Barack Obama was inaugurated as the first black president a little more than a year ago, and the annual Kansas Reads project happens to coincide with Black History Month. So Obama's Dreams From My Father, with its Kansas ties (Obama's mother was born and raised in El Dorado) and its "broad-based appeal that encourages and sustains spirited discussion" (according to the Kansas Reads Web site), makes the book perfect as this year's statewide reading initiative. The book is also part of a grander narrative, that of African-American autobiography and oral history, which dates back to the 1780 book The Interesting Narrative of the Life of O. Equiano, or G. Vassa, the African. Today at the Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont), Doretha Williams, of the University of Kansas' Project on the History of Black Writing, places Dreams From My Father in that tradition at 7 p.m. For more information, call the library at 785-843-3833.
Tue., Feb. 23, 7 p.m., 2010