AAMLO Primed for In-Depth Discussion of the Civil War

Release Date: 
Tue, 01/10/2012

The African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), 659 14th Street, begins a five-part reading and discussion series, called Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War, with an introductory session on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at 2pm. The series will examine the historical complexity and irony associated with what has been called "the horrible gift of freedom", otherwise known as the Emancipation Proclamation. The series will continue with monthly sessions until June.

Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War will follow the American Library Association's popular Let's Talk About It model, which engages participants in discussion of a set of common texts selected by a nationally known scholar for their relevance to a larger, overarching theme.

Rick Moss, historian and AAMLO Chief Curator and resident scholar, will lead an ongoing discussion of books received as part of the grant: March by Geraldine Brooks; Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James McPherson, and America's War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries, an anthology of historical fiction, speeches, diaries, memoirs, biography, and short stories, edited by national project scholar Edward L. Ayers and co-published by NEH and ALA.

The discussion group will meet one Saturday every month, always with a 2pm start time. Dates have been announced: February 11, March 10, April 21, May 26, and June 23.

AAMLO, a branch of the Oakland Public Library, received a $3,000 grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to host this serious reading and discussion series, which will encourage participants to consider the legacy of the Civil War and emancipation. Local support for the series is provided by the Friends of the Oakland Public Library (FOPL).

Participants are asked to commit to attending every program and be willing to engage in a serious discussion of the material. For details, please visit the AAMLO web page or contact Veda Silva, Project Director, 510-637-0200.