Attica Locke on Family, Hwy 59, and Becoming a Writer

Excerpt from Attica Locke's visit to Clear Lake City - County Freeman Branch Library

The Flavors of Southern Cooking Lead GCR Programming This Week

Lots of readers have told us that reading Bluebird, Bluebird really builds up an appetite--not because it's hard work, but because Attica Locke does such a good job of evoking East Texas culture through its food. This week, several libraries are hosting events that let you learn more about--and taste!--the cuisine that you've read about in the book. 

Making Connections: GCR2018 Archives Exhibit

Texas Rangers Escort Prisoner from Courthouse courtesy of Harris County ArchivesEvery year for Gulf Coast Reads, local archivists scour their collections for photos, documents and other artifacts that relate to the GCR selection. The idea is to add historical context to the reading experience and to show in a tangible way that reading is never done in a vaccuum, amd that it never a strictly solitary act. We all bring our lived experiences to our reading. That's why discussion is such a big part of Gulf Coast Reads. Your view of the book, when shared, shapes and informs others' reading of it, and that builds community in a very real way. Gulf Coast Reads is all about making connections--between readers and with the world at large. In this year's Online Archive Exhibit, you'll find items from the world of music, the Civil Rights Movement from the 1960s to Black Lives Matter, the logging industry in East Texas, the Texas Rangers, and ranching, as well as beautiful historic photographs of Texans leading their workaday lives. Enjoy!

We want to thank the archivists and their institutions for sharing their time and resources:
Harris County Archives
Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library
Lamar University Archives
San Jacinto Museum of History
Rothko Chapel Archives & Library
Sam Houston Regional Library & Research Center, Texas State Library & Archives Commission
University of Houston, Special Collections
Woodson Research Center, Rice University


GCR2018 Week 2: Upcoming Events

Gulf Coast Reads churns into week two and here are a few of the events in story. 

East Texas Memories - Jean Gordon and Freddye Kelly talk about growing up in East Texas
LSC - CyFair Branch Library - HCPL 
Wednesday Oct. 10, 10 - 11 AM

Coffee with Cops
R.F. Meador - MCMLS
Thursday Oct 11, 10 - 11:30 AM

I am Annie Mae: The Story of a Black Texas Woman - Based on the award winning musical detailing the life of Washington County-born Annie Mae Hunt and 120 years of her family’s history. Presented by Young Audiences of Houston and Texas Center for African American Living History
Maud Marks Branch Library
Saturday Oct 13, 1 PM

Houston blues museum logoHouston Blues Museum Presentation and Music Performance - Sandy Hickey, co-founder and Director of Museum Collections of the Houston Blues Museum will talk about the history of blues in Houston and references to blues in Bluebird, Bluebird. She will also bring artifacts from the museum. She will be followed by a live blues performance by a local musician.
La Porte Branch Library - HCPL
Saturday Oct 13, 2 - 3 PM

Be It Ever So Humble: A History of Humble Texas - learn about the beginnings and early settlers of Humble
Octavia Fields Branch Library - HCPL
Saturday, Oct 13, 2 - 4 PM

And, of course, Book Diuscussions galore! Check Events for full listings

Blues, It's History and More

The soundtrack of Bluebird, Bluebird is undoubtedly a long, slow blues in 12 bars. This weekend, you have two chances to learn a little more about this underrated art form. 
A History of the Blues: trace the evolution of the form through live and recorded music with expert commentary by musician William Hunn. Stick around and sample some southern-style desserts and sweet tea. HCPL - Crosby Branch Library, Saturday, 2 - 3PM

GCR 2018 Kicks Off with Author Appearances, Blues, Bourbon & More

It's finally here! Gulf Coast Reads 2018 is off and running--or off and reading, if you prefer, and there is a lot going on at libraries across Southeast Texas. Here are just a few highlights: 

Coffee with your Cops
Milam St. Coffee Shop in Wharton TX - WCL
Wednesday, Oct 3, 7:30 - 9 AM

Bluebird, Bluebird Pie Tasting
Stratford Branch Library - HCPL
Wednesday, Oct 3. 5 - 5:30 PM

Meet the Texas Rangers
R.F. Meador Branch Library - MCMLS
Thursday, 6 - 7 PM

Here's a little Texas blues from Lightnin' Hopkins to get you in the spirit.

Save the Dates! Author Attica Locke @ Your Library

Author Attica LockeWe are thrilled to announce that Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird, will make three appearances this October to kick off Gulf Coast Reads 2018.  

George And Cynthia Woods Mitchell Library - Montgomery County Memorial Library System
Friday, October 5th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM
8125 Ashlane Way, The Woodlands, TX 77382

Thanks, and We'll See You Soon!

We want to take a minute to express our gratitude to everyone who worked so hard for the better part of a year to make Gulf Coast Reads 2016 a success. Special thanks, of course, go out to our author, Jan Jarboe Russell, who traversed the region end to end and top to bottom with far more graciousness, good humor and gusto than we had any right to expect. Thanks also to Dr. Abbie Grubb, William McWhorter and our other visiting scholars whose expertise put the events described in The Train to Crystal City into other contexts both past and present. Thanks to Crystal City internee Eb Fuhr who joined us via Skype at Harris County Law Library for sharing his experiences. Finally, we want to thank all of the Gulf Coast Readers who attended programs and book discussions. It is your enthusiasm for reading and its power to strengthen communities that makes this program possible.

Until next time, we wish you all happy reading!

Author Talk @ Texas Southern University. Thursday, 6:30PM

Note: This program is your last chance during Gulf Coast Reads to hear Jan Jarboe Russell speak and to get a signed copy of The Train to Crystal City

That thousands of Japanese, German and Italians were sent to internment camps as "enemy aliens" is one thing, it is another thing entirely to use those people--some of the U.S. citizens--as bargaining chips to gain the release of other U.S. citizens captured abroad during wartime. As is so movingly illustrated in The Train to Crystal City, the strain that coerced "repatriation" put on families was immense. Thursday at Texas Southern University Library, Jan Jarboe Russell will this prisoner exchange program dubbed "Quiet Passage" in context of how war intensifies painful jolts to personal, family, cultural, and national status, and stymies opportunity.

This event will take place in the Honors College Auditorium in the basement of the Robert J. Terry Library on the TSU campus, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m and will be followed by a book signing.