Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Bestselling Author David Maraniss Discusses His New Book "Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story "

Monday October 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

In Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story, David Maraniss, who was born in Detroit, captures this great American city at its pinnacle. Detroit in 1963 reflected the spirit of the entire country at the time, and its complicated past and future decline could be traced to this era.

It’s 1963 and Detroit is on top of the world. The city’s leaders are among the most visionary in America. It was the American auto makers’ best year; the revolution in music and politics was underway. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class. The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before and inventing the Mustang. Motown was capturing the world with its amazing artists. The progressive labor movement was rooted in Detroit with the UAW. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech there two months before he made it famous in the Washington march.

Once in a Great City shows that the shadows of the city's collapse were evident even then. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.

Born in Detroit, David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and bestselling author of Barack Obama: The Story and others, including When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi which was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “maybe the best sports biography ever published.”

For this special evening, David Maraniss will discuss this fascinating new work as well as answer audience questions. The event will include a book signing and books will be for sale courtesy of Bookbound Bookstore.

A Back to School Story Worth Watching

There's "back to school" and then there's Cody High and the Cody Rouge community comeback. Cody High: A Life Remodeled Project, an award-winning documentary that focuses on the efforts to remake Detroit's Cody High School and the blighted neighborhood surrounding it, is now available for online streaming through AADL.

Cody High students and their families, neighbors, and over 10,000 volunteers remodeled three schools, tore down three burned-out houses, remodeled 25 homes of students and their families, boarded up 254 vacant houses, and removed blight on 303 blocks of Detroit. The film follows struggles that are universal to all teenagers and unique to the Cody Rouge community, providing new perspectives on commitment and courage in a complex world.

Albert Kahn: Designing Detroit & the University of Michigan

Thursday December 10, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Buildings by architect Albert Kahn dominate Detroit and the University of Michigan.

In this lecture and slideshow, Detroit News art critic and author Michael H. Hodges surveys Kahn’s impact on city and school, and asks why this most-prolific of designers — once world-famous — has vanished from the architectural canon.

While best known for his revolutionary factory designs, like the Packard Plant, Kahn’s non-industrial output was huge as well. In Detroit, Kahn designed the Fisher, General Motors, Argonaut, Maccabees, Detroit News, Free Press, and Detroit Trust buildings, as well as the Art Deco lighthouse at the north end of Belle Isle. At U-M, he built Burton Memorial Tower, Hill Auditorium, the Natural History Museum, West Engineering, the Graduate Library, Natural Sciences, Angell Hall, the Ferry Gate and Clements Library (his favorite).

Michael H. Hodges covers art and area museums for The Detroit News, where he's worked since 1991. His book on Albert Kahn, which comes out in early 2017, is his second with Wayne State University Press. His first was Michigan’s Historic Railroad Stations.

Award-Winning Mystery Author Allison Leotta Discusses Her Detroit-Based New Novel "A Good Killing"

Friday May 15, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Allison Leotta is a former federal sex-crimes prosecutor who creates compelling and thrilling fiction based on her real-life experience. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington DC, where she handled sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children.

In her latest novel, A Good Killing, Leotta turns her eye toward small-town secrets hidden in a big football program. Drawing inspiration from the Steubenville rape case and the Jerry Sandusky trial, this novel features a strong female protagonist, a gripping premise, and heart-wrenching suspense that will keep you hooked until the last page.

A graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Law School Allison Leotta has provided legal commentary for outlets such as CNN, PBS, Reuters TV, and MSNBC. Other novels include Law of Attraction, Discretion, and Speak of the Devil. Allison also runs an award-winning blog called The Prime-Time Crime Review, where she reality-checks TV crime dramas.

This event is cosponsored by Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookstore.

Film and Discussion: "Let's Have Some Church Detroit Style: The Hallelujah Singers"

Monday September 28, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

"Let's Have Some Church Detroit Style: The Hallelujah Singers" is a 92 minute documentary from director Andrew Sacks focuses on the Detroit-based choir The Hallelujah Singers, and its charismatic founder/director E. LaQuint Weaver.

Filled with dazzling visuals and glorious gospel music, the film explores the personal lives and aspirations of the gifted men and women of this Detroit community gospel choir, who energize a troubled city with spirited, passionate, and contemporary music.

A discussion will follow the screening, led by the film’s director Andrew Sacks and former WDET music host Rev. Robert Jones, Sr., who narrates and also appears in the film.

Michigan Notable Book Author and U-M Professor Sally Howell Discusses Her Book “Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past”

Monday October 5, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Join us to hear Michigan Notable Books author Sally Howell speak about the history of Islam in Detroit, a city that is home to several of the nation’s oldest, most diverse Muslim communities.

In the early 1900s, there were thousands of Muslims in Detroit. Most came from Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and British India. In 1921, they built the nation’s first mosque in Highland Park. By the 1930s, new Islam-oriented social movements were taking root among African Americans in Detroit. By the 1950s, Albanians, Arabs, African Americans, and South Asians all had mosques and religious associations in the city, and they were confident that Islam could be, and had already become, an American religion. When immigration laws were liberalized in 1965, new immigrants and new African American converts rapidly became the majority of U.S. Muslims. For them, Detroit’s old Muslims and their mosques seemed oddly Americanized, even unorthodox.

Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past explores the rise of Detroit’s earliest Muslim communities. It documents the culture wars and doctrinal debates that ensued as these populations confronted Muslim newcomers who did not understand their manner of worship or the American identities they had created. Looking closely at this historical encounter, it provides a new interpretation of the possibilities and limits of Muslim incorporation in American life and shows how Islam has become American in the past and how the anxieties many new Muslim Americans and non-Muslims feel about the place of Islam in American society today are not inevitable, but are part of a dynamic process of political and religious change that is still unfolding.

Sally Howell is Assistant Professor of History and Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

This event includes a booksigning and books will be for sale.

2015 Michigan Notable Books Announced

Each year, the Library of Michigan selects a list of titles for recognition as Michigan Notable Books. These have been singled out as exceptional titles published in the previous year that highlight Michigan people, places, and events.

In addition to drawing attention to books with a Great Lakes region focus, "...the list continues to offer something for everyone. The 2015 list represents fiction, short story collections, history, children's picture books, mysteries, poetry and memoirs," says State Librarian Randy Riley. This 2015 list includes a range of diverse offerings, from dystopian fiction bestseller Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel to Derek Jeter's YA novel The Contract, from a history of Detroit's crucial supply role during WWII in A.J. Baime's The Arsenal of Democracy to Josh Greenberg's River of Sand guidebook to fly fishing in the waterways of the Great Lakes region.

Ready to explore the books for yourself? Here's a Michigan Notable Books|list of this year's honored titles in the AADL catalog.

Diego & Frida

From now through mid-July the Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting the exhibition Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit. The exhibit focuses on their lives and work before Detroit, during Detroit, and after Detroit. Diego and Frida spent 1932-1933 in Detroit, where Diego worked on the Detroit Industry murals that are painted on the walls of the DIA. The work is amazing, as is the exhibit. Here’s a sneak peek of the magic if you haven’t been yet.

There’s been a lot of buzz about this exhibit and the artists are popping up all over the place, particularly Frida. Feeling inspired for more? Take a peek at the Caldecott Honor picture book Viva Frida!. There are also many other books and DVDs on Diego and Frida in the AADL collection, including the exhibit catalog that’s on order, and the visual book Diego Rivera: The Detroit Industry Murals.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit

Thursday March 5, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

1930s Depression era Detroit marked a dramatic turning point in Rivera's and Kahlo's careers, which resulted in Rivera's most visionary statement for the future and Frida's boldly personal expressive art. In anticipation of the exhibition Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit opening at the DIA on Sunday, March 15, 2015, DIA docent Carol George will present a preview and talk about the tumultuous and highly productive year that the two artists spent in Detroit between April 1932 and March 1933.

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