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Atlanta ‘Big Read’ events to explore Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes’


The Big Read selection by the Margaret Mitchell House Literary Center

Time to pull out those copies of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” if you ever let them get buried in the bookshelf.

From an article by AJCer Howard Pousner:

The Atlanta History Center’s literary division has selected Hurston’s seminal 1937 novel for its second annual the Big Read event. Atlantans are encouraged to read the Harlem Renaissance writer’s most popular work between Jan. 30-March 16, whether solo or part of a book or discussion group.

The History Center is launching related programs (all of it free) beginning Feb. 17, from a Harlem Renaissance kick-off party to book readings and film showings.

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative taken up every year by communities all over the United States. You might have read last year’s pick by the Margaret Mitchell House Literary Center, “The Great Gatsby.”

A quick search on the NEA’s Big Read community site points out that Kennesaw State University is reading “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” and Towne Lake Arts Centre in Woodstock and a library in Carrollton are reading “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

Here are some Atlanta Big Read-related events coming up:

  • “Civil War to Civil Rights,” a series of exhibitions and programs exploring American history from the 1860s through the 1960s, with the exhibit “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” on Jan. 30 at the Atlanta History Center.
  • The Big Read will kick off Feb. 17 with a free Harlem Renaissance Party, including performances by Yvonne Singh, musical performance by Kyshona Armstrong and guided tours of “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” at the Atlanta History Center.
  • The Oprah Winfrey-produced version of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” will show from noon-5 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the History Center.
  • Hurston scholar Deborah Plant will give a talk Feb. 24 at the Decatur Public Library, and a keynote Feb. 25 at Spelman College’s Cosby Auditorium.
  • Wrapped in Rainbows” author Valerie Boyd will give a talk March 8 at Margaret Mitchell House.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

5 comments Add your comment

[...] Books and music: The Big Read Kickoff Harlem Renaissance Celebration, 6-8:30 p.m., Atlanta History Center, Atlanta. FREE. Read more. [...]

[...] your calendars for Feb. 17 for the Big Read free kickoff party from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Atlanta History Center. Celebrating the Harlem [...]

Well OK thanks for suggesting books but....

January 26th, 2010
11:56 am

I was only teasing a little. You’re a sweet girl.

Jamie Gumbrecht

January 25th, 2010
4:22 pm

While this is a fabulous book, I’m thinking the events listed below might be the more actively fun part. Suggestions and ideas always welcome, too!

Well OK thanks for suggesting books but....

January 25th, 2010
1:57 pm

What else is fun Jamie?