Monday, February 18, 2019

Events; Michael W Twitty, Susan Angel Miller, Lizzy Mason, Stephen Savage, Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Jennifer Harvey, Andy Rash, Chris Jones

Tuesday, February 19, 4:00 pm, at UWM Golda Meir Library, Fourth floor conference Center, 2311 E Hartford Ave:
Michael W Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South 

The UWM Stahl Center for Jewish Studies features a panel discussion featuring Michael Twitty, along with Portia Cobb, Jennifer Jordan, and Shahanna McKinney Baldon,

Moderated by Kyle Cherek, host of Wisconsin Foodie. Free and open to the public, no registration required. Cosponsored by UWM’s Stahl Center for Jewish Studies and Boswell.

Here's a little more about Twitty's book: Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who owns it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors' survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

Twitty's talk at the Milwaukee Public Library Mitchell Street branch on Monday, February 18, 6:30, is fully registered, but there's likely a waiting list line at the event.

Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Susan Angel Miller, author of Permission to Thrive: My Journey from Grief to Growth

Milwaukee author and speaker Susan Angel Miller tells the story of her family’s journey through illness and loss in order to confront death, illness, and trauma while conveying a hopeful message about personal growth in face of life’s inevitable adversities. Cosponsored by Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center.

Susan Angel Miller traces her extraordinary journey, which begins when her healthy fourteen-year-old daughter dies suddenly and the family's difficult decision to donate Laura's organs, saving the life of a woman with whom the Miller family would eventually cultivate an exceptional relationship.

This intensely personal story addresses the unnerving and universal topics of death, illness, and trauma while conveying a hopeful message: life-changing tragedies might be impossible to prevent or predict, but it is the response to these adversities which influences the extent and likelihood of post-traumatic emotional growth. This memorable book speaks to anyone who fears when that next bad event will occur and wonders how they will respond.

Susan Angel Miller earned degrees from the University of Michigan and Loyola, and has held leadership positions with the National Council of Jewish Women-Milwaukee Section, The Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and The Milwaukee Jewish Community Center. Angel Miller also gives presentations on empathy, post-traumatic growth (PTG), and organ donation awareness.

Wednesday, February 20, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Lizzy Mason, author of The Art of Losing, in conversation with Phoebe Dyer,

Boswell is pleased to welcome YA author Lizzy Mason for a conversation about her compelling debut novel of sisterhood, addiction, and loss with Boswell-bookseller-turned-book-publicist Phoebe Dyer. Perfect for adults and teens 14+.

On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her boyfriend, Mike, hooking up with her younger sister, Audrey. Furious, she abandons them both. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma.

Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her now ex-boyfriend has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as her sister slowly recovers, Harley begins to see a path forward with Raf’s help that she never would have believed possible.

Critics call The Art of Losing lyrical, authentic, brave, and moving. Publishers Weekly says, “The interwoven stories of many kinds of love - between friends, sisters, and possible romantic partners - give this well-paced book a depth that makes it more than just another recovery tale.”

Lizzy Mason was until recently Director of Publicity at Bloomsbury Kids. She is now Director of Marketing and Publicity at Page Street Kids. Phoebe Dyer was a bookseller at Boswell. She is now a publicist at Bloomsbury.

Thursday, February 21, 6:30 pm, at Boswell:
Stephen Savage, author of The Babysitter From Another Planet

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor winning author/illustrator of Supertruck shows off his latest picture book, a story about kids who are in for a treat when their parents leave them with a babysitter who is truly out of this world.

When their parents go out for the evening, a brother and sister are left with a babysitter unlike any they’ve ever had before—an alien from another planet! But even though she seems a little strange, the kids quickly see that this babysitter can make anything fun…even brushing their teeth and doing their homework.

It’s ET meets Mary Poppins, and as soon as the babysitter from another planet is gone, the kids can’t wait for her to come back again. With sly sci-fi references from classic movies sure to produce a chuckle from knowing parents, Savage has produced a visual and verbal tour de force that School Library Journal calls a “super read-aloud selection to share one-on-one or with group, even at bedtime.”

Stephen Savage’s accolades include a New York Times Best Illustrated Book declaration for Polar Bear Night and a Geisel Honor for Supertruck. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Friday, February 22, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, author of In the Shadow of Powers: Dantès Bellegarde in Haitian Social Thought, 2nd ed.

UWM Professor Emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies traces the history of Haiti through the life and career of his grandfather Dantès Bellegarde, one of Haiti's most influential diplomats and preeminent thinkers. Cosponsored by UWM's Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.

Throughout much of the twentieth century and even to this day, there has been a dearth of scholarship on the intellectual and political contributions of Haitians. Out of a slave rebellion, Haiti was forged as an independent nation. This should be enough to perpetuate an image of Haitians as strong and agentive people. But countries on both sides of the Atlantic were intent on sapping it of resources. More than a century of trade restrictions, the imposition of crippling fines, and, eventually, a US occupation followed. Yet even under these penalties, Haitians persisted, some becoming influential actors in the world of global politics.

First published in 1985, this second edition updates an invaluable and foundational text of the intellectual and political history of Haiti. Scholars who want to learn about the intellectual and political foundations of Haiti, its influence on other intellectuals worldwide, and its struggles against imperialism continue to find this to be an invaluable classic.

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is author of Haiti: The Breached Citadel, Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World and Invisible Powers: Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture.

Saturday, February 23, 1:00, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N Astor St:
A talk and workshop with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America and Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation 

Immanuel Presbyterian Church presents author, teacher, and speaker, Jennifer Harvey for an afternoon lecture, titled ‘Understanding Racial Identity,’ and workshop. Register here for this event. Cosponsored by Boswell. Dr. Jennifer Harvey, a sought-after speaker on the topic of racial justice, focuses much of her work on the intersection of religion, ethics, race, gender, and spirituality. This engagement with Dr. Harvey is another step in Immanuel's commitment to continuing conversation and action around the realities of racial injustice and white privilege in church and culture.

In Dear White Christians, Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race with insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement. In Raising White Kids, Harvey presents an ideal resource for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most radically diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions.

Jennifer Harvey is Professor of Religion at Drake University. Dr. Harvey also contributes to NPR, The New York Times, and Huffington Post and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches.

Saturday, February 23, 2:00 pm, at Boswell:
Andy Rash, author of The Happy Book

Milwaukee author/illustrator Andy Rash returns to Boswell for a story time and sing song fun with his latest picture book, a story about two friends who can’t escape feeling all the feels.

Camper is happy as a clam, and Clam is a happy camper. When you live in The Happy Book, the world is full of daisies and sunshine and friendship cakes. Until your best friend eats the whole cake and doesn’t save you one bite!

Moving from happiness to sadness and everything in between, Camper and Clam have a hard time finding their way back to happy. But maybe happy isn’t the goal. Maybe being a good friend is about supporting each other and feeling together. At once funny and thoughtful, The Happy Book supports social-emotional learning, a book to keep young readers company no matter how they’re feeling.

Milwaukee’s Andy Rash has illustrated for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. He is author/illustrator of the picture books Archie, The Daredevil Penguin and Unstinky.

Monday, February 25, 7:00 pm, at Boswell:
Chris Jones, author of Rise Up!: Broadway and American Society from Angels in America to Hamilton, in conversation with Mark Clements

Chief theater critic and Sunday culture columnist of the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones chats theater history with Mark Clements, Artistic Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Jones tells the story of Broadway’s renaissance, from the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, via the disaster that was Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, through the unparalleled financial, artistic and political success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. It is the story of the embrace of risk and substance, where the theatre thrived by finally embracing the bold statement and inserting itself into the national conversation.

Chris Jones was in the theaters when and where it mattered and chronicles the era in a singularly creative way, tapping into the nexus of artistic innovation, the business of show business, new forms of audience engagement, and the political fevers that can emerge. Whether you booed or applauded for the many plays and musicals discussed in Rise Up!, there is no denying that Jones vividly captures the theatre's new clout as it attempts change American society for the better.

Chris Jones is the chief theater critic and Sunday culture columnist of The Chicago Tribune. He is author of Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater and his work has appeared often in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Variety. He was named one of the most influential theater critics in America by American Theater and is a winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. Mark Clements is an award-winning director and serves as Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Rep.

More Boswell programming on our upcoming events page.

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