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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Winners Of 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Bring Courage To Literature

Winners of the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize from left to right: Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner for The Sympathizer; Marilynne Robinson, Holbrooke Award winner for Lifetime Achievement; Susan Southard winner for NagasakiMarilynne Robinson – she of the incandescent, Pulitzer-winning prose – wasn’t thinking about her celebrated fiction last month, even though she took clear pleasure recalling its pull in 2015 bringing President Barack Obama to Iowa to interview her. Instead, the winner of Lifetime Achievement from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize dwelt last month on her 1989 nonfiction Mother Country.“I can report that I’ve been sued only once – and that for a book about nuclear waste disposal by the United Kingdom that makes the Irish Sea the most radioactive water in the... Read More →

Tavis Smiley Brings “Courting Justice” To Cleveland

 Cross the American criminal justice system, and – if you are unlucky -- prepare for crushing debt.Here are a smattering of the possible fees awaiting defendants: for court appearances, for room and board in jail or prison, for court-required drug testing, counseling or community service, for a public defender or for electronic monitoring.In the two decades, tens of millions of Americans have been fined or billed as part of their punishment for a criminal offense. And this practice has spiked -- in 1986, 12 percent of those incarcerated were also fined, by 2004 some 37 percent were slapped with fines, while 66 percent faced both fines and fees.Late fees and collection penalties compound these debts into punitive amounts, especially for anyone living in poverty. In 2011, the city of... Read More →

Historian Michael Twitty Sets “A Place At The Table,” Serves Up A Hearty Helping Of Culinary Justice

“Call soul food what it is: the edible scripture of the Black aesthetic, the culinary answer to jazz, memory food of a people.”That’s a tweet from Michael Twitty, a culinary historian from Maryland, who sees Cleveland as “the deep north.” To stay warm, he kept on his light grey jacket as he addressed the audience at the Cleveland Natural History Museum gathered for his December talk, “A Place at the Table.”He begins with a question: “What if the enslaved could tell their story through food?” The story of American history, he argues, lies within the story of the foods people in bondage ate and the meals they cooked for others. It grieves him that so many hadn’t been properly acknowledged or recorded.Via his food blog, AfroCulinaria.com, Twitty seeks culinary... Read More →
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