Hey Y’all! Anyone out there in the Portland, Oregon area should check out Kara Walker’s art exhibit at Reed College in the Cooley Gallery. Here’s a link with more info. about the exhibit. On the link there is also audio of Kara Walker’s talk that she gave at Reed a few weeks ago. It is FREE and going on until November 18, 2012. Kara Walker is an internationally famous and controversial artist whose work touches on the themes of antebellum America, race, sexuality, gender, stereotypes and the legacies of slavery. She has been vaulted into art world super stardom by her silhouette works, but at the same time has been denounced for her questionable imagery.
“Major Problems In the History of American Families and Children” edited by Anya Jabour is one of the books in the Houghton Mifflin ‘Major Problems in American History’ series. The book is a tremendous resource of both primary source documents and academic writings on the subject of American families and children. The book helps to train college students to look for primary sources and how to evaluate those sources by providing examples of discourse related to many of the primary sources in the book. The primary sources in the book are interesting and provoked further exploration of topics which include families in bondage, Native American, Victorian, frontier, Civil War and immigrant families to name a few. It also tackles the case of orphans, families of the 1950’s, the welfare system and late 20th century family politics. An example of what a good textbook should look and operate like. Bravo! ( )
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is Maya Angelou’s memoir of her life up until about her early twenties. Mostly set in the South, she tells of a semi-impoverished childhood in an early 20th century America that is still reeling from the legacy of slavery. Perhaps what is most striking about this memoir is that it was written in the 20th century, but the life she describes is very different than what people experienced even a mere 50 years later. The story is engrossing and at times horrifying, but always interesting. The only reason why I give this book four stars instead of five is that I felt the ending was a bit of a let down–perhaps because I wanted to read more. This book is well worth your time and effort and is an example of why Maya Angelou is so renowned. ( )