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Posted: January 31, 2018

Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity, and Includsion

The works of renowned American novelist and social critic, James Baldwin, will be front and center during the “Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” book club series in Winter Park, Florida this January through March 2018. Taking place at both the Winter Park Public Library (WPPL) and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center the first two Sundays of each month, January through March 2018, the series will spotlight the author’s essays and films addressing racial and class intricacies in Western society as well as the role of activism.

“James Baldwin’s legacy still has so much to teach us today about race and our democracy and this book discussion series offers patrons an insightful occasion to delve into the writings of one of America’s undisputed literary leaders,” said Dr. Ruth Edwards, Director of Education for the WPPL. “Our valuable partnership with Hannibal Center gives the series a strong community platform growing both our educational reach.” 

The series begins with movie screenings at the library each first Sunday from 2 to 4pm in the third-floor meeting room with discussions to follow. January 7 will feature Baldwin’s renowned “I Am Not Your Negro,” an Academy Award nominated documentary based on Baldwin’s thoughts and works. Baldwin’s close friendships with civil rights leaders, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., will likely channel the dialogue. February’s event will feature “Perspectives on Athletes and Activism,” discussing the role of athletes as activists led by perspectives from Bryant Gumbel, Bob Costas and Shannon Sharpe. On March 4th there will be a screening of Ava DuVernay’s “13th” followed by a discussion of the US prison system and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. Registration is required and can be done by calling 407.623.3300 or visiting wppl.org. 

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center will be the location for discussions of several of Baldwin’s most influential writings, with relevant dialogue addressing such topics as race and civil rights and its impact on democracy. On January 14, “The Cross of Redemption,” a collection of works by and about Baldwin never collected in book, will center the conversation. “Notes of a Native Son” will be the February 11 journey into Baldwin’s personal account of being black in America. This powerful essay gives today’s Black Lives Matter movement a historic significance. On March 11, Baldwin’s national bestseller of 1963, “The Fire Next Time,” shows readers the disturbing consequences of racial injustice which helped give voice to the emerging civil rights era of the 60s and will offer attendees ironic connection to today’s social climate. All book discussions at the Hannibal Center will take place the second and third Sundays of the month from 2 to 4; and require registration by visiting 407-539-2680. 

About The Winter Park Public Library: For 132 years, the Winter Park Public Library, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, has continuously evolved to bring the highest quality library materials education and services to those living in Winter Park and the surrounding community. Today the library provides onside and online learning and entertainment resources including classes and events, print and digital books, music, videos, video games and software, and downloadable materials for smart devices and computers. The Winter Park Public Library has been one of four libraries across the U.S. selected to collaborate with The Aspen Institute on innovative approaches to being a civic forum for 21st century learning. The library will have a new facility in summer 2020 as part of its public private partnership with the City of Winter Park. For more information about the WPPL and the new facility, please visit www.wppl.org or call 407-623-3300. 


James Baldwin Book Group: Perspectives on Athletes and Activism 

Sunday, February 4, 2 – 4 p.m., Winter Park Public Library, third floor meeting room 

A discussion of the role of athletes as activists led by perspectives from Bryant Gumbel, Bob Costas, and Shannon Sharpe. A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 


James Baldwin Book Discussion: Notes of a Native Son 

Sunday, February 11, 25, 2 – 4 p.m., Hannibal Square Heritage Center 

Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. In an age of Black Lives Matter, James Baldwin's essays are as powerful today as when they were first written. A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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