating documentary of jazz innovator Barry Harris. This film, by Edgar Howard, also pays homage to jazz luminaries like Parker, Monk, Bud Powell and Dizzy Gillespie. Jazz scholar Lars Bjorn will introduce this 55 minute film and lead a discussion afterwards.

Hold the Flag High by Catherine Clinton

William H. Carney is an officer of the first all African-American regiment of the Civil War. Carney’s determination not to allow the flag to touch the ground inspired his men to move forward into battle. Catherine Clinton gives an historical account of the first African American who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

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AADL Select Sites:African Americans

Officially incorporated as a Research Library of the New York Public Library in 1972, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture offers several online collections with a focus on primary documents for those scholars of African American history. In Motion: The African American Migration Experience documents 400 years of migrations to, within, and out of the United States; providing extensive commentary as well as primary texts, photographs, maps, and other documents in a searchable, thematically arranged collection. Digital Schomburg contains several databases on the African American experience; such as African American Women Writers of the 19th Century which presents full copies of 52 published works.

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