From the City of San Leandro
Mayor Stephen Cassidy announced today that for the third consecutive year the San Leandro Library is the recipient of a Big Read grant.
The Big Read San Leandro Program will run from January 2013 through March 2013. The San Leandro Public Library has selected Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as the book for the community to read.
An American folklorist, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The goal of the Big Read, which is the largest reading program in the U.S, is to bring together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
"Our library's 2013 Big Read program offers a wonderful opportunity for San Leandrans to learn more about the broad range of the black experience in the United States and the considerable contributions of African Americans to our culture and history," said Mayor Cassidy. “I congratulate our Library for its continued success in obtaining grants that promote reading, educate our community, and celebrate the rich diversity of San Leandro."
The Library is extremely proud that Lucy Anne Hurston, the niece of Zora Neale Hurston, will be the guest speaker at the Big Read Kickoff Event on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2 p.m. Ms. Hurston, an academic sociologist and author, will discuss Zora’s works and life as well as her own works and research experiences.
After Ms. Hurston’s presentation, all attendees are encouraged to sign up for a library-sponsored or a patron-sponsored book discussion group for Their Eyes Were Watching God. All those who sign up at this event will receive a free copy of Hurston’s novel, while supplies last!
Other Big Read 2013 events include an “Ancestral Memories” quilt exhibit by the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland, a panel discussion of the role of the strong female character in African American Literature with the Black Caucus and local author Mary Monroe, screenings of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a field trip to the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.
Children’s events include a story quilt art workshop with the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) and teens can participate in a four-day art workshop with Malik Seneferu, a Bay Area artist.
The program will culminate with the “Hatitude” Finale, which is by special invitation to those that participated in a Their Eyes Were Watching God book discussion group.