Local Lit | June’s top 5 SIP literary happenings, online readings,
By Lou Fancher
Friends of the Oakland Public Library and African American Museum @ Oakland Library: all summer
As local and central public libraries begin curbside pickup and continue free online programs for all ages, ramp up your involvement. June is the perfect time to explore the Oakland Public Library’s virtual archives at the African American Museum. Learn from 43 available online collections about prominent Bay Area African American families and individuals and the historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West. Then go screen-free and visit the sites close to home for increased perspective and appreciation. (Even if it’s not yet possible to enter a building, you can still get a sense of history from the outside.) Find access online to the Library’s Friends programs that include the Youth Poet Laureate program’s pop-up craft projects; summer reading activities for all ages, and Library podcasts with timely discussions on a variety of most-current topics. Take the ideas and skills learned and go hands-on with projects for the whole family.
Race Man: A celebration of Julian Bond’s legacy of intersectionalism activism: June 9.
City Lights Books organizes a free Zoom event in support of Charis Circle (www.chariscircle.org/donate), a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging sustainable feminist communities, social justice, and the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. The publication of a new book, Race Man: Selected Works, 1960-2015, brings editor Michael Long, and Pam Horowitz, Bond’s widow and collaborator for justice, into conversation about Julian Bond. Bond was a politician, professor, writer, and foundational leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Among other achievements, Bond in 1968 was the first African American and the youngest person to ever be nominated for Vice President of the United States (although he was ineligible due to his young age). In 1975, after ten years in the Georgia House, he served six terms in the Georgia senate, after which he taught at numerous colleges including Drexel and Harvard. A solidarity donation and books purchased from Charis are encouraged. Advance registration is required.
Parenting in Place | Helping Families Thrive in Challenging Times: Starts June 10
Bay Area author, sociologist and senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center Christine Carter is part of a parenting expert collective that offers the perfect antidote to parental COVID-19 burnout. The limited engagement, live, 8-part masterclass series features prominent authors, experts, scholars and thought leaders in parenting, neuroscience, education, and well-being, who address topics including how to talk with your kids about race, summer without camp, screen time for adolescents, independent skill-building and more. Bonus Bundles extend the takeaway with templates, webinars and access to private, moderated Facebook discussion groups. Priced at $29 for early bird registrations and $39 after June 10, replays of the 8-week series will be available for people who can’t attend live. Notably, many of the guests appearing (bios are at the website) have up-to-date, best-selling books with the latest research and advice for positive parenting.
Jennifer Rosner with Kate Quinn / The Yellow Bird Sings: June 16
Booksmith and The Bindery host author Jennifer Rosner with the launch of her debut novel, The Yellow Bird Sings. The event streams live on the bookstore’s Facebook page. Booksmith is a legacy business located in the Haight-Ashbury and has been actively supporting local, national, and international authors since 1976. Rosner’s novel involves Nazi soldiers who attempt to round up the book’s protagonist, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira. Róza tells Shira a story about a girl hiding in an enchanted garden: a girl forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. The bird’s music causes flowers to bloom. Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Rosner creates a world in which hope triumphs, despite dark times. History, captivatingly told, is Rosner’s specialty — her memoir, If a Tree Falls: A Family’s Quest to Hear and Be Heard, relates the story of rearing her deaf daughters in a hearing/speaking world — and this historical fiction debut is something to celebrate.
Jennifer Ackerman, The Bird Way: June 30
Bookshop Santa Cruz, in partnership with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, hosts bestselling author Jennifer Ackerman (The Genius of Birds) for an online event celebrating her new book. The Bird Way investigates how research is shifting human understanding of birds. From the event announcement “Ackerman shows us extraordinary behaviors, including birds that dance or drum, that paint their creations or paint themselves, birds that build walls of sound to keep out intruders and birds that summon playmates with a special call—and may hold the secret to our own penchant for playfulness and the evolution of laughter.” The event includes a 30-minute presentation by Ackerman, as well as a Q&A with the audience. Registration for this Crowdcast event is pending, but you can sign up for emails to receive updates.