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Fall 2022: Reading The Culture

For us, life is not as grim, but what reading does give us, I think, is just as powerful. When we open ourselves up to the ideas of other people, humble ourselves enough to learn from them, we can begin to see the world in new ways.

– Frederick Douglass

This fall, programming at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum will center around the theme, Reading The Culture. We mean “reading” not only as in traditional forms of literacy, but also in the multiple ways that Black traditions invoke the idea of reading – from looking closely at images and text, to offering critiques in the barbershop or via Black Twitter, to engaging enthusiastically with ideas, to the ways that Black gay culture has taken up the notion of a “read” to mean telling a truth that shames the devil.

This year, in light of conflicts surrounding banned books, the Lewis Museum will celebrate books by some of the most frequently banned Black authors and authors of color. The guiding principle and goal of our Reading The Culture programs is to foster a space of learning, investigation, curiosity, imagination, and deep reflection grounded in a love of reading.

September Events

Reading The Culture Author Talk
Thursday, September 1st | 6 pm – 7:30 pm ET
Virtual
Free Admission. Registration required.

As the Lewis Museum celebrates all things related to reading this fall, we’re excited to host a stellar collection of authors as they give insight on books that help us learn about, grapple with, and confront the complexities of the issues we face in the world around us. Our September author, Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D., joins us to discuss her book, Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle. 

Drawing on oral histories and previously sealed Church records, Williams provides the first full history of Black Catholic nuns in the United States, hailing them as the forgotten prophets of Catholicism and democracy.

Reading The Culture Member Book Club
Members Only
September 10th through November 6th

Hybrid

What could be better than sharing a good book with some of your closest friends? Join us for the launch of our Reading The Culture Book Club Launch. Our inaugural book will be The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. On October 15th and November 6th, we’ll gather with a special guest speaker for a facilitated discussion on our book. Individuals who purchase their books at The Lewis Museum Shop will receive a 15% discount on their book. Can’t make it to the Museum? No problem. We’re proud to partner with Mahogany Books as our official online bookseller for Reading The Culture.

Reading The Culture Reading As Resistance Book Fair
Presented by


Saturday, September 24th | 
10 am – 4 pm
Hybrid
Free Admission

A Lewis Museum favorite returns with a twist! The Reading The Culture Reading as Resistance Book Fair will highlight the writings of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ+ authors who are most likely to be banned and censored. Spend a day filled with both in-person and virtual programming featuring children’s authors, young adult literature, and a wide-array of adult fiction and non-fiction. Join us for author talks, signings, storytelling, food, and all things related to a good read. The Reading as Resistance Book Fair is made possible through the generous support of BGE.

Featured Authors :

 

October Events

Reading The Culture Author Talk – One Maryland One Book Edition
Sunday, October 2nd | 4 pm – 6 pm
Hybrid
Free admission. Reservations are required.

Join us as we co-host author Naima Coster at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum for a conversation on the One Maryland One Book selection What’s Mine and Yours. 

What’s Mine and Yours is a multigenerational saga featuring two North Carolina families. They collide in ways that neither is prepared for when Black students from the east side of the county are integrated into the predominantly white schools on the west side. Readers will follow these families over decades as they break apart and come back together. One Maryland One Book is a program of Maryland Humanities.



Becoming Frederick Douglass Screening & Discussion

Saturday, October 8th | 1 pm – 3 pm
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Free with Museum Admission

Join us for a screening and conversation with cast members from Becoming Frederick Douglass. Produced by Maryland Public Television in association with Firelight Films executive producers Oscar®-nominated Stanley Nelson (Attica, Freedom Riders, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and Lynne Robinson, Becoming Frederick Douglass is the story of how a man born into slavery became one of the most prominent statesmen and influential voices for democracy in American history. Born in 1818 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he escaped from slavery in 1838 and went on to become the most well-known leader of the abolitionist movement. A gifted writer and powerful, charismatic orator, it is estimated that more Americans heard Douglass speak than any other 19th-century figure — Black or white. The documentary explores how Douglass controlled his own image and narrative, embracing photography as a tool for social justice, and the role he played in securing the right to freedom and democracy for African Americans.

The film was produced and directed by Stanley Nelson and Nicole London. Keith M. Brown and Michael English are the executives in charge of production. Becoming Frederick Douglass was written by Anne Seidlitz. Acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce is the voice of Frederick Douglass in the film. Funding for Becoming Frederick Douglass provided by the State of Maryland and Bowie State University, the oldest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland.

Black Book Trivia Happy Hour
Thursday, October 20th | 6 pm – 8 pm
Virtual
Admission: $12 for Members. $15 for Non-Members.

Gather your friends to enjoy a specialty cocktail and show off your literary knowledge in this first installment of Black Book Trivia.

Fall Fest
Saturday, October 29, 2022
11 am to 5 pm ET
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
Free with Museum Admission

Let your imagination run wild as you dress up as your favorite book character and join us for our 2nd Annual Fall Fest. Enjoy food; music; crafts for children, families, and adults; and engaging activities ranging from book-binding to writer workshops with author Marita Golden, co-founder of the Hurston-Wright Foundation.

November Events

Reading The Culture Book Talk
Thursday, November 3rd
Virtual
Free admission. Registration required.

Noted equity scientist and urban Afrofuturist Lawrence T. Brown, PhD, MPA joins the Lewis Museum for a discussion on his IPPY Book Award-winning best-seller, The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America. The Black Butterfly looks at how American cities can promote racial equity, end redlining, and reverse the damaging health- and wealth-related effects of segregation. 

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom
Sunday, November 13th | 2 pm – 4 pm
Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Free with Museum admission

Join us for a screening of Harriet Tubman: Visions Of Freedom commemorating the 200th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s birth and the observation of Maryland Emancipation Day. Educators are encouraged to attend.Produced by Maryland Public Television in association with Firelight Films executive producers Academy Award-nominated Stanley Nelson (Attica, Freedom Riders, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and Lynne Robinson, Harriet Tubman: Visions Of Freedom is a nuanced portrait of the woman known as the Conductor of the Underground Railroad, who risked her own freedom and life to liberate others from slavery. Born in Dorchester County, Maryland, 200 years ago — 2022 marks her bicentennial —Tubman escaped north to Philadelphia in 1849, covering more than 100 miles alone. Once there, Tubman became involved in the abolitionist movement, and through the Underground Railroad, guided an estimated 70 enslaved people to freedom. The film goes beyond the legend of Tubman to explore what motivated her — including divine inspiration — to become one of the greatest freedom fighters of all time.

The film was produced and directed by Stanley Nelson and Nicole London. Keith M. Brown and Michael English are the executives in charge of production. Harriet Tubman: Visions Of Freedom was written by Paul Taylor, Nicole London, and Marcia Smith. Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® award-winning actor Alfre Woodard is the narrator of Harriet Tubman: Visions Of Freedom and acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce is the voice of Frederick Douglass in the film. Funding for Harriet Tubman: Visions Of Freedom provided by the State of Maryland and Bowie State University, the oldest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland.

Reading the Culture Read-a-Thon
Friday, November 18th – Sunday, November 20th
Virtual
Free to participate

Cozy up on a fall weekend with a stack of good books and join us for a 72-hour read-a-thon. Get updates, reading tips, and hear from special guests starting at 6 pm on Friday, November 18th and continuing until 6 pm on Sunday, November 20th. Can you keep up? We hope so. Share your thoughts and progress by tagging us on Instagram and Facebook at @lewis_museum using the hashtag #ReggieReads.