Memory of First Reads

Note from Leslie: Clicking on colored text will allow you to discover more about that item! One of my early memories is of receiving books in the mail beginning the year prior to entering kindergarten. I’m not sure if there were pre-school programs back in those days. My family—-including parents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and older…

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How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

Earlier this week I was immersed in sharing poetry, movement, and collaborative creative expression with second graders at Carstens Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. As I began to write about it on the train ride home, I was reminded of Marilyn Nelson’s book, How I Discovered Poetry. While her volumes of poetry are usually found in…

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“My Friend Victoria”: Finding Value in Uncomfortable Readings & Viewings Part Two

PART TWO (Read PART ONE) The farther away I get from my first impressions of this story the more it becomes other things. Is this what happened when Jean Paul Civeyrac began with Doris Lessing’s novella, “Victoria and the Staveneys” as the starting point for his film “My Friend Victoria,” which ended up being particularly…

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“My Friend Victoria”: Finding Value in Uncomfortable Readings & Viewings

PART ONE I am having difficulty thinking about the film “My Friend Victoria” and the Doris Lessing novella “Victoria and the Staveneys,” from which the film was adapted. Hours of writing, reading, pondering, and frowning and I am no closer to a clear composition of my impressions than I was a month ago when I…

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Art Exhibition Books: A Few African American Art Titles

Listen people: I’ve been quite fortunate to receive lovely, thoughtful gifts this season, so after viewing the “30 Americans” art exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, it was hard to justify purchasing a heavy stack of books on the subject of African Americans and art. I took photos instead. (Photographing these titles means that…

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“The Essential Self: Meditations On The Politics of Identity”

I have enjoyed many an hour in galleries, museums, and—quite frankly, folk’s homes and work spaces—looking at visual art, artifacts, photographs, maps, and what-have-you, “reading” what these things have to say to me. Do you do that? Its kind of like being on the soul’s treasure hunt, looking for visual resonances, dissonances, and clues about…

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Living For Change: Grace Lee Boggs, A Beautiful American, (1915-2015)

A friend sent me an email today to let me know about the passing of Grace Lee Boggs. She lived to be a strong 100 years old! If you don’t know anything about this woman, I encourage you to learn about her and soak up some of the great spirit with which she worked and…

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World Literacy/International Literacy Day Observance, 2015

Here is just a partial list of daily interfacing with words: *instructions for taking prescription drugs; *ingredients in the foods we eat, and recipes for food preparation *GPS directions, street signs; *directories and signage—both indoors and outdoors—that helps us get to where we want to go; *instructions for usage of technology *instructions for assembling furniture…

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