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AADL Productions Podcast: Lola Jones and Carol Gibson

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 1:03pm

Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they have sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity. Lola and Carol stopped by the library to talk with us one day about the work they have done over the years and where they are headed next. They shared with us some of the interesting people and events they have learned about and brought to the community in their television program, their documentaries, and their book. You can now watch one of their documentaries online at aadl.org in our video collection. A Woman's Town was produced in 1991 and tells the story of Ann Arbor through the voices of prominent African American women.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for February 2020: Martin interviews Jeff Guinn, author of The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison's Ten-Year Road Trip

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 12:51pm

Jeff's book tells the fascinating story of two American giants—Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—whose annual summer sojourns introduced the road trip to our culture and made the automobile an essential part of modern life, even as their own relationship altered dramatically.

In 1914 Henry Ford and naturalist John Burroughs visited Thomas Edison in Florida and toured the Everglades. The following year Ford, Edison, and tire maker Harvey Firestone joined together on a summer camping trip and decided to call themselves the Vagabonds. They would continue their summer road trips until 1925, when they announced that their fame made it too difficult for them to carry on.

Although the Vagabonds traveled with an entourage of chefs, butlers, and others, this elite fraternity also had a serious purpose: to examine the conditions of America’s roadways and improve the practicality of automobile travel. Cars were unreliable and the roads were even worse. But newspaper coverage of these trips was extensive, and as cars and roads improved, the summer trip by automobile soon became a desired element of American life.

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Author Event | Ebony Roberts: The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:05am

Author Ebony Roberts is joined by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, for a discussion of Ebony's new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, Ebony witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Her experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. She found herself drawn to men who cheated; verbally abused her; and disappointed her. 

When she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder, she felt an intense spiritual connection, but struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance. Through letters and visits, they fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them, but Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.

The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.

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Author Event | Linda Solomon: The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 9:24am

The Queen Next Door: Aretha Franklin, An Intimate Portrait is a book full of firsts, as photojournalist Linda Solomon was invited not only to capture historical events in Aretha’s music career showcasing Detroit, but to join in with the Franklin family’s most intimate and cherished moments in her beloved hometown.  In this talk she reflects on this book which documents Aretha's life and career.

Linda Solomon met Aretha in 1983 when Linda was beginning her career as a photojournalist and newspaper columnist and was hired to capture the singer’s major career events, and to also document everything else.  What developed over these years of photographing birthday and Christmas parties, annual celebrity galas, private backstage moments, photo shoots with the iconic pink Cadillac, and more, was a friendship between two women who grew to enjoy and respect one another.

Martin Bandyke, morning drive host on Ann Arbor's 107one, hosted this event.

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Author | Washington Post Associate Editor Steve Luxenberg: Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 9:21am

Plessy v. Ferguson is synonymous with Jim Crow laws and the unjust legal doctrine of “separate but equal.” But few Americans know more than the name of the case and have just a superficial understanding of its origins and outcome. Joins us as award-winning author Steve Luxenberg discusses one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the 19th century and his award-winning new book Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation.

This sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed book is essential reading for any American looking to understand racism, the long struggle for civil rights, and the deep, often surprising history of our nation’s most devastating divide. On June 7, 1892 Homer Plessy, a light-skinned Creole bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad, boarding the whites-only first-class car. The train conductor promptly arrested him. The resulting case Plessy v. Ferguson (Ferguson was the state judge that ruled against Plessy and upheld the state’s law) was argued before the Supreme Court in 1896. Drawing from letters, diaries, and archival collections, and weaving biography, history, and legal drama together on a grand scale, Luxenberg recreates the personalities and debates that informed the Court’s decision and shaped race relations for generations

The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation was named a New York Times Editor's Choice, and was longlisted for the 2019 Cundill History Prize. As a work in progress, it won the 2016 J. Anthony Lukas Award for excellence in nonfiction. Steve Luxenberg is an associate editor at The Washington Post and an award-winning author. During his forty years as an editor and reporter, Steve has overseen reporting that has earned many national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes. His first book, the critically-acclaimed Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret, was a 2010 Michigan Notable Book and the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read. Steve lives in Baltimore.

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Author Event | The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:33am

After writing 9 books about the joy of canoeing & kayaking rivers, lifelong Michigan resident Doc Fletcher moves to dry land for his latest book: The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull, honoring The Cathedral at The Corner where - together with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, children, godchildren, & friends - we have cheered our Detroit Tigers. Although the structure is gone, the memories remain...

"It was a night game, the field a shade of green that was the most beautiful color I'd ever seen, the smells, sounds, and sights of the pre-game action delightfully overwhelming... the air filled with the bouquet of hot dogs, spilt beer, and a cigar aroma much like that of the House of Windsor stogies preferred by my Dad. Cries of the vendors peddling those items pierced the air. Several Tigers were engaged in a game of pepper along the box seats down the right field foul line, as nearby Bill Freehan tossed a ball back 'n forth with a teammate, entertaining the fans by playfully catching the ball behind his back."

Doc shares stories from the book of the characters on the field, in the stands, and those in the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark, as well as about the broadcasters who brought the action to us when we couldn't be there ourselves.

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Rasa Festival | Music from the East and the West

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 8:39am

Well known Indian and western musicians come together to talk about the concepts behind Indian and western music, and how they collaborate to create new music. This is accompanied by a short concert where they will present music based on these concepts.

This event was held in partnership with the 2019 Rasa Festival, an innovative India-themed multi-arts festival, produced by Akshara. The Rasa Festival is held annually in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in September and is designed to promote a deeper awareness and appreciation for the effulgent richness and abundance of cultural heritage that stems from India. It is multi-arts and multi-disciplinary, presenting traditional as well as cutting edge work in performing, visual, literary, media/films, and culinary arts, in partnership with prominent Ann Arbor arts organizations.

Participating artists in the festival are local, national, and international Indo-American artists, artists from India as well as those who are highly inspired by Indian culture. It is a collaborative initiative, working through partnerships with key local organizations such as the Washtenaw Community College, Kerrytown Concert House, the Riverside Arts Center, and Literati Bookstore.

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Body of Work: Hari Kondabolu

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:04am

What can you tell about a man from his Twitter account? Tweets may not reveal a man's soul, but they do give you one way to explore his body of work. We also speculate about what might be in his refrigerator....

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Body of Work: David Chang

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:02am

We talked all about our own food journeys, and even adventures as we dove into David Chang's body of work. We may have all left the room hungry....

 

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2019: Martin interviews Carey Cranston, President of the American Writers Museum.

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:18am

The American Writers Museum opened in downtown Chicago in May 2017, and its mission is to celebrate the enduring influence of American writers on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.

American writing is distinctive, diverse, and comes in many forms from across the nations. As the only museum devoted to American writers and their works, AWM connects visitors with their favorite authors and writings from more than five centuries, while inspiring the discovery of new works of every type – poetry, lyrics, speeches, drama, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and more.

The authors and works presented by the Museum are not meant to be a definitive list of who is the greatest or most influential. Instead, the museum presents authors and works as part of a continuum that will grow and change.