maya

Maya Angelou has been a creative force to be reckoned with for decades. She was a poet, an activist, an author, a playwright, an actor, a film director, a professor, an inspirational speaker and a strong, fierce presence in the American cultural landscape. She was chosen by Bill Clinton to recite her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at his inauguration in 1993. She has honorary degrees from too many institutions to name and she has written seven autobiographical books on her life and work. Maya Angelou will be missed more than we know.

Check out these Maya Angelou movies at the Niles Public Library:

African American Lives 2 (Nonfiction)

As Seen Through These Eyes (Nonfiction)

Down in the Delta

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stax-book

You may not know Stax Records by name, but you will recognize many of the artists and hit records the record company released in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Stax Records came to be known as the “Memphis Sound” with artist that include Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MG’s, The Staple Singers, and many more. Respect Yourself: Stax Records & the Soul Explosion would have been a great book even if it had just told the stories of these artists, however author Robert Gordon powerfully tells the Stax story in the context of a segregated Memphis and the Civil Rights Movement.

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Martin Luther King Delivering "I Have A Dream" in Washington, 1963

Monday January 18  is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  King’s actual birthday is January 15, but the national holiday falls on the third Monday of January each year.

Want to learn more about King? Visit the King Center for photos and videos.

Listen to King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as several of his other speeches at Stanford University’s King Institute.

Visit the Encyclopedia of Chicago to read about how the civil rights movement brought King to Chicago in 1966 to advocate for fair housing.

In this video, comedian Stephen Colbert introduces an unusual way to remember King.  For a more serious remembrance, read this message by Coretta Scott King, his wife.

Why not celebrate King’s legacy by participating in a public service project?

Next Monday, we’ll have open gaming 3-5:00pm and a study hall 5-9:00pm in the board room.  The library has many books about King and the civil rights movement, so check them out!

Cover Art for Vol. 1 of Ho Che Anderson's Graphic Biography of King

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What do they call you? Well, if they call you Mr. Tibbs, watch out. One of the many films of the 1950s and 60s that Sidney Poitier did about race, this one would have to be the best…mostly since it is by far the most powerful. With the films The Defiant Ones (1958) and A Patch of Blue (1965), Poitier had cemented himself as one of the finest actors in American cinema – black or white. With this film, made in 1967 and directed by Norman Jewison, Poitier takes his acting to the next level…sheer power and passion. Also in 1967, he made another “race” based classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. That film, though emotional, does not hit at the anger and the murderous rage that racial issues bring out in some people…especially some from the mid-20th Century South, where In the Heat of the Night is based.

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