*Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Book Club of California and are free and open to the public. Please refer to the description under each event.
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Health Safety Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The safety and well-being of our members, visitors, and staff continues to be our primary focus. In an effort to encourage social distancing to halt the spread of the coronavirus, we have made the decision to temporarily close our club rooms and cancel in-person programs and events.
Please consider joining us for a live online program listed below.
Many of our staff will be working remotely so please contact them by email or phone. Staff contact information can be found on our website.
As a Pasadena artist, Frances Gearhart (1869-1959) was embedded in the time, place and ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement. Her color block prints of the California landscape personifies a handcrafted aesthetic. She was bold in her use of color and powerful in the lines of keyblock. Seasons and times of the day captivated her. She celebrated the wintry day, the morning sun on the hills, the splendor of fall. Hence the title, “Behold the Day.”
A live online talk by Susan Futterman, author
This presentation includes an overview of the author’s book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), which takes a fresh approach to looking at the practices of relaxation and recreation at outdoor and public spaces for all people at beaches, mountains, and other scenic locales holding a central place in the long freedom rights struggle.
Leisure, was not an optional add-on to civil rights, but an essential component of liberty and this talk with feature the local stories of African Americans who fought for dignity, equal access and the full range of human experience and fulfillment in exploration of California’s offerings as they contributed to the state’s development.
The speaker will share how some of the sites discussed in the book are being used today to engage young people with experiential learning activities in the explorations of the African American and Mexican American experiences, heritage conservation issues, beach wildlife appreciation and stewardship, as well as aspirations to environmental justices policies involving beach assess and civic action.
A live online presentation by Alison Rose Jefferson, author, historian, and heritage conservation consultant
Historically, “road tripping” stood as a romanticized part of the American experience though this pastime did not necessarily hold the same allure for African Americans. To compensate, Victor Hugo Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book which guided black travelers to safe spaces of rest and relaxation nationwide. This talk will discuss the historic challenges of black travel and the spaces of leisure that emerged for black travelers between the 1930s and 1960s.
A live online talk by Dr. Kenya Davis-Hayes, historian and professor of history, California Baptist University
A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler offers a blueprint for a creative life from the perspective of award-winning science-fiction writer and “MacArthur Genius” Octavia E. Butler. It is a collection of ideas about how to look, listen, breathe—how to be in the world. This book is about the creative process, but not on the page; its canvas is much larger. Author Lynell George not only engages the world that shaped Octavia E. Butler, she also explores the very specific processes through which Butler shaped herself—her unique process of self-making. It’s about creating a life with what little you have—hand-me-down books, repurposed diaries, journals, stealing time to write in the middle of the night, making a small check stretch—bit by bit by bit. A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky draws the reader into Butler’s world, creating a sense of unmatched intimacy with the deeply private writer.
A live online conversation between Louise Steinman, writer and independent literary curator and Lynell George, journalist and essayist
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