Yes, Edward Kennedy Ellington was a teenager in Washington, DC. He played music at parties. He attended Armstrong High School. He had a job at the Griffith Stadium. He was a visual artist as well as a musician. And he had friends. He had a best friend named Edgar McEntree. The two young men took this photo which was in my late aunt’s photo album. Edgar was her uncle. Two days ago, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington would’ve been 114 years old. You never hear the story of Edward and his “friend, crony, and buddy” Edgar except in Ellington’s own words. I have no idea what became of Edgar McEntree who gave Edward the name “Duke.” I’m sure New Yorkers took the credit for giving this stylish musical Washingtonian a title. No. Edward was “Duke” before there was a “Renaissance.”
The days after the Boston Marathan bombing, I felt lifeless everywhere except my legs. I buried myself in work, but my thoughts were locked on wanting to know Who did it? How? and Why? Every day was lived out in fragments — things to do, check the news, calls to make, check the news, check in with E-Bert, check the news. I made time to exercise — it helps get oxygen to the brain. Shakes down emotional baggage. Never have I felt the weight, energy and aliveness of my ability to run, walk, stoop or sit. This was after having seen photos online of the carnage of bombing victims, limbs lost when only minutes earlier, these men and women were walking, running, or simply standing or sitting with legs crossed. I can only imagine their lives now if they survived at all.
Suspects have been identified. The questions remain.
Is it time to pull the plug on 24/7 cable news [CNN]? Too much time to fill and report wrong information.
How will the bombing affect the future of the Boston Marathon? The marathon will go on. It’s had its history of controversy (Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the marathon – 1967), but not of this magnitude. What will this chapter compell next year’s marathon runners to meet the challenge?
Chechnya? Should we review the 2003 Moscow theater hostage crisis?
What happens to the people who were falsely accused (New York Post, Reddit)? Their lives will not be the same or safe for some time, I’m sure. I guess for the Murdoch corporation which also owns Fox, comedy is stranger than truth (see below). Reddit has issued an apology and a help chat for the person their news service mis-identified as a suspect.
Will religious affiliation be part of our personal pro-files? Attacks and bogus home inspections of Muslim residents in Massachusetts were reported while suspects were still at large.
How do the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing affect the immigration debate?
Does technology make us feel safer? Are we as smart as we appear to be in the movies?
Will anyone see this movie ["The Company You Keep"] now?
I’ll say “yes.” A “NOT” for “The Family Guy,” and UK Film4 channel’s “Four Lions” (2010). Back to grandma’s saying – “There’s a lot of truth in a joke.”
If the numbers support that the majority of mass murders are carried out by one gender, will there ever be a serious study of the male genetic, psychological, social construct before the human species becomes extinct? Even some of the caring men I know brush this one off as “it is what it is” therefore, a man has to lead this discussion very seriously.
Lockdowns – a new norm? I don’t get out much anyway.
Where do we start to build community? So many ways to keep us apart.
Special guest authors Thomas Mallon (Watergate), Ann McLaughlin (The House On Q Street), and editor Adam McKible (When Washington Was In Vogue) will be at the event with readings from their books. After the reading, a Q&A with the authors and crime novelist George Pelecanos (Right as Rain, Soul Circus, The Night Gardener, and many others) will follow to discuss why they chose Washington, DC neighborhoods as the setting for their stories. There will also be a dramatic reading by Chivonnie Gius from “Common Law,” featured in Edward P. Jones‘ short story collection All Aunt Hagar’s Children. Launch curator Kim Roberts, who’s created several walking tours of literary DC (and is editor of Beltway Online Poetry Quarterly), will read from The House On Q Street. The launch will be MC’d by former DC Citypaper Arts Editor Mark Athitakis who was the lead judge for Citypaper’s 2013 Fiction issue. Old school music from the 20s to the 70s will be mixed by DJ 2Tone Jones.
…the stakes are higher for D.C. fiction, because unlike any other metropolis it battles the perception that those monuments are the city.
— Mark Athitakis
DC By the Book is a website featuring a custom map that allows anyone to explore the landscape of DC through the eyes of local and nationally-known authors. When a user clicks on a map icon, the popup box displays a passage from a work of fiction describing that location, as well as the book title (which links to the DC Public Library catalog record for the item), author, and other ancillary information about the work. Users will be able to browse the map or search using various filters, so that they could, for example, view only locations linked to a single author, or locations only described in crime fiction, or locations from a specific era.
However, in order for the map to have any icons on it, passages from DC fiction will need to be entered. This is done via a simple form on the website that anyone can access as they’re reading a book set in Washington, DC. Several “mapathon” events will be held across the city in 2013 where anyone can drop by, read a book, and enter passages. This excerpt from Mallon’s Watergate is included in the slide show (by Michon Boston) that will accompany the author’s reading at the March 27th kickoff.
Bring your laptop to the kickoff or go to a station at Busboys and Poets (they have WiFi) to take the grand tour, and start reading and entering locations by authors ranging from Henry Adams, Stephen Collins, Ward Just, Susan Richards Shreve, George Pelecanos, Kia DuPree, and more.
Visit DC By the Book at www.dcbythebook.org, and explore passages from great works of fiction about DC and upload content from your own reads. Contact info[at]dcbythebook[dot]org to learn more.
LISTEN TO THE “DC BY THE BOOK” segment on WAMU’s “KOJO NNAMDI SHOW” (March 21, 2013)
Susan Richards Shreve
Professor, George Mason University; co-chair, PEN/Faulkner Foundation Board of Directors; author.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Ross
Librarian, D.C. Public Library; co-creator, DC By the Book
Professor and Chair, Department of English, Howard University
I kept my worlds very separate and I think when I first started thinking about trying to publish poetry I realized that the business and government worlds that I was functioning in, in a fairly high level, didn’t really respect people that engaged in the arts. And likewise, in artistic communities, people that have substantial jobs outside those artistic communities tend to be looked at with suspicion.
Michael Astrue, former Social Security Commissioner
aka A.M. Juster, poet
Listen to Michael Astrue’s complete interview on NPR – Michel Martin’s “Tell Me More”
Here’s what’s coming up for Community Cinema DC at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center (the second venue is Busboys and Poets). You’ll want to be there and get involved. Find a Community Cinema screening near you — the season continues through June 2013. And there’s no admission fee – Read FREE – only a reservation is requested.
THE POWERBROKER: WHITNEY YOUNG’S FIGHT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
Sunday, January 27 at 3 PM
Washington DCJCC, 1529 16th Street, NW
Reservations: Eventbrite or call 202-939-0794
Whitney Young, Jr., the civil rights champion who negotiated with top leaders of industry and government to create greater opportunities for minorities, is the subject of a new documentary, The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights. Narrated by Alfre Woodard, The Powerbroker is executive produced by Young’s niece, Emmy® Award-winning journalist Bonnie Boswell and produced by Ms. Boswell, her son Taylor Hamilton, and Christine Khalafian.
A. PETER BAILEY is an acclaimed journalist, Author, Lecturer, and a founding member of The Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), organized in 1964 by Malcolm X. Bailey was editor of the OAAU newsletter, Blacklash. He was one of the last few persons to speak with Brother Malcolm X on the day of his assassination (February 21, 1965) and served as one of the pallbearers at his funeral. He has contributed to numerous books, articles, and documentaries about the celebrated leader.
Bailey, a former editor of Ebony magazine, is the author of Harlem: Precious Memories, Great Expectations, co-author of Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey with Alvin Ailey and co-author of Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X with Rodnell P. Collins (nephew of Malcolm X). He assisted John Henrik Clarke with the editing of Malcolm X: The Man and His Times. While Associate Director of The Black Theatre Alliance (BTA), Bailey edited the BTA Newsletter. He has also contributed articles to numerous publications including Essence, Black Enterprise, Jet Magazine, the New York Times, the Negro Digest, Black World, The Black Collegian, and the New York Daily News.
RAYMOND A. WINBUSH, Ph.D. is director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University. A clinical psychologist and director of The Warrior Institute (TWI), Dr. Winbush is engaged in research concerning adolescent development, education, health and Black men and boys. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Warrior Method: A Parents’ Guide to Rearing Healthy Black Boys and Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations. In 2007, Winbush traveled to Australia to participate in a 5-day National Conference on Racism held at Murdoch University and delivered a lecture series at Australian National University.Winbush conducts workshops based upon The Warrior Method locally, nationally and internationally. The Warrior Method has been incorporated in school systems in Baltimore, MD; Worchester, MA; Dallas, TX; Brixton, United Kingdom; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
SOUL FOOD JUNKIES
Sunday, February 10 at 3 PM
Washington DCJCC, 1529 16th Street, NW
Reservations: Eventbrite or call 202-939-0794
Inspired by his own family’s complex relationship with “soul food” — fried chicken, ribs, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler, and the whole panoply of down-home foods made with grease, sugar, and love — acclaimed filmmaker Byron Hurt asks whether this diet is nurturing or destroying the African American community. With humor and heart, Hurt questions the effects of “soul food” on the health of not only African Americans, but all who guiltily consume this most comforting of American comfort foods.
Michael W. Twitty, a writer, culinary historian , and historical interpreter personally charged with preparing, preserving and promoting African American foodways and its parent traditions in Africa and her Diaspora and its legacy in the food culture of the American South. Michael is a Judaic studies teacher from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area and his interests include food culture, food history, Jewish cultural issues, African American history and cultural politics. His blog, Afroculinaria, highlights and addresses food’s critical role in the development and definition of African American civilization and the politics of consumption and cultural ownership that surround it.
ITVS Community Cinema presents documentaries from the PBS series “Independent Lens” to introduce audiences to people who are active with the issues and stories presented in the film, encourage dialogue, and connect people in a way that inspires them to “get involved.” Community Cinema is a national public engagement initiative presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in partnershp with public television stations, national and local organizations and institutions.