ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre

policACT (A Contemporary Theatre) presents UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith from June 8 to July 8, 2018. UNTIL THE FLOOD focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show: ACT’s UNTIL THE FLOOD: Beyond the Theatre  

The names and places, unfortunately, are tragically familiar: Ferguson, Trayvon, Baltimore, Philando, Tamir, Baton Rouge, and Charles Kinseythe list goes on. How can we take it in? What does it mean? How can we comprehend?

Obie Award winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Dael Orlandersmith is bringing her work, UNTIL THE FLOOD, to ACT, with her quest of understanding how we got here and what it signifies. Focusing on Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown, the one-act drama uses eight composite characters from the area to explore issues of race, social unrest, and political power. The characters all are working to find their standpoint with racial matters in our society, but from a personal level, ranging from teenagers to seniors, and from anger to reflection. Continue reading “ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre”

20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 2: Diversity

Here at the library, we’re often asked by both locals and newcomers, “What books are must reads for Seattleites?” While we’re not much for ‘must’ or ‘should,’ we thought we’d list twenty titles that capture essential aspects of the history and culture of this place. Not a definitive list: a jumping off place. Our first post looked at Seattle’s history, and in today’s post we revisit that history through the lens of diversity.

no-no-boyThere are many excellent books about the Internment of Japanese Americans during the second World War, but one of the earliest – and one that holds special significance for Seattleites – is John Okada’s 1957 novel No-No Boy. After two years in an internment camp and two years in federal prison for declining military service and a loyalty oath, Ichiro Yamada returns home to Seattle to find himself alienated on all sides. For another view of experiences of Seattle’s Japanese Americans before and during the War, check out Monica Sone’s 1953 memoir Nisei Daughter
Continue reading “20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 2: Diversity”

Reading Race: Best Fiction of 2015

When it comes to developing a better understanding of race in America, no tweet, speech or blog post can help us to explore complex realities or inspire empathy and understanding with anything like the thoroughness and subtlety of a good novel. 2015 saw the publication of a wealth of fiction exploring racial issues and realities through a rich variety of styles, outlooks and voices, including satire, tragedy and even suspense. Here is a small sampling of the best fiction on race published last year:

Continue reading “Reading Race: Best Fiction of 2015”

Reading Race: Best Non-Fiction of 2015

The books we read reflect the interests and concerns of our times, so it is no surprise that 2015 was an important year for non-fiction that delved into race in America. As we struggle to reach better awareness and deeper understanding, few things are quite so helpful as a good book. Beyond merely informing our views, books provide us with grounds for discussion and forums where diverse people can meet and explore our shared interests and concerns, and our diverse outlooks and experiences.

2015 saw the publication of many outstanding non-fiction books involving race: here is a small sampling.

Continue reading “Reading Race: Best Non-Fiction of 2015”