“Hair Love”

I met a friend for lunch in early January of this year. Conversation turned to an acquaintance of hers that was involved in an animated film. She told me that the writer/director and the rest of their team were hoping for an Oscar nomination for “Hair Love“. “This is a 6 minute animated short film that centers around the relationship between an African-American father, Stephen, his daughter, Zuri and her hair.”

The film not only got the nomination in January but Matthew Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver received an Oscar for their film. Take 6 minutes out of your day and watch the love between a father and his daughter.

Katherine Johnson 1918 – 2020

Today marks the passing of one of the great minds of mathematics. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA during the Space Race, contributed to projects such as America’s first human space flight, the first moon landing, and the Space Shuttle.

In 2015 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians, for her 33 years of work with NASA.

She was best known for the calculations that helped put John Glenn in orbit around the Earth, the story behind Hidden Figures, available at the library in DVD, book, eBook, and eAudio format.

The Scholarship of Dr. W. E. B. DuBois


Dr. W. E. B. DuBois
Born: February 23, 1868
Died: August 27, 1963

William Edward Burghardt DuBois was born on February 23, 1868. He began his journey as a scholar in 1884 when he graduated from high school. Sadly, his mother passed away in 1885. Nevertheless, from 1886 until 1887, DuBois continued to develop as a scholar and he taught in rural Alexandria, Tennessee. He completed a BA degree at Fisk University in 1888. He continued his scholarly journey at Harvard University where he earned a BA cum laude in philosophy in 1890.

DuBois continued his scholarly journey at Harvard University and earned a MA in history in 1891, as well as a PhD in history in 1895. Further, he published his doctoral thesis in 1896 and published The Souls of Black Folk in 1903. The scholarship of Dr. W. E. B. DuBois continues to enlighten and inspire many scholars globally today! Click here to listen to the audio book.

Uncover: The Watts Riot of 1965 (video)

Moraine Valley students and staff will hear the story about the largest urban rebellion of the Civil rights era. This session will focus on the cause, timeline of events and historical significance of this known riot.

New to Collection: The Life of Frederick Douglass Graphic Novel

New to the collection is a graphic novel biography, The Life of Frederick Douglass, written by David F. Walker with art by Damon Smyth. It tells the story of Douglass’s life through beautiful illustrations. He lived during the 19th century, was born into slavery in Maryland, learned to read even though it was forbidden to slaves, and ended up becoming one of America’s greatest writers. He worked to abolish slavery and believed in the equality of all. He also was one of the most photographed Americans of the 19th century, even more so than Abraham Lincoln! “Frederick Douglass was acutely aware of the fact that photographs could be used to help define his image in the public eye and, as a result, also influence how white people viewed blacks. In many pictures, his eyes are cast directly at the camera, an uncommon practice at the time, which resulted in a seemingly defiant expression” (Walker, p. 99). His photos were taken without him smiling because he didn’t want to portray “the racist caricature of a ‘happy slave’” (Wikipedia).

If you are not a fan of the graphic novel medium, a biography is a good way to try it out because the illustrations really bring the person’s story to life, which is helpful when learning about historical subjects. It’s not unlike how “Hamilton the Musical” resonated with people and presented a different way of re-telling history, so, too can a graphic novel achieve the same.

Frederick Douglass in MVCC’s collection:

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom (video)

Moraine Valley Community College students will learn about the oldest known holiday to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. The session will focus on the historical significance and cultural traditions of the forgotten holiday. This discussion is part of the Black History Month Celebration.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Monologues from African-American History

Hear their stories. Learn about prominent black historical figures followed by a discussion on the history, role and impact they had on society.
Featured figures include:
-Mary Eliza Mahoney
-Jean Baptiste du Sable
-Gwen Ifill
-Aretha Franklin
-Muhammad Ali
-Shirley Chisholm
-Thurgood Marshall
-Dr. Mae C Jamieson
-Alvin Ailey

Live Museum and Monologues Project

The audio of this discussion is available below: