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From the thud of the stick to its head, we surmise it must be a giant marching band drum strapped to the back of someone a few balconies up. Deep, heavy, slow, persistent is the opening of the 7pm beat, setting off hoots and hollers, pots or pans, hands clapping, really anything that makes noise in an otherwise serene neighborhood. Rather like hooves landing hard on cobblestone, and others following suit -- the crescendo of a herd thundering a few minutes into the hour dissipates to the softer sound of hooves in grass, more like a heartbeat when your ears are pressed close to another's ches...
A gifted black writer, teacher, director, actress, and playwright and influential member of the Harlem Renaissance, Eulalie Spence was born on June 11th, 1894 on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies. She grew up on her father's sugar plantation, which tragically was destroyed by hurricane in 1902, prompting her family's move to New York City where they lived first in Harlem and then Brooklyn. Despite hardship, Eulalie received an exce...
It's significant that we call it the Information Age. We don't talk about the Knowledge Age.-- James Billington, Speaking of Information: The Library Juice Quotation BookA review of the literatu...
Believe it or not, "National Doughnut Day" or "National Donut Day" has a significant history; celebrated annually on the first Friday in June, it dates back to 1938 when the Salvation Army in Chicago honored members or "lassies" who served donuts, or fried dough confectionary, to soldiers during the First World War. Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance thought of providing baked goods, among them donuts, to hungry servicemen in France; t...
A leading visual artist of the Harlem Renaissance and a visual arts educator, Aaron Douglas was born May 26, 1899 in Topeka, Kansas to Aaron Douglas, Senior, a baker, and Elizabeth Douglas, artist. After attending Topeka High School, he attended free art classes at the Museum of Art in Detroit before going to the University of Nebraska, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts in 1922. En route to Paris via New York three year...
At a lady's writing desk in the corner of our Spring green living room, there's the luxury of time and treetops dotted with robins, cardinals, and the occasional yellow finch; the leafy canopy outside our south-facing window is gloriously full, a sure and pleasing sign of the season. We trace the delicate honey locust and gorgeous gingko to the banks of the Mississippi, and as far away as China, eagerly waiting out weeks of New York City apartment quarantine, with ample room to reflect and much hope ahead. I pass many an hour on the laptop, connecting almost daily to colleagues via Zoom or ...
May 21st, 1881 marks the founding of the American Red Cross by visionary leader Clara Barton, a home-educated teacher and civil servant in the United States Patent Office. Barton started teaching at the age of fifteen; went on to open a free public school in Bordentown, N.J; nursed an invalid brother; organized the distribution of donated medical supplies; formed a volunteer relief service for soldie...
For years an impressive painting of Florence Nightingale sits among an historic collection of Teachers College portraiture, waiting to be displayed in the Offit Gallery, Third Floor of the Gottesman Libraries. Frederick Rocher's work is exhibited in 2016 as part of the Restored Oil Paintings of Teachers...
On May 4th, 1970, four students were killed and nine others wounded on the campus of Kent State University when the National Guard opened fire during student protest against the United States bombing of Cambodia at the time of the Vietnam War or the Second Indochina War. The demonstrations began three days earlier when several hundred activists gathered to rally on the grassy knoll known as the Commons. Unrest ext...
Charles Henry Alston (11/28/1907-4/27/1977) was an influential African American artist and teacher who led art programs and community centers in New York. most especially Harlem. He directed the painters of the Harlem Hospital murals, under the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration in 1935-1936, and himself painted two of them: "Magic in Medicine" and "Modern Medicine". Emblematic of the Harlem Renaissan...