The Penfield Public Library is pleased to report that it recently received a Reading & Discussion Grant from Humanities New York to present a four-part series on James Baldwin’s America this fall. The series will be held on Thursday evenings, September 19, November 14, and December 12 and Wednesday evening, October 16 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Dr. Kathleen Donovan, Asst. Professor at St. John Fisher College, will serve as facilitator.
The series will focus on understanding how Baldwin’s early novels, stories, and essays are particularly relevant today. His essay “Many Thousands Gone” was part of the author’s first, most powerful collection Notes of a Native Son (1955), first published 64 years ago. The classic The Fire Next Time (1963) is perhaps the most influential of his writings and the most penetrating analysis of America’s racial divide. The four main themes it focuses on include: the uses of the past, the danger of innocence, the difficulty of realizing equality, and the urgency of addressing injustice now.
Participants are encouraged to register online or call the library at (585) 340-8720 starting Thursday, August 15. Upon registering, they can pick up copies of Baldwin’s two works: Collected Essays and Early Novels and Stories at the Circulation Desk. These books are on loan for the duration of the program and must be returned to the Circulation Desk at the conclusion. For additional information, please contact Peggy O’Neil, Adult Services/Programming Librarian at (585) 340-8720 x4020.