This IU Lifelong Learning class is being held in conjunction with the Friends of the Library's Power of Words
program. It will provide critical thought and context to the works of Jacqueline Woodson, our featured author for the Power of Words. The class includes two sessions. Generations in Motion: African American Portraits
will be led by John McCluskey on March 1, while the second class, Navigating Childhood and Society in Recent African American Films,
will be led by Audrey McCluskey on March 8. Audrey and John are Emeriti Faculty, Indiana University, African American and African Diaspora Studies.
This class will be held virtually course fee is $25 for both classes. Register here.
This class was originally scheduled to take place in person on January 27 and February 3 and included the Power of Words book signing and Our Voice exhibit opening reception on February 5.
If you would like to support the Power of Words, please purchase your Premium ticket at givebox.com/pow2022
. You will enjoy preferred seating for the Power of Words, a ticket to the book signing at the Library following the event, and the Gala opening reception for the Marian Armstrong exhibit, Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winners
This course is approved by the Indiana State Library for 4 General Library Education Units (LEU’s). Earn an additional 2 LEU's by attending Woodson's Power of Words talk at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Contact Grier Carson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information and requirements.
Please register at mcpl.info/iupow
Thursday, Jan. 27
Generations in Motion: African American Portraits
“All growth is change, but all change is not growth.”
The above comment by essayist and novelist James Baldwin is a cue for this course’s exploration of the theme of transition in African American writing. This theme has been portrayed, dramatized, and symbolized in countless ways throughout the history of formal and informal literature. Class readings and commentary will focus on examples of two emphases.
The first is physical migration, such as that from the rural South to the urban North, and from the Caribbean to the U.S. What memories accompany the luggage in these journeys? What are the specific expectations for the “new land”? (Consider here The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson).
The second form of transition is in accounts of growth and development into adulthood. Certainly, both transitions can occur simultaneously in the published works. (Consider Richard Wright’s classic, Black Boy). How are the meanings of adulthood articulated, modeled, or challenged within these works? How might knowledge of these transitions and the questions they raise enter future conversations and understanding of cultural and political movements?
We will explore sample text from several short stories and a non-fiction narrative. Excerpts will be handed out in class.
About the Instructor:
John McCluskey, Jr., is professor emeritus of African American and African diaspora studies and English at IU Bloomington. He is author of two novels, Look What They Done to My Song and Mr. America’s Last Season Blues. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and collections including Ploughshares, Southern Review, Ancestral House: The Black Short Story in the Americas and Europe, Best American Short Stories and Calling the Wind.