Thursday, April 14, 2011

Black Arts West Author Daniel Widener At Malcolm X Library April 23, 2011

 Looking for an opportunity to interact with a well known published author in an informal setting?
Come meet Daniel Widener!!!!

Where: Malcolm X Library
             Multimedia Area                                                     
Address: 5148 Market Street
San Diego, CA 92114
Sponsored by: Malcolm X Library Book Club 2011        

“Black Arts West knocked my socks off. Daniel Widener‟s exciting account of the "Watts Renaissance‟ fundamentally revises our picture of contemporary L.A. art and literary scenes, and adds a crucial new chapter to the history of Black cultural radicalism during the 1960s and 1970s.” —Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles
“Daniel Widener‟s study provides a much needed, basic analysis of the complex and turbulent black arts and culture scene in Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, and the dynamic mix of politics that fueled it.” —Amiri Baraka
From postwar efforts to end discrimination in the motion-picture industry, recording studios, and musicians‟ unions, through the development of community-based arts organizations, to the creation of searing films critiquing conditions in the black working class neighborhoods of a city touting its multiculturalism—Black Arts West documents the social and political significance of African American arts activity in Los Angeles between the Second World War and the riots of 1992. Focusing on the lives and work of black writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers, Daniel Widener tells how black cultural politics changed over time, and how altered political realities generated new forms of artistic and cultural expression. His narrative is filled with figures invested in About the Author:
Daniel Widener is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, were he teaches African American history, cultural studies, and twentieth-century political radicalism. He began his educational career at the Echo Park-Silverlake Peoples‟ Childcare Center. He studied at Berkeley and New York University. He has written on the politics of black culture in postwar Los Angeles, black-Latino and Afro-Asian issues, and the Korean War. Information Source:
Valerie Hardie
Literacy Program Administrator
READ/San Diego Adult Literacy Program
San Diego Public Library

Personal Note:

The Malcolm X Library Book Club 2011 is an organization that continues to inspire. Although its meetings were held in other locals for a short time, it is now back at its home--the fairly well known community service library in South East San Diego California-Malcolm X Library and Performance Arts Center. The book club is reviving and open to all who love reading and discussing literature. 

Our group is diverse. Members old and young enjoy just being together. As I sat in my first meeting, I could barely believe it! The gathering reminded me of the 1970s arts-salon movement created by young people in the Buffalo New York area where our sharing spaces emphasized positive interaction and bonding of folks in mutual respect. We were unknowingly recreating a mini-Harlem Renaissance; when several elders pointed this out to us . . .it added to our delight. Community---sharing---respect.

The Malcolm X Library Book Club became a similar much needed oasis one summer when I just could not find a good old fashioned literature discussion group where I could not only participate in choosing the books to read in the next coming year but also where I could share knowledge, ask questions, and critique. Its seasoned members welcomed me with open arms. I felt so comfortable. Although this semester I have not been able to participate fully,when I can make the meetings, I'm still comfortable. The group meets every 4th Saturday of the Month, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Come on down and share.

PS UPDATE:  Valerie Hardie, Literacy Program Administrator, reports that the event was a feast of knowledge for all. Daniel Widener is a very informative and congenial author with whom the audience enjoyed interaction. Look for upcoming events for the Malcolm X Library Book Club 2011!     

Delores Fisher

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