The Big Read is a two-month-long literary and arts celebration for the community, presented by Golden Isles Arts and Humanities and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The community reads one book and comes together for a variety of programming -- including book talks, films, plays, lectures, and art exhibits -- reflecting the themes of the book. This year's selection is Beloved by Toni Morrison. Pick up your free copy at the sponsor libraries and look for local Big Read events in February and March 2022. Learn more at www.goldenislesarts.org.
Beloved is the story of Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman who is living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter, Denver. Sethe is haunted by the ghost of her baby girl whom she killed years earlier while running from bounty hunters attempting to return her and her children to their enslavers. Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. It is based on the true tragic story of Margaret Garner, a woman who was enslaved in Kentucky and escaped with her children to Ohio in 1856.
On March 2 and 3, 1859, the largest auction of enslaved people in American history took place in Savannah, Georgia. More than 400 human beings who were enslaved by the Butler family on plantations in Glynn and McIntosh counties were sold, tearing apart families. Julius Lester has taken a little-known, all-true event in American history and transformed it into a heartbreaking and powerfully dramatic epic on slavery, and the struggle to affirm humanity in the midst of it.
Cassie, who flew above New York in Faith Ringgold's Tar Beach, soars into the sky once more in Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky. This time, Cassie and her brother, Be Be, meet a train full of people, and Be Be joins them. But the train departs before Cassie can climb aboard. With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps of enslaved people who escaped on the real Underground Railroad and is finally reunited with her brother at the story's end.