Metro Weekly

Spotlight: Library of Congress’ Winter Season highlights

Upcoming winter schedule includes books about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt

library of congress, joseph peniel
Joseph Peniel — Photo: Kelvin Ma

Authors of notable new books about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt are three key headliners in a series of free virtual discussions presented this month and next by the Library of Congress.

The upcoming winter schedule includes “Giants of Racial Justice,” a discussion on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., between authors Peniel Joseph (The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.) and Tamara Payne (The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, co-written with her father Les Payne) and led by Eric Deggans, NPR’s TV critic and media analyst and also a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC.

It’s followed by “On the Road with Jason Reynolds,” a conversation on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m., between the National Ambassador Young People’s Literature and the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, and the 2021 Diversity in Children’s Literature Symposium — plus the Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature ceremony — on Friday, March 12, at 1 p.m., featuring authors Traci Chee (We Are Not Free), Robin Ha (Almost American Girl), Daniel Nayeri (Everything Sad Is Untrue), and Kacen Callender (Kings and the Dragonflies), and moderated by librarian and educator Deborah D. Taylor.

“Rediscovering Eleanor Roosevelt” is the focus on Thursday, March 18, at 7 p.m., based on Eleanor, the first major biography in 60 years of America’s longest-serving first lady, from noted biographer David Michaelis, who will discuss his latest work with the White House Historical Association’s Colleen Shogan, a former Library of Congress assistant deputy librarian, plus other staff from the Library’s Manuscript Division, where much of the book’s research was conducted.

Finally, on March 25, at 7 p.m., comes “War, Combat, and the American Soldier,” a discussion with two of the most prominent historians of war, Margaret MacMillan (War: How Conflict Shaped Us) and Rick Atkinson (The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777), along with Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein.

All programs premiere on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages and are then offered indefinitely on the Library’s website. Visit www.loc.gov.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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