ORANGE COUNT – The Town of Chapel Hill is kicking off 2014 by asking you to make a resolution to drive with care and pay attention when walking or biking.
Chapel Hill continues to try to be a walk- and bike-friendly town with the promotion of safety at crosswalks and on roadways.
The Town is hosting three crosswalk education outreach sessions for motorist, pedestrians and drivers:
• January 8 – 10 to 11 a.m. on Pittsboro Street near SECU and McCauley Street
• January 22 – 5 to 6 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
• January 28 – 8 to 9 a.m. on Franklin Street near Granville Towers and E. Franklin Street at Elizabeth Street (Stroud Hill)
You still have time to register as a Book Giver for World Book Night.
World Book Night is an annual celebration in which people spread the love of reading by going out into their communities and give out paperbacks to light and non-readers.
Each Book Giver receives 20 World Book Night paperbacks to give out, and OrangeCounty’s main library will be one of the pickup sites for the givers. The library will also hold a reception for the givers the week before World Book Night.
World Book Night is April 23 this year. Tens of thousands are expected to participate again.
You have until January 5 to register to be a Book Giver.
For more information, click here.
Take a trip to the Orange County main library and you’ll see the Orange County Animal Services decorations of shelter pets in need of adoption.
Photos of animals that need a new home and some who have already gotten one will be on display until January 11 as part of the “Home for the Holidays” annual campaign to raise awareness for the shelter.
Animal Services is also giving a special deal for adoptions with dogs available for $60 and cats available for $50.
If you want to help Orange County Animal Services—even if it’s just to donate food—you can find more information by clicking here.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/road-safety-2014-world-book-night-home-holidays/
CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Public Library has come together with local artists to commemorate Banned Books Week with a different trading card for each day.
Banned Books Week begins on Sunday. Director of the Chapel Hill Public Library, Susan Brown, says that the event is a national celebration of the freedom to read.
“Sponsored by libraries, book stores, and publishers, that seeks to educate people about the challenges to intellectual freedom, books that are banned, books that are taken out of schools, books that are even censored,” Brown says.
Even today, books continue to be banned from schools and libraries. Recently, in Randolph County, public schools voted to remove Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” a classic mid-twentieth century novel, from the school curriculum and library. Brown says that in cases like this, banning books is limiting access.
“It’s very interesting, I think sometimes people bring challenges to books for some good reasons in the sense they want to protect their children from difficult issues, or they are maybe offended by language,” Brown says. “But by taking these books out of places, they are limiting the access for people that want to be challenged or aren’t offended by those issues.”
This year, the Chapel Hill Public Library asked artists to submit works inspired by banned books or authors to be used for trading cards. Brown started this community involvement last year when she was the marketing director at the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Kansas.
“The idea is that it is a unique way to get people to engage with this issue, and it also brings in the artistic community, and often the artists have challenges to their work as well,” Brown says.
From a selection of 48 submissions, a small jury including Brown,Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Daniel Wallace, and others from the arts community selected the seven that will be presented during the week. Each day, a new card will be revealed. Brown says that the cards cover a range of books and art styles.
“So there’s everything in there from Charlotte’s Web to Brave New World to Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” Brown says. “So, like I said, there’s all kind of different art and all kinds of different books represented.”
The library will host an exhibition of all forty-eight entries to the project, and 500 cards will be available free at the library. Each day, you can visit the library and pick up the card of the day. Cards will also be available for purchase online, and the proceeds will go back towards helping the library.
For information on purchasing cards click here.http://chapelboro.com/news/arts/banned-books-week-trading-cards/
The best thing about the new movie and best-selling book, “The Help,” may be something other than the compelling story and the view into the relationships between white women and their black servants.
These basketball stories were tiny cracks in the wall of segregation. But it was the accumulation of many tiny cracks that helped bring down that wall. So, every one of those little cracks in is worth remembering and celebrating today.http://chapelboro.com/columns/one-on-one/basketball-and-the-small-cracks-in-the-wall-of-segregation/
“You-all afraid if we take over we might treat y’all like you treated us. And you might be right.”
It sounds like something Minny, one of the characters in “The Help” (either the book or the new movie), might say to one of the white women who treated their African American servants with such little respect.
But the quote comes, not from “The Help,” but from another book set in 1963 that also explores the changing dynamics of relations between whites and blacks in a southern town. I will give you that book’s title in a minute.
“The Help” and its story of black maids and how they had to kowtow to their white employers has been a best-selling book for more than two years.
What explains its popularity? A good story, sympathetic main characters, and evil villains who get put in their places are part of the answer.
Another reason, I think, is that it has given whites a pathway to understand, confess, and be exorcised from guilt for their part in an exploitive system in which black women lovingly raised white children while their own children and families were left to their own devices.
The book and the movie have not been so popular in the black community.
Last year, I tried to persuade a black pastor to organize some older women in his congregation to discuss “The Help” with whites. He made inquiries and reported to me that he could find no interest in his congregation in such a project.
Recently, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts helped white me understand the mixed feelings that blacks have about “The Help.”
“As Americans,” he wrote, “we lie about race. We lie profligately, obstinately and repeatedly. The first lie is of its existence as an immutable reality delivered unto us from the very hand of God.
“That lie undergirds all the other lies, lies of Negro criminality, mendacity, ineducability. Lies of sexless mammies and oversexed wenches. Lies of docile child-men and brutal bucks. Lies that exonerate conscience and cover sin with sanctimony. Lies that pinched off avenues of aspiration till “the help” was all a Negro woman was left to be.
“I think of those lies sometimes when aging white southerners contact me to share sepia-toned reminiscences about some beloved old nanny who raised them, taught them, loved them, and who was almost a member of the family.
“Reading their emails, I wonder if those folks understand even now, a lifetime later, that that woman did not exist simply as a walk-on character in a white person’s life drama, that she was a fully formed human being with a life, and dreams and dreads of her own.”
Nevertheless, Pitts concedes that “The Help” is a triumph, an “imperfect triumph to have understood this and seek to make others understand it, too.”
Two recent books by North Carolinians set in 1963 can also help us understand Pitts’s “this” as they explore the relationships between blacks and their white employers. One of them, Clyde Edgerton’s “Night Train,” is a compelling read.
It is the source of this column’s opening quote.
The other recent book set in 1963 is UNC-Chapel Hill professor Minrose Gwin’s “The Queen Of Palmyra,” about a young white girl and the trials of the African-American woman who is her family’s servant. It is even deeper, richer, and better than the “The Help.”
Another new book, “The Dry Grass of August” by Anna Jean Mayhew, takes us all the way back to the racially-segregated Charlotte of 1954 and the poignant story of a young girl who loves her family’s African American servant and does not understand the brutal racism that ultimately destroys the person who was the center of her family.http://chapelboro.com/columns/one-on-one/dealing-with-the-help/
We have changed.