History MattersSeptember 1 to September 15, 2019

On September 2, 1864, at the height of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman and his army of 60,000 Union soldiers captured the city of Atlanta. He then sent a telegram to President Lincoln, which said: “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” It was a critical event — the rail hub of the Confederacy — which supplied weapons and food to the forces of the south. In order to completely deny the rebel armies of wartime essentials, Sherman set fire to the city—and widespread doubt–that the War could ever end in a Confederate victory.

The fall of Atlanta teaches young learners important lessons about the Civil War, and its tragedies. For a better understanding, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Nancy Whitelaw’s Victoryin Destruction: The Story of William Tecumseh Sherman.

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History MattersSeptember 1 to September 15, 2019

On September 2, 1964, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, defied a court order that allowed 14 African-American teens to be admitted to the all-white, Tuskegee High School. According to the American Bar Association Journal, Wallace took office in January 1963 vowing “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” In order to prevent access, Wallace ordered his state troopers to surround the school and obstruct entry.

School desegregation was a dramatic and important chapter in the Civil Rights movement; for more information, read The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine.

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History MattersSeptember 1 to September 15, 2019

America is still recovering from September 11, 2001, the day terrorists hijacked four jumbo jets while they were in flight and turned them into bombers. Two of them took down the Twin Towers at New York’s World Trade Center; another was flown Kamikaze-style into the Pentagon, and a fourth –advancing to Washington–was commandeered by the passengers and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. In all, nearly 3,000 died.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Memory of Things: A Novel by Gae Polisner; according to one reviewer, the book “is ultimately filled with love and hope.”

 


History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.

MSAC Hosts 2nd Annual Regional Arts Institutes

At seven different locations across Maryland, MSAC will be hosting its second annual Regional Arts Institutes as part of our professional development series this fall for all arts constituents (independent artists, arts organizations/programs, County Arts Councils, A&E Districts, etc.). More info visit MSAC website.

The event in Chestertown takes place on September 20, 2019 at Washington College. Register here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partners
– Maryland State Arts Council
– MD State Department of Education
– Maryland Citizens for the Arts
– Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance
– Maryland Nonprofits
– Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Questions?
Contact Amelia Rambissoon, Marketing & Communications Manager, amelia.rambissoon@maryland.gov

September 2019 Book Recommendations

Harry Bernstein’s INVISIBLE WALL; a 93-year-old Jewish Englishman recalls the anti-Semitism of his childhood.

Roald Dahl’s SWITCH BITCH; short stories just for grown-ups, by the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ed Sikov’s DARK VICTORY: THE LIFE OF BETTE DAVIS; a comprehensive biography of the actress who defied the Hollywood moguls to get better film roles.

James Van Praagh’s TALKING TO HEAVEN: A MEDIUM’S MESSAGE OF LIFE AFTER DEATH; memoir, guide, and case study; how the author helps grieving people contact their loved ones.

Agatha Christie’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS; death among the wealthy on a luxurious train.

 

September 2019 Book Recommendations

DREAMWEAVER – Langston Hughes – One Performance Only, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019

The Kent County Arts Council (KCAC) is excited to present DREAMWEAVER – a theatrical and literary journey across five decades of the life of poet/playwright Langston Hughes. One Performance only, Friday, September 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Garfield Center for the Arts, 210 High Street, Chestertown, MD. Call 410-778-3700 to make a reservation or email the KCAC at john@kentcountyartscouncil.org.

What better way to celebrate Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes—affectionately known as Shakespeare in Harlem–than a one-hour-and-twenty- minute, one-person dramatic rendition of Langston Hughes’ poems and short stories. The show is no mere recitation of Hughes’ work. Actor and writer David Mills’ performance takes the audience on an odyssey spanning five decades—from the 1920s-through the 1960s– of Hughes’ writings, where Mr. Mills portrays Hughes’ notable characters, such as Madam Alberta K. Johnson and Jessie B. Simple. Mr. Mills enacts excerpts of Hughes’ iconic, poetry collection “Montage of A Dream Deferred,” too. Hughes’ work lends itself to dramatic interpretation because Langston frequently wrote persona poems (poems in the first-person voices of people such as the aforementioned Alberta K.)

Mr. Mills brings to life Hughes’ black characters–individuals who migrated to Harlem during the early 20th century. Mr. Mills’ performance highlights Hughes’ unending love for Harlem–with its foibles and fantasies, its beauty and brutality. Mr. Mills plays both white and black Americans, young and old, and male and female characters whom Langston created. While bringing all these voices to life, Mr. Mills also sings snippets of songs from the different eras Hughes wrote about.

The show explores Hughes’ penchant for both humor and pathos. And Mr. Mills dramatically interprets Langston Hughes’ contribution to modernist poetry–the blues poem. Hughes’ classic pieces such as “I’ve Known Rivers,” “Mother to Son,” “Theme for English B” and “I, Too” are enacted alongside lesser-known, but equally powerful Hughes poems such as Merry Go Round, and Advice, giving the audience a nuanced look at Langston. Mr. Mills also performs the short-stories “Thank You Ma’am and ‘There Ought to Be a Law’—where he portrays Hughes’ iconic character, Jesse B. Simple. The hilarious, ironic and little known Hughes short story, “Rock, Church.” is one of the show’s centerpieces.

For more information contact John Schratwieser, Director Kent County Arts Council, 410-778-3700

Movie of the Month: Funny Girl

The talented comedienne, Fanny Brice, works her way up from bit player in Vaudeville, to Broadway star, with the help of the powerful, Florenz Ziegfeld. As she rises, her marriage to the slick, imprisoned-businessman, Nick Arnstein deteriorates. Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif star.

 

 

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

  • “My Antonia” by Willa Cather. This final installment in the author’s prairie trilogy chronicles the lives of hardy 19th-century immigrants attempting to tame the wilds of Nebraska.
  • ‘Marjorie Morningstar’ by Herman Wouk. In this classic love story, a young Jewish woman in 1950s New York City seeks fame and fortune on the stage.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. How quintessentially “of the U.S.” is this tale of racism and hope set in the Deep South? In 2018, it was named the country’s “#1 Best-Loved Novel” by PBS’ Great American Read.

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

  • “My Antonia” by Willa Cather. This final installment in the author’s prairie trilogy chronicles the lives of hardy 19th-century immigrants attempting to tame the wilds of Nebraska.
  • ‘Marjorie Morningstar’ by Herman Wouk. In this classic love story, a young Jewish woman in 1950s New York City seeks fame and fortune on the stage.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. How quintessentially “of the U.S.” is this tale of racism and hope set in the Deep South? In 2018, it was named the country’s “#1 Best-Loved Novel” by PBS’ Great American Read.

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more Patriot Picks >>

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Patriotic Picks: August 2019

 

  • “My Antonia” by Willa Cather. This final installment in the author’s prairie trilogy chronicles the lives of hardy 19th-century immigrants attempting to tame the wilds of Nebraska.
  • ‘Marjorie Morningstar’ by Herman Wouk. In this classic love story, a young Jewish woman in 1950s New York City seeks fame and fortune on the stage.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. How quintessentially “of the U.S.” is this tale of racism and hope set in the Deep South? In 2018, it was named the country’s “#1 Best-Loved Novel” by PBS’ Great American Read.

See more Patriot Picks >>

History MattersAugust 15 to August 31, 2019

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, which took place on a farm in the town of Bethel, NY on August 15, 1969. Some parents may recall what a momentous event the three-day concert turned out to be, but many grandparents were probably among the more than 300,000 participants. Twenty-four rock bands performed, and their music—in time–partially defined the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s.

It was a significant episode in American history, one that is worth explaining to your children and grandchildren.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends Three Day Summer, by Sarvenaz Tash.

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History MattersAugust 15 to August 31, 2019It’s a rough patch of history, but the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, is an important lesson for young people to absorb.

It all started on August 17, 1998 when Mr. Clinton became the first sitting president to appear before a grand jury that resulted in a far-reaching investigation of his alleged inappropriate conduct and, ultimately—his possible– removal from office. That night, after months of maintaining his innocence, Clinton delivered a televised speech in which he confessed to an improper relationship with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, and his conviction failed to happen.

For more detailed information, read Famous Trials—The Impeachment of Bill Clinton, by Nathan Aeseng.

 

 

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History MattersAugust 15 to August 31, 2019The British army took its revenge for an American attack on the city of York [Toronto] during the War of 1812 by invading Washington, D.C. and burning down the U.S. Capitol on August 24 and 25,1814. The White House and much of the City of Washington D.C. were incinerated, but the Americans defeated the British in 1815.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Burning of Washington: August 1814, by Mary Kay Phelan.

 

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History MattersAugust 15 to August 31, 2019One of the most important events that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement, was the March on Washington, on August 28, 1963. The movement had been underway almost ten years, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and social activist, was well established as a leader in the struggle for equal rights. As a pre-eminent spokesman for the cause, King was selected to address the gathering of more than 250,000 supporters — men, women and children. He delivered a speech which he called I Have A Dream. It stirred the crowds and quickly became one of the most famous and important exemplars of oratory since Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

That story, and King’s influence on the Civil Rights is explained in David Aretha’s Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington.

 


August 1 to August 15, 2019 — History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.

Co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize ‘practices what he preaches” writes engaging, historically accurate books for children

WASHINGTON, DC — David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize, practices what he preaches. He authors books which encourage young learners to love and understand America’s history in an era when teaching it in the classroom is on the decline.

His style and world-class illustrations provided by his mother, the renowned American artist, Clarice Smith, make their latest offering, Abigail & John, a must read for children of all ages, with the focus on young sons and daughters. The book tells the story of our second president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail. They were not just husband and wife; they were prolific collaborators who helped nurture the U.S. during its formative years.

Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the New York Times best seller, “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race,” says Abigail & John “is sure to give students new insights into the early years of our country’s history.” And, that was Smith’s intent when he and his mother set out to research, write, and illustrate the book.

Abigail & John is the author’s 12th work. His previous book–also a mother and son collaboration– was “American Hero: John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall,” the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has been called the “the forgotten founding father.”

EDITORS’ NOTE: For more information about Abigail & John visit the Grateful American Book Series Web site. It is published by Liberty Bell Press, an imprint of the Pike and Powder Publishing Group, LLC., Sales and Distribution by Simon & Schuster.