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Library reaches out to adults this summer

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson's book, "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration," will be the focus of a discussion Sunday, July 17, at the Stephens Branch Library in Davis, one of several summer library programs designed for adults. Courtesy photo

By
May 25, 2011 |

Summer library programs often target children and teenagers, but this year, adults won’t be left out. The Yolo County Library has planned a series of free programs for adults that allow readers to travel to exotic lands and learn more about a great migration within the United States.

First up is “Destination South Africa!” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the library, 315 E. 14th St. in Davis. Guests can visit South Africa without the hassle of airport security, customs or currency exchange as they watch a slide show of the country’s spectacular natural environments, exotic wildlife, historic townships, sophisticated cities and lively culture.

On Thursday, June 16, from 7 to 8 p.m., it’s “Destination China!” A local Chinese dance troupe will perform traditional dances, showcasing Chinese dance’s own unique vocabulary, meanings and ordered structure that enable a dancer to fully express his thoughts and feelings with ease and grace.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 17, the library will present its first Davis Summer Read and Book Talk in the Blanchard Room at the library.

Historian Krystyna von Henneberg will introduce and lead a discussion about Isabel Wilkerson’s 2010 book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”

“The Warmth of Other Suns” relates in haunting detail the journey that tens of thousands of African-Americans took from 1915 to 1970 across the United States. Wilkerson describes how African-Americans of all backgrounds and ages left behind the Jim Crow South for the industrial cities of the North and the promise of new opportunities out west.

The author combines a sweeping historical narrative with three gripping, personal life stories.

Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for “The Warmth of Other Suns” for general nonfiction and her book earned a place on The New York Times list of Ten Best Books for 2010.

In recounting the lives of African-American migrants and their reception in Northern cities, Wilkerson deals with migration, racism, integration and diversity in ways that can help readers gain new insights into these issues today.

She analyzes injustices and barriers to the economic and social advancement of African-Americans. But she also presents a story of courage, personal triumph and hope, a news release said.

Wilkerson’s writing invites readers to compare the odysseys of 20th-century African-Americans with those of other migrant groups journeying within and to the United States. Her book is a springboard for thinking about how migration has shaped diverse communities in Northern California, and in Davis.

“Readers attending von Henneberg’s discussion will be invited to consider the value of our own, local stories of migrant resilience and heroism,” a news release said. “Together, we can explore how individual migration stories might be documented and illuminated as part of a community history project.”

On Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., it’s “Destination Japan!” Library visitors will see a demonstration of an elegant Japanese tea ceremony, which features a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving tea.

An Adult Community Fair is planned Sunday, Aug. 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. Representatives from nonprofit agencies in Davis and throughout Yolo County will showcase their services and/or volunteer opportunities.

The Davis Summer Read will have a volunteer component. People who read the book and come to the Summer Read Book Talk will be encouraged to volunteer at the Friends of the Davis Public Library Book Sale on Oct. 7-9. Volunteers may bring items to be donated at the sale or help run the sale.

And don’t forget the Books to Pools Program. Look for the book boxes at Arroyo and Manor pools, where you can take a book, read it and return it. There are no due dates.

For information, contact Joan Tuss (530) 757-5588 or joan.tuss@yolocounty.org.

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