Season of Gratitude

Each November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The celebration may only be a federal holiday starting during the Civil War, but feasts of gratitude and celebration mark multiple milestones in North America's history. From European explorers to indigenous cultures, from Mexico to Canada and everywhere in between, people have stopped to give thanks, to celebrate safety, and to enjoy the bounty of harvest time. Because it often came after a period of intense danger (like for European explorers), or before the grim trials of winter (like for both…continue reading →

Frances E. W. Harper – Trailblazing Poet

October 24 marks the birth of one of America's great poets and civil rights activists, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was born in Maryland in 1825. Born into a free family, she had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and loved to read. By age 20, she had published her first book of poetry and by age 34, she became the first African-American to have a short story published. It's incredible to think that it took until 1859 for that to happen! Frances did not just write poetry and short stories. She also became a…continue reading →

Stormy Weather

The upcoming storm may give us several days of heavy rain. You have your gallons of water, your extra batteries, your loaf of bread. Do you have your hurricane reading picked out yet? Stop by the library to stock up. We never run out of books. Here are a few stormy selections: Strange Weather by Joe Hill Chester & Midlothian Popular Fiction Description from goodreads.com "A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill. “Snapshot” is…continue reading →

Celebrate!

Humans just love to celebrate: there are holidays for everything important and not-so-important on each day of the calendar year. Take today, for instance: August 1 is not only National Girlfriend Day and National Mountain-Climbing Day and National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, it's also National Spider-Man Day--time to celebrate your friendly neighborhood superhero dispensing justice and swinging through the streets of New York City. Source: Spider-Man from Marvel Comics, image from Austin Toy Museum It's also one of the last days of summer exams here at the college. I'll leave it to you…continue reading →

Portrait—of a Presidential Portrait

As Barack Obama made history when he became the first African-American president of the United States, Kehinde Wiley made history nearly ten years later to become the first African-American to paint a presidential portrait. President Obama's portrait, painted by Wiley, went on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery on February 12, 2018. It shows the 44th president of the United States seated in front of rich green foliage, punctuated with colorful flowers. Unlike previous presidents, President Obama sits in his portrait, relaxed and casual instead of formal. The flowers in the rich…continue reading →