March News from Our New Home

We are still settling in here at 1620 Orrington Avenue, but it’s looking and feeling more like home to us. One bright sign that we are back to business: the resumption of in-person events, which will be taking place on the lower level of our new quarters. And I’m really thrilled that in March we are welcoming three highly accomplished authors with strong local presence: Robin R. Means Coleman, Northwestern’s vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion; Barbara Mahany, former columnist for the Chicago Tribune, who has launched most of her five books with us; and Rachel Jamison Webster, a professor of creative writing at Northwestern University who has been a strong advocate for our bookstore since we opened.

More info on their new books can be found below. I hope you can join us in person for one or more of these events—and if not, remember that you can always order signed copies of their books from our website and pick them up later in the store or have them shipped out to you!

Read on for information on these and other upcoming events!

And, as always, read on!


P.S. If you haven't yet picked up your "I Donated to the Bookends & Beginnings Emergency Relocation Fund" button, be sure to ask us when you come in. We really want to thank you in person for supporting our vision for the new store! And if you still want to donate, the campaign is still live--and since the bills are still rolling in, we would still very much appreciate it!
Upcoming Events
An In-Person Book Launch at the New Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 9, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Join us in our NEW location on March 9th at 6:00 PM at 1620 Orrington to celebrate the publication of The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror Cinema from Fodder to Oscar by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman. For this special event, Dr. Coleman will be in conversation with Dr. Miriam J. Petty.
The Black Guy Dies First explores the Black journey in modern horror cinema, from the fodder epitomized by Spider Baby to the Oscar-​winning cinematic heights of Get Out and beyond. This eye-opening book delves into the themes, tropes, and traits that have come to characterize Black roles in horror since 1968, a year in which race made national headlines in iconic moments from the enactment of the 1968 Civil Rights Act and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April. This timely book is a must-read for cinema and horror fans alike.
Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman is Northwestern’s vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion. Her work focuses on media studies and the cultural politics of Blackness. Dr. Coleman is the author of numerous works, including Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present, which was adapted into the documentary film Horror Noire, which featured Dr. Coleman as herself and as executive producer.
Dr. Miriam J. Petty is Associate Professor in the department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University, and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in Northwestern’s Graduate School. Her award-winning book, Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood, explores the limits and possibilities of Black stardom in 1930s Hollywood.
An Offsite, In-Person Event at the Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood Street, Evanston
March 9, 2023 @ 7:00 PM
Celebrate Women’s History Month with The Evanston History Center, in partnership with Bookends & Beginnings!
Join us for an in-person presentation by Andrea Friederici Ross, author of Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick, the first biography of a woman who once played a prominent role in Chicago society. The daughter of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, Edith (1872-1932) married into the wealthy McCormick family and was once estimated to be the nation’s richest woman. Edith served as a powerful patron of the arts and sciences, supporting causes such as free health care for the poor and founding the John R. McCormick Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases. She also donated land for what would become Brookfield Zoo. After her death in 1932, however, her voice was “deliberately erased,” says Ross. Edith’s interests, her work, and her support for good causes ran parallel to her own struggles with the limits on her freedom, social pressures, and mental illness. Ross will discuss the life of this fascinating woman and Ross’ own process of writing Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McCormick, which was named the 2021 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year in Traditional Nonfiction.

This event takes place at the Evanston History Center, located in the National Historic Landmark Charles Gates Dawes House at 225 Greenwood Street in Evanston. The presentation will be followed by a book signing with the author, with books being sold by Bookends & Beginnings.
Andrea Friederici Ross is the author of Let the Lions Roar! The Evolution of Brookfield Zoo. A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of Northwestern University, Ross works in a grade school library, where she encourages young readers to develop a lasting love of books.
Two Off-Site Events with the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee
March 13, 2023
10:00 AM Ceremony at the Clarence Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park
6:00 PM Symposium at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus
Join Nina and the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee for this annual invocation of the spirit of Clarence Darrow.

Ever since plunging into research a decade ago for her book about the Leopold and Loeb murder--The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America's Most Infamous Crimes--store owner Nina Barrett has served on the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee, whose most important activity is programming an annual ceremony and symposium to honor the memory and conjure the spirit of the inimitable Chicago "Attorney for the Damned" on the anniversary of his death, March 13. While you might think that's morbid, Darrow himself declared that if communication turned out to be possible from the Afterworld, this is where his spirit would return--where his ashes were strewn in the Lagoon in Jackson Park near his home.

You are invited to join this intrepid group at the annual morning ceremony, to find out whether Darrow's spirit does indeed return. And then later that day, again following an old tradition, a symposium will convene to discuss an issue from Darrow's life and work that has contemporary relevance today. This year, on the 125th anniversary of Darrow’s representation of union organizers in the Woodworkers’ Conspiracy case, the symposium explores the labor movement then, and the movement today. Actor Sheri Flanders will read excerpts from Darrow’s closing argument. Speakers will include Professor Juan Perea of Loyola Law School and Robert Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Both events are free and open to the public, but for the evening event, registration is required. You can find more information on both events HERE.
An In-Person Book Launch at the New Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 23, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Please join is in our new location at 1620 Orrington to celebrate the publication of The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God's First Sacred Text by Barbara Mahany.
Weaving together the astonishments of science; the profound wisdom and literary gems of thinkers, poets, and observers who have come before us; and her own spiritual practice and gentle observation, Barbara Mahany reintroduces us to The Book of Nature, an experiential framework of the divine. As we grapple to make sense of today’s tumultuous world, one where nature is at once a damaged and damaging source of disaster, as well as a place of refuge and retreat, we are called again to examine how generously it awaits our attention and devotion, standing ready to be read by all.
Barbara Mahany, once a pediatric oncology nurse, was a staff writer at the Chicago Tribune for nearly thirty years, and now is the author of five books. Her first, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door, was named a Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten religion book for Fall 2014, and called “a field guide to your holiest hours.” Of her newest title, The Book of Nature: The Astonishing Beauty of God’s First Sacred Text (Broadleaf Books, March 2023), it’s been written, “If Slowing Time is a field guide to your holiest hours, The Book of Nature is a field guide to your holiest places.”
An In-Person Book Launch at the New Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
March 28, 2023 @ 6:00 PM
Please join us in our new location at 1620 Orrington to celebrate the publication of Benjamin Banneker and Us: Eleven Generations of an American Family by Rachel Jamison Webster. Professor Webster will be joined in conversation by Dr. Melissa Blount.
In 1791, Thomas Jefferson hired a Black man to help survey Washington, DC. That man was Benjamin Banneker, an African American mathematician, a writer of almanacs, and one of the greatest astronomers of his generation. Banneker then wrote what would become a famous letter to Jefferson, imploring the new president to examine his hypocrisy, as someone who claimed to love liberty yet was an enslaver. More than two centuries later, Rachel Jamison Webster, an ostensibly white woman, learns that this groundbreaking Black forefather is also her distant relative.

Acting as a storyteller, Webster draws on oral history and conversations with her DNA cousins to imagine the lives of their shared ancestors across eleven generations, among them Banneker’s grandparents, an interracial couple who broke the law to marry when America was still a conglomerate of colonies under British rule. These stories shed light on the legal construction of race and display the brilliance and resistance of early African Americans in the face of increasingly unjust laws, some of which are still in effect in the present day.
Rachel Jamison Webster is a professor of creative writing at Northwestern University and the author of four books of poetry and cross-genre writing. She has taught writing workshops through the National Urban League, Chicago Public Schools, Gallery 37, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, working to bring diversity and antiracist awareness into creative writing curricula. Rachel’s essays, poems, and stories have been published in outlets including Poetry, Tin House, and the Yale Review. Benjamin Banneker and Us is her first nonfiction book. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband and daughter.
Dr. Melissa Blount is an artist, writer, and licensed clinical psychologist practicing her craft in Evanston, Illinois. Her textile pieces explore notions of Black womanhood, trauma, and white supremacy in America. As a passionate local community activist and volunteer, she was a founding member of MEET (Making Evanston Equitable Together), OPAL (Organization for Positive Action and Leadership), and Artist Book House, local nonprofits and organizations that worked in advocacy, political action and the arts. She’s also an experienced clinician and lecturer presenting throughout the country on Black health, wellness, trauma, and the opportunities for healing and community building through the visual arts.
Books You Could Read Now--
Browse, Order, or Preorder from Us!
Bookends & Beginnings is a community-centered and community-sustained, full-service, general-interest independent bookstore, now in our ninth calendar year. We are a member of the Chicago Independent Bookstore Alliance (ChIBA), the Great Lakes Independent Bookstore Association (GLIBA), and the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Show your support by shopping in our store (and other Chicago-area independent bookstores), by bringing your local and out-of-town friends and family to shop with us, by attending our events, and by "liking" us on Facebook and posting reviews on other social media. Remember that you can always see event photos and news updates on our Facebook page, which is updated almost daily. There you can also subscribe to our events feed with a single click.
Above all, keep reading good books! 
Bookends & Beginnings
1620 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60202 

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