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Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Mystery Of Edith Anisfield Wolf, Founder Of Our Book Prize

edith anisfield wolfA photo of Edith Anisfield Wolf as a young woman Sometimes when I need serious advice, I visit Edith. Edith Anisfield Wolf, the founder of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, is interred in the mausoleum at Knollwood Cemetery in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. You’ll find her remains in the corridor to the right of the little chapel as one walks in: #321. I track down one of the battered folding chairs scattered around the mausoleum and sit in the humid quiet. She is one of the most influential women in my life who I have never met. When I first started getting to research the poet and philanthropist, I was shocked by the paucity of information about her. The archives at the Cleveland Public Library contain nearly every book that won the Anisfield-Wolf award, but information about the... Read More →

The Enduring Legacy Of Gordon Parks Featured At Cleveland Museum Of Art

Gordon Parks Self-Portrait Photographer, filmmaker, poet and novelist Gordon Parks died in 2006 at the age of 93. But the 1998 winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for lifetime achievement continues to exert a centrifugal force on American culture, well into the 21st century. Kendrick Lamar sampled Parks’ photographs for his music video “Element.” And a mesmerizing art exhibit, concentrating on Parks’ first decade of visual work, is now open to all at the Cleveland Museum of Art through June 30. There is no admissions charge. The National Gallery of Art curated “Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950.” It features many iconic images, perhaps none more arresting than Ella Watson in 1942 in a polka-dot dress, a charwoman who cleaned government buildings in... Read More →

Four Cleveland Students Honored For Their Social Justice Work

From left to right, Karson Baldwin, Sandhya Gupta, Elizabeth Metz, Jalen Brown and Brooke Peppard, a board member of the Princeton Prize on Race Relations. Photo Credit: Jeff Ivey Sophomore Elizabeth Metz was dismayed by students at Beachwood High School arguing whether slavery or the Holocaust was worse. Administrators say her student-led forums have improved campus race relations more than faculty and staff have been able to do. Senior Jalen Brown saw the toxic mix of homophobia and racism in the hallways of the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine. He formed a student cadre called “Specific and General Acceptance” to explore this intersection. One of their goals: fewer suicides. Senior Kye Harrell led a silent sit-in at Shaker Heights High School, gathering more than... Read More →
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