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Clyde Ford in Conversation with George Dyson, Think Black: A Memoir

Sat, 02/06/2021 - 6:00pm
WA

We're welcoming these two fantastic authors BACK to the Virtual Readings Gallery and this time the tables are turned! We're celebrating the paperback release of Clyde Ford's award-winning memoir with a conversation between him and George Dyson.

CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

In this thought-provoking and heartbreaking memoir, an award-winning writer tells the story of his father, John Stanley Ford, the first black software engineer at IBM, revealing how racism insidiously affected his father’s view of himself and their relationship. 

In 1947, Thomas J. Watson set out to find the best and brightest minds for IBM. At City College he met young accounting student John Stanley Ford and hired him to become IBM’s first black software engineer. But not all of the company’s white employees refused to accept a black colleague and did everything in their power to humiliate, subvert, and undermine Ford. Yet Ford would not quit. Viewing the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, he comported himself with dignity and professionalism, and relied on his community and his "street smarts" to succeed. He did not know that his hiring was meant to distract from IBM’s dubious business practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.

While Ford remained at IBM, it came at great emotional cost to himself and his family, especially his son Clyde. Overlooked for promotions he deserved, the embittered Ford began blaming his fate on his skin color and the notion that darker-skinned people like him were less intelligent and less capable—beliefs that painfully divided him and Clyde, who followed him to IBM two decades later. From his first day of work—with his wide-lapelled suit, bright red turtleneck, and huge afro—Clyde made clear he was different. Only IBM hadn’t changed. As he, too, experienced the same institutional racism, Clyde began to better understand the subtle yet daring ways his father had fought back.

Clyde W. Ford was born in NYC. He’s the author of thirteen works of fiction and non-fiction. He's also a psychotherapist, an accomplished mythologist, and a sought-after public speaker. In 2006, Ford received the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award in African American fiction. He was named a “Literary Lion” by the King County Library System in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Clyde was voted “Best Writer of Bellingham, Washington” in 2006 and 2007 by readers of the Cascadia Weekly and he received the 2007 Bellingham, Washington Mayor’s Arts Award in Literature. Ford is currently a speaker for Humanities Washington, an affiliate of the NEA, where he presents a program entitled, "Let's Talk About Race," around the state. Clyde has participated in hundreds of media interviews and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, New Dimensions Radio, and National Public Radio. He lives in Bellingham, Washington. 

George Dyson, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, is an independent historian of technology whose subjects have included the development (and redevelopment) of the Aleut kayak (Baidarka, 1986), the evolution of artificial intelligence (Darwin Among the Machines, 1997), a path not taken into space (Project Orion, 2002), and the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II (Turing’s Cathedral, 2012). His newest book, Analogia, where he presents a startling look back at the analog age and life before the digital revolution—and an unsettling vision of what comes next. Dyson lives in Bellingham.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 02/07/2021 - 2:00pm
WA

Sunday, February 7, 2:00pm  *Note: We are meeting one week earlier this month.

Join us for a discussion of the 2021 Whatcom READS selection.  Register here to access the meeting!

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning, and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human.
But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.

Esi Edugyan is author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
 

VB Reads...Armchair Historians

Mon, 02/08/2021 - 7:00pm

Monday, February 8, 7:00pm

Register here to access the meeting!

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad by Gordon H. Chang

WINNER OF THE ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE 
WINNER OF THE CHINESE AMERICAN LIBRARIANS ASSOCIATION BEST BOOK AWARD

A groundbreaking, breathtaking history of the Chinese workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad, helping to forge modern America only to disappear into the shadows of history until now

From across the sea, they came by the thousands, escaping war and poverty in southern China to seek their fortunes in America. Converging on the enormous western worksite of the Transcontinental Railroad, the migrants spent years dynamiting tunnels through the snow-packed cliffs of the Sierra Nevada and laying tracks across the burning Utah desert. Their sweat and blood fueled the ascent of an interlinked, industrial United States. But those of them who survived this perilous effort would suffer a different kind of death: a historical one, as they were pushed first to the margins of American life and then to the fringes of public memory. 

In this groundbreaking account, award-winning scholar Gordon H. Chang draws on unprecedented research to recover the Chinese railroad workers’ stories and celebrate their role in remaking America. An invaluable correction of a great historical injustice, The Ghosts of Gold Mountain returns these “silent spikes” to their rightful place in our national saga.

GORDON H. CHANG is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University, where he also serves as Director of the Center for East Asian Studies and codirector of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. The author of Fateful Ties and editor of four other books, he lives in Stanford, California.

 

Chuckanut Writers- The Writer's Toolbox with Roby Blecker: Package of all 6 Workshops!

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
WA

Take all six workshops in The Writer's Toolbox Series and SAVE! Join Roby Blecker for this linked series of practical exercises that will provide you with tools in your writing toolbox. Our goal will be to emphasize and improve your craft as a writer. Rather than general theory, this series gives you writing practice at your level, challenges you to move within and beyond that level with confidence. If you have a work in progress or are just thinking about ideas to work on, this series will provide you with the means to take the next step. These workshops can be taken as a whole, or you can select from some individual two-part workshops to suit your needs. Space is limited--register early!

Chuckanut Writers- The Writer's Toolbox: Building Strong Characters with Roby Blecker

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Interested in writing? Sign up for our monthly Just Write enewsletter today!

Village Books and WCC Community and Continuing Education have established a writing instruction collaboration called Chuckanut Writers. Writing classes, seminars, and conferences will inspire and encourage writers at all stages of their writing journey.

David Allen Sibley, What It's Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing--What Birds Are Doing, and Why

Sat, 02/20/2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Village Books is pleased to join forces with the North Cascades Audubon Society and  Whatcom READS to bring David Allen Sibley to the Virtual Readings Gallery! 

CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

We are pleased to welcome David Allen Sibley back to the (virtual) Readings Gallery. He will do a presentation on his latest book and will also focus on nature illustrations, in concert with the themes of Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, this year's Whatcom READS selection.
On What It's Like to Be a Bird: This is the bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that will excite and inspire by providing a new and deeper understanding of what common, mostly backyard, birds are doing–and why.
“Can birds smell?” “Is this the same cardinal that was at my feeder last year?” “Do robins ‘hear’ worms?” In What It’s Like to Be a Bird, David Sibley answers the most frequently asked questions about the birds we see most often.

DAVID ALLEN SIBLEY is the author and illustrator of the series of successful guides to nature that bear his name, including The Sibley Guide to Birds. He has contributed to Smithsonian, Science, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Birding, BirdWatching, and North American Birds, and to The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Birding.

Whatcom WRITES Group Reading Part I - Reconciliation

Sun, 02/21/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Each year, Whatcom WRITES invites writers of all ages and experience levels to explore a theme inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS book. Top entries are selected for publication in the Whatcom WRITES anthology.The deadline to submit entries has passed, but you can hear authors from the Whatcom WRITES contest about RECONCILIATION — based on the 2021 book selection, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan — read their work!

Jessica Gigot, Chloe Yelena Miller, & Jen Stewart Fueston: Group Poetry Reading!

Sun, 02/21/2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Join us in the Virtual Readings Gallery for this stellar trio of poets as they read from their latest works.

CLICK HERE TO ATTEND

Jessica Gigot is a poet, farmer, teacher, and musician. She has a small farm in Bow, WA called Harmony Fields that makes artisan sheep cheese and grows organic herbs. Her second book, Feeding Hour, was published (Nov 2020) by Trail to Table Press, an imprint of Wandering Aengus Press. Her writing appears in several publications such as Orion, Taproot, Gastronomica, The Hopper, and Poetry Northwest.

Chloe Yelena Miller is a writer and teacher living in Washington, D.C., with her partner and their child. Her poetry chapbook Unrest was published by Finishing Line Press (2013.) Miller teaches writing at the University of Maryland Global Campus and Politics & Prose Bookstore, as well as privately. Chloe has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from Smith College. 

Jen Stewart Fueston is the author of Madonna, Complex (Cascade Books 2020), Latch (River Glass Books 2019) and Visitations (Finishing Line Press 2015). Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in AGNI, Western Humanities Review, Structo, Spoon River Poetry Review and elsewhere. A native of Colorado, she has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey and Lithuania.

Chuckanut Writers- The Writer's Toolbox: Writing Compelling Dialogue with Roby Blecker

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
WA

Interested in writing? Sign up for our monthly Just Write enewsletter today!

Village Books and WCC Community and Continuing Education have established a writing instruction collaboration called Chuckanut Writers. Writing classes, seminars, and conferences will inspire and encourage writers at all stages of their writing journey.

Whatcom WRITES Group Reading Part II - Reconciliation

Sun, 02/28/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Each year, Whatcom WRITES invites writers of all ages and experience levels to explore a theme inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS book. Top entries are selected for publication in the Whatcom WRITES anthology.The deadline to submit entries has passed, but you can hear authors from the Whatcom WRITES contest about RECONCILIATION — based on the 2021 book selection, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan — read their work!

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