Book Trailer of the Week

In celebration of African American History Month, our next Book Trailer of the Week is for Isabel Wilkerson’s phenomenal The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.  Named one of the NY Times’ 10 Best Books of 2010, this beautifully written masterwork focuses on the years 1915 to 1970 when six million black Southerners undertook an exodus from the terrors of Jim Crow to an uncertain future in the North.  Combining extensive research with the riveting stories of three remarkable men and women who made the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, resonating portrait of a pivotal time in American history.

Alliance Francaise de Chicago celebrates “Black Paris”

A lecture highlighting the history of Africans and African Americans in Paris, France will be held on February 1 at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, 810 N. Dearborn.

The travel guide discovery of historical African-American Paris will be lead by Kiratiana Freelon, a Harvard graduate who has traveled and lived in over 25 countries, and is the author of Kiratiana’s Guide to Black Paris: Get Lost and Get Found.
The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Alliance, 54 W. Chicago Avenue entrance. Free admission for members and $5 for non-members. Contact Alliance Francaise at (312) 337-1070 for details. Register at

Susan M., RA

The Open Road Wasn’t Quite Open to All

For almost three decades beginning in 1936, many African-American travelers relied on a booklet to help them decide where they could comfortably eat, sleep, buy gas, find a tailor or beauty parlor, shop on a honeymoon to Niagara Falls, or go out at night. In 1949, when the guide was 80 pages, there were five recommended hotels in Atlanta. In Cheyenne, Wyo., the Barbeque Inn was the place to stay.

(read more here…)

Susan M., RA