Saturday, March 15, 2014
In the years after emancipation, many African Americans remained in virtual slavery through such insidious practices as prison labor and sharecropping. This documentary, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, exposes a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.
Randal M. Jelks, associate professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas, provides opening and closing remarks.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Get your game on! Board games are a great way for families to relax together, bond, and learn along the way. Join Plaza staff members in the Kid Corner for an evening of Sorry, Jenga, Boggle, or new favorites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Cheese Touch.
We will have games for all ages, so bring the whole family and get ready to PLAY!
Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Despite a Union advantage in men and resources, the Confederates dominated in the early months of the Civil War. Only one federal general seemed to have the will and skill to beat them: Ulysses S. Grant.
The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Ethan S. Rafuse analyzes Grant’s personality, the factors that led to his rise to supreme commander, his military strategies, and the operations he personally directed in 1863-64 against the North’s most dangerous foe, Robert E. Lee.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Some countries are so good at educating children that virtually all their youngsters can make complex arguments and solve complex problems. In other words, they are learning to think.
In her bestselling book, author Amanda Ripley, an investigative journalist for Time and The Atlantic, follows three young Americans who have opted to study in Finland, Poland, and South Korea — hotbeds of education where rigorous teaching, parental input, and eager students are revolutionizing learning.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The 1964 murder of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese has become a defining moment in American social history. Early reporting described how she was stabbed to death on the front stoop of her New York City home in full view of 38 neighbors who “didn’t want to get involved.”
Fifty years after that notorious crime, Kevin Cook argues in his new book that much of what we think we know about the incident is just plain wrong.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath spends two hours rubbing our noses in poverty and economic exploitation, yet somehow sends us off with hope-filled hearts. Cinematographer Gregg Toland (his next job would be Citizen Kane for Orson Welles) shot the film like a WPA documentary. His black-and-white images are utterly realistic yet achingly beautiful. And the performances from Jane Darwell (who won an Oscar) and Henry Fonda – who in Tom Joad found the greatest character of his storied career – are quietly spectacular.
Movies That Matter – The Sequel continues with screenings of great films with opening and closing remarks by former Kansas City Star film critic Robert W. Butler (now a member of the Library’s Public Affairs staff).
Saturday, March 8, 2014
After spending the past two weeks as local and national celebrities — saluted on the editorial page of The Kansas City Star and celebrated on the set of television’s Good Morning America — Sophia Hoffman and Kush Sharma get back to what they do best. Spell.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Join a musical safari! Meet different African animals whose names are set to rhythm. Then pick up a percussion instrument and let the jungle jam begin!
As the rhythms of the animals blend an exciting sense of community begins to develop – along with a lot of fun.
Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Decades before Oprah, Dr. Phil, and today’s innumerable gurus peddling surefire plans for bettering ourselves, Missourian Dale Carnegie started the self-help revolution with his worldwide best seller How to Win Friends and Influence People. Life magazine named Carnegie one of its “100 most important Americans of the 20th Century.”
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Angela Elam of New Letters on the Air, aired locally on KCUR 89.3 FM, holds a public conversation with author and Independence resident Maija Rhee Devine about her new novel The Voices of Heaven. It follows the arranged marriage of a Korean couple from the final years of the Japanese occupation through the Korean War and into the economically advanced, high-tech South Korea of today.
Winner of an Emily Dickinson Poetry Award, Devine is working on a book of poems about Korean women forced to provide sexual services to Japanese troops. She is a survivor of the Korean War.