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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.

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Nerd Nite #65 - 10 Things you Need to Know about Language

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:29pm

You speak a language, so you know everything about how language works, right? Wrong! In this talk, Emily covers the Top 10 things most people don’t know about language. In doing so, she dispels several common myths and reveals some fascinating facts about the systems we use every day to communicate with each other. If you’ve ever wondered how many languages there are in the world, why language death is on the rise, where grammar comes from, or how it is that kids learn language so effortlessly – this talk is for you! Or, if you simply find yourself in need of a few high-quality conversation starters for your upcoming work party, this talk will prepare you to explain what exactly the Bilingual Advantage is, why British accents sound smart, how whistled languages work, whether Spanglish is a language, which high-profile court case was a glaring example of linguistic discrimination, and why English spelling is such a mess.

About Emily Rae Sabo:

By day, I’m a researcher and PhD student of Linguistics at The University of Michigan. By night, I’m a local standup comedian at dive bars near you. In my work as a linguist, I compare how monolingual and bilingual listeners respond to various types of lexical ambiguity and speech errors in order to investigate the cognitive mechanisms that underlie language processing as well as the social priming that modulates how people perceive Spanish-accented English in the U.S. today.

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Shockwaves from Stonewall: Gay Liberation in Michigan

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm

In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement.  Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.

Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University.  He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University.  His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia.  He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.

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Russell Doré on "America's Classiest Cars"

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 9:55am

Learn about the most luxurious classic cars built by American companies. Find out how the Eckhart Brothers, E.L. Cord, the Duesenberg Brothers, and Harry Stutz built their companies. Follow mergers between some of these companies and how the companies finally ended their production.                                      

This one-hour presentation displays the beauty of these automobiles and confirms that the saying “It’s a Duesy” refers to the very best in a field. Cars of these brands were owned by celebrities and you will see their favorites. Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Ginger Rogers, and John Wayne were original owners of the early classics. Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, and Jay Leno became later collectors.

The presenter is Russell Doré, who has been making historical presentations for over 20 years. He is a Board Member of the Motor Cities National Heritage Area, a member of the Henry Ford Heritage Association, the Northville Historical Society, and holds Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Washington in social sciences.

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Becoming American: A History of Native American Boarding Schools

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 12:09pm

In the 1800's, assimilation was the government's policy to work Native Americans into mainstream society.  One of the methods used was to take Native children from their homes and ship them to boarding schools.  "Save the man, Kill the Indian" was the motto used by these schools as they stripped Native children of their language, culture, and identity. 

Learn how these schools operated and what was done to help overcome this abuse.

Heather Bruegl, inspired by a trip to Wounded Knee, South Dakota, quickly developed a passion for Native American History.  Curiosity for her own heritage led her to Wisconsin, where she has researched the history of the Native American tribes of that region. Heather is a graduate of Madonna University of Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in U.S. History. She currently travels and lectures on Native American history, including policy and activism.