As 2009 draws to a close, the Maryland Humanities Council is asking for your support through our year-end appeal for donations. (Click here to donate safely through our website.) Why? As a private non-profit organization, we raise private funds to underwrite the costs of our programs, which inspire, empower, and enlighten over 1 million Marylanders annually. (more…)
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If you were able to join us for Music of the Movement: A Sustaining Voice at Montgomery College’s Performing Arts Center I think you will agree that it was a fantastic evening! For those who remember the gut wrenching efforts to produce changes in Civil Rights legislation nationally in the 1960s, the program was a reminder of the tragic moments, the victories and the songs that celebrated both.
Marylanders have always been in the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. An honor roll of famous Marylanders–Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson, Carl Murphy, Parren Mitchell–were passionate advocates for Civil Rights. (more…)
Mr. Lucas offers his thoughts on his book discussion of James McBride’s Song Yet Sung.
“On October 3, 2009, I had the honor to facilitate one of the One Maryland One Book discussions on James McBride’s, Song Yet Sung. Nine people attended our very lively discussion and all were fascinated with this incredible piece of living literature. (more…)
On September 27, I had the pleasure of attending author James McBride’s talk at the Baltimore Book Festival. The SRO (standing room only) crowd proved that I’m not the only one in Maryland who is a big fan of Mr. McBride’s work. (more…)
Drive slowly along Route 16 through Dorchester County, past Cambridge, Church Creek, and Madison, then swing down to Blackwater and Bucktown and take in the fields, marshes, forests, creeks, and farmhouses of this Eastern Shore landscape little changed over time. And while you are there, take a moment to listen to the landscape and the stories it tells.
There’s too much sound and not enough light in the reportage of the town hall meetings on health care. Our ratings-driven media are focusing on action—screaming, yelling, shouting, waving signs—and failing to offset all that sound and fury by reporting the facts and correcting false information. As a result, the public is poorly served, and we’re seeing our elected leaders get torn apart, metaphorically speaking, by ill-informed people. (more…)
David Ulin’s August 3rd commentary in the Baltimore Sun http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.amazon03aug03,0,6041063.story raises a provocative issue about the ability of unknown (or in this case known) individuals or companies to impose control over what is available to us to read. (more…)
Everyone knows about the life-changing experience of a good book–but a life-saving experience is something different! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow recounts the story of how a literary society, created to conceal from the Nazis occupying the island of Guernsey during World War II the residents’ true purpose of dining on contraband pork, saves the islanders from imprisonment and possible death.
The spur-of-the-moment creation of the literary society effectively conceals the real purpose of the gathering, and becomes, in fact, a rare outlet for spontaneous conversation about something other than the rigors of daily life. The islanders–farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen with limited formal education–delve into works by Shakespeare, Charles Lamb, Jane Austen, and Marcus Aurelius and discuss their reading with the other members. By doing so, they forge unexpected friendships and develop new ways of viewing the world and coping with their precarious existence.
It is a story of love, survival, sacrifice, and courage told through a series of letters and notes among various characters. I recommend it highly as a great summer read.
Lisa Keir is Development and Communications Director at the Maryland Humanities Council.
Be on the lookout for more MHC staff summer reading recommendations! Or, let us know your own summer reading favorites.
It has been a couple of weeks now since the death of Michael Jackson, and though the networks are slowing down their coverage a bit, there are still plenty of viewing options to choose from if you are following every detail of the story of his death. There has been much sensational speculation regarding his life and his death.