The Big Read Oakland RSS

Welcome to Oakland's Big Read Website! Please scroll down to find lots of info about Big Read programming in Oakland, our calendar of events, and lots more! E-mail us at thebigreadoakland@gmail.com with any questions or concerns!
Click for link building information page.
<

Archive

Mar
16th
Mon
permalink

"Words mean nothing. Action is the only thing. Doing. That’s the only thing." E.G.

Academy of Achievement

Saturday, March 21st, 1pm.  CSU East Bay Oakland Center, 1000 Broadway, Ste. 109, Oakland, CA.  Across the street from the Oakland City Center BART station. 

Author Ernest Gaines joins us via satellite for a special discussion of his book A Lesson Before Dying. Hear what the man himself has to say about a book that has effected so much of our community. At the end, book clubs and individuals will have the opportunity to ask Gaines their burning questions about the novel.  

Some Ernest Gaines’ quotes:

"Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything."

"Sometimes you got to hurt something to help something. Sometimes you have to plow under one thing in order for something else to grow."

"The mark of fear is not easily removed."

"There will always be men struggling to change, and there will always be those who are controlled by the past."

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"

Mar
12th
Thu
permalink

Time to Celebrate..Reading!

Thursday, March 12, 6:30 pm at the Oakland Public Library Main Branch, West Auditorium:

Ernest Gaines’ novel will be explored through its themes, history and rich characters as Dennis Chester, CSU East Bay Professor of African American literature, leads a community discussion on A Lesson Before Dying!  

   If you haven’t read the novel, pick up your complimentary copy tomorrow!  If you have read the book, get ready to ask your burning questions and hear insight from fellow community members!

The Big Read Oakland team is also excited to share a special screening of the National Endowment for the Arts-directed interview with local author, Amy Tan! This rich program explores Tan’s storytelling, culture and history. 

 This event is offered at NO CHARGE and EVERYONE is invited! In our night dedicated to reading, we are looking forward to joining avid readers and new readers from across the Bay in celebrating literacy together!

Mar
10th
Tue
permalink

Race on Trial! Tonight in Oakland!

      

This past Friday we screened At the Death House Door to a room full of Big Read followers and newbies. It was a beautiful film, though dark in subject matter, that gives an up-close account of the capital punishment process through the eyes and audio diaries of former ‘death house’ chaplain, Rev. Carrol Pickett.  This film began a dialogue that will be continued this evening at our Race on Trial lecture with CSU East Bay Philosophy Professor, Barbara Hall.

BARBARA HALL, Ph. D., Asst., Professor in Philosophy at CSU East Bay, specializes in philosophy of law, African-American philosophy, ethics and social theory. In addition to her doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona, she holds the J.D. degree from DePaul University Law School in Chicago. Dr. Hall teaches courses on Critical Legal Reasoning, Modern Philosophy, Clear Thinking, Fundamental Questions, and Race and Social Justice.

          

Some great links on race and justice in capital punishment:

Only a few events away from our Saturday afternoon with Gaines on 3/21! Get in touch with us for information on picking up a copy of the novel, event info, and more!

Mar
5th
Thu
permalink

"Free your mind and the rest will follow!"

A little update on how the Big Read is shaping-up.  It has been a wildly successful experience so far, finding community collaborators who have not only donated lots of time, but have helped transform our Big Read project into a program for all minds, tastes, and ages.  We are so thankful to Daunielle Rasmussen of Rough N’ Ready Theater Players for all of her hard work and dedication to direct and deliver an outstanding and incredibly moving (lots of tears in the audience) adaptation of A Lesson Before Dying.  The turnout was strong and the acting was event stronger, as we witnessed the powerful art of our Laney College communtiy actors.  Bravo!!

     

If you were at lastnight’s event and didn’t get to grab a book before they were all gone and would love some more information about what we’re up to, come find me tomorrow night at the Oakland Museum of California at our Big Read table outside of our screening of the Independent Film Channel’s original documentary, At the Death House Door.  Check out the trailer below and we will see you tomorrow night!

Mar
3rd
Tue
permalink

Trailer for the documentary, At the Death House Door, screening March 6th at the Oakland Museum of California’s First Friday Event, 1000 Oak St. @ 10th, one stop from the Lake Meritt BART.

Feb
27th
Fri
permalink

"Don’t Stop Believing!"

We admit that inspirational 1980s rock and roll is what got the Big Read through longs days and nights of planning, but it’s your support and participation that will make the Big Read thrive!  This week you’ll find lots of programming around town and at your local branch libraries.  So go out and get the book, get reading, get set and go! Go to events!  See how the themes of A Lesson Before Dying have inspired wonderful events and hundreds of people to hit the books!

                       Lots of Big Read events happening this week!!

Saturdays 02/28, 03/07, 03/14—Lessons in Writingwith Arisa White: CSU East Bay Oakland Center, 10-11:30am Prize-winning, local creative writer, Arisa White, leads a group of teens and adults in a class about finding your voice in poetry and prose. Please contact the Big Read Oakland to find out how you can enroll in this freecommunity class at (510) 208-7004 or e-mail thebigreadoakland@gmail.com

Saturday 02/28— A Lesson Before Dying Film Screening: Eastmont Branch Library, Eastmont Town Center, Ste. 211, 7200 Bancroft, (510) 615-5726, 12-2pm

Saturday 02/28— A Lesson Before Dying Film Screening: Martin Luther King Branch Library, 6833 International Blvd., (510) 615-5728, 2-4pm

Tuesday, 03/03— A Lesson Before Dying Film Screening and Book Club Discussion: Dimond Branch Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, (510) 482-844, 6:30pm

Wednesday 03/04—Fresh Perspectives: Main Library, West Auditorium, 125 14th Street, (510) 238-3134, 6:15pm and 7pm: Artistic Director of Rough N’ Ready Theatre Players, Daunielle Rasmussen and the  Theatre Department Chair at Laney College, Michael Torres, work with local actors to bring to life poignant scenes from A Lesson Before Dying in an intimate theatrical experience.  Enjoy an original adaptation, original music, killer performances, and more at one of the two showings of this incredible piece of theater!

Friday 03/06—The Big Read, First Friday Event: Oakland Museum of CA, 1000 Oak @ 10th Street One block from Lake Merritt BART, 7:30pm: Enjoy a special screening of the Independent Film Channel’s, powerful, 2008 documentary, At the Death House Door.  This award-winning film explores the controversial themes of the death penalty in America.  Visit: ifc.com/atthedeathhousedoor for more details.

Feb
25th
Wed
permalink

Quality vs. Quantity

Monday evening was our One Community, One Book event with Ruby (website) and Destiny Arts Center (website) Director, Sarah Crowell.  At 6pm it didn’t look like anyone was going to show, but slowly library patrons starting trickling into the Golden Gate Branch basement.  We reorganized the chairs to form a small circle and as an even smaller group of women consisting of young mothers, coworkers, poets and community members, we enjoyed Ruby’s inspiring spoken word and Sarah’s motivating movement exercises and discussion.  The turnout made for an intimate experience none of us expected and truly showed the exciting nature of open hearts and minds congregating.  Some of the Big Read Oakland’s missions are to provoke community building, new conversation, and life changing experiences, and I believe that this small, unsuspecting event, embodied many of our hopes for this month long intitiative!

Feb
23rd
Mon
permalink

Lessons in Writing with Arisa White

Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend to our wildly successful, Big Read Kick-Off Cook -Off at the Oakland Museum of California.  A huge round of applause to our CSU East Bay Theater and Dance performers as well as the incredible Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company.  Both groups have upcoming shows and I highly recommend you getting our there and supporting our community arts programs!

Tonight, we have our exciting Spoken Word event at the Golden Gate Branch Library, located at 5205 San Pablo Avenue.  This will be an incredible warm-up to our workshop Lessons in Writing with Arisa White which will be taking place for the next three Saturdays at 10am.  Space is limited but the possiblities of the workshop aren’t!  Allow Arisa to help you shape your voice, poetry, and prose in this inspiring class for adults and teens.  Please call the Oakland Center at (510)208-7001 or e-mail thebigreadoakland@gmail.com to reserve your spot!  Below please find Arisa’s bio and spread the word!! Everyone from beginners to experts are encouraged to sign-up!

                                                       

ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow and holds a MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Factory Hollow Press published her chapbook Disposition for Shininess in late 2008. She received a fellowship to Prague, and scholarships to attend the Fine Arts Work Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts and Bread Loaf Writers’s Conference. Arisa’s poems are published in numerous magazines and journals, and have been featured in an off-Broadway production. She lives in Oakland, California. www.arisawhite.com

Feb
19th
Thu
permalink

See: Friday, January 16th, for Kick-Off Celebration details…

Or e-mail us at: thebigreadoakland@gmail.com, join our facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=60765306473 see us on myspace at: myspace.com/thebigreadoakland or check out our formal website at: theoaklandcenter.com.

peace, hope, literacy, and love,

The Big Read Team

permalink

No deadlines, yummy food, writing workshops, spoken word, and oh so much more!

First things first! No more deadlines for the Kick-Off. If you want to bring some southern food, do it! If you want to tell us about it first, by all means, but if not, we just look forward to seeing you there!

Join in our mind blowing, social changing, thought provoking, community building events! 

  • Our Kick-Off Cook-Off celebration this weekend marks the start of a killer week!  Our Lessons in Writing Workshop start this Saturday, call 208-7001 for more details or see: http://thebigreadoaklandpoetryworkshop.blogspot.com/ for more details on this incredible project.
  • With much pleasure and great anticipation for their event, I give a shout out to our partners at the Destiny Arts Center.  You have two chances this week to see what’s going on at their home on 42nd (http://www.destinyarts.org/). 
    • This group of talented teens will tear it up at our Kick Off event this Saturday at the Oakland Museum of California (see details below).  Another creative group from the D.A.C. will incorporate spoken word, film, and even the audience in a unique blend of the arts this coming Monday, 2/23 at 6pm at the Golden Gate Branch Library, 5205 San Pablo Avenue.  They will be joined at GG Library by Ruby of Oakland’s own collective of emcees, spoken word artists, and all-around righteous artists, iLL-Literacy. Check out their website and her profile at www.ill-literacy.com.

For more details about this event or others, please contact us at: thebigreadoakland@gmail.com or at 208-7001! We look forward to hearing from you!

permalink

See Destiny Arts Center fuse spoken word, film, and more in a special performance of their latest work, Monday 2/23 at 6pm at the Golden Gate Branch Library, 5606 San Pablo Avenue.  Call 597-5023 or 208-7001 for more details!

Feb
17th
Tue
permalink

Deadline for food entries swiftly approaches…

So, a few have admitted that they would love to bring food, but don’t want to compete in the Cook-Off! Not a problem! This is a community pot luck where all dishes are welcome, prize worthy or not. Southern tastes and community are our themes and we hope that all interested parties will bring a dish to make this a sharing, caring, entertaining event! So entering the contest or not, send us your food info by February 19th at 5pm. Now, get cookin’! Also, if you’re interested in taking a three week creative writing workshop with the wonderful Arisa White, check out the blog at: http://thebigreadoaklandpoetryworkshop.blogspot.com/ and get in touch!

permalink
Feb
12th
Thu
permalink

Our Big Read Big Kick Off Cook Off is right around the corner!

Our Big Read Cook Off Kick Off is right around the corner! Please see details below and signup to bring a dish today! You don’t have to compete, but you do have to have fun! So try a new recipe and bring friends and family for this exciting celebration of community, reading, and good eats!  Contact us with any questions you may have :)

Feb
11th
Wed
permalink

Big Read partner, The Oakland Museum of California gets Black History Month started right!

Oakland Museum of California kicks-off Black History Month, Louisiana-style and gets the community excited for our Big Read Kick-Off Cook-Off extravaganza the following Saturday.  Whet your appetite for southern tastes and spirit at African Rhythms: Oakland on the Bayou.  Enjoy live music, beignet-making by Powderface, crafts, and even a Mardi Gras parade.  This is a great opportunity to heart, taste, and see all the wonderful things going on inside the beautiful Oakland Museum of California. Sunday, February 15, 1-4:30pm. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak @ 10th Street, One Block from Lake Merritt Bart.  For more info call the museum at: 238-2200. 

Photobucket