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Signature Event Archive
Search the Signature Event Archive to discover past Library events. Watch videos, hear speaker interviews, and listen to audio recordings of previous presentations. Search by keyword (event title, subject, or presenter name), location or by date range.
Stephanie Powell Watts' first novel is a story about the things in our past that haunt us, that continue to call and constrain us from moving ahead. Watts, an associate professor English at Lehigh University who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, discusses her book No One Is Coming to Save Us, in a public conversation with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services. Of her book, Watts says, “Imagine The Great Gatsby set in rural North Carolina, nine decades later, with desperate black people.”
A lot of Black kids, Gabriel Bump says, are just trying to live their lives – fall in love, go to school, not do their homework – but find it difficult to move problem-free through today’s America. Growing up on Chicago’s South Shore, he was one of them. Claude McKay Love, the protagonist of Bump’s debut novel, is, too.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the pervasive and pernicious impact that the digital divide – the economic, educational, and social inequity between those who have computers and online access and those who do not – is having on Black Americans and other disadvantaged populations in Kansas City and across the country.
Thomas Frank, Whitney Terrell, V.V. Ganeshananthan
In a discussion of his new book The People, No, Kansas City-born author and political commentator Thomas Frank makes the historical case that today’s frequent denunciation of populism – heightened by the rise of supposed populist Donald Trump – is a mistake. Including the reformist triumphs under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Frank argues that it actually has been a key component of American democracy and its promise of a decent life for all for well more than a century.
In a discussion of his new, carefully researched book Tombstone, best-selling author Tom Clavin revisits Tucson, Arizona, in 1881 to separate fact from fiction about the celebrated shootout between the Earp brothers and the Clanton-McLaury gang behind the O.K. Corral.
Where are you on the complicated legacy of Kansas City developer J.C. Nichols? Should his name be removed from the parkway running to and alongside the Country Club Plaza? And from the memorial fountain adjacent to the Nichols-designed outdoor shopping district?
The West Coast celebrates Bigfoot and the East Coast has Champy, the purported lake monster claimed by both New York and Vermont. But Wisconsin English professor and author B.J. Hollars is here to tell you: The oft-overlooked Midwest is just as murky and mysterious as the next place.
Matt Wolf, Kyle Martin, Michael Metelits, Roger Macdonald
Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Series
For well more than 30 years, starting with the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 and ending with the Sandy Hook school massacre late in 2012, Marion Stokes quietly and obsessively recorded televised American news.