Page Turn Episode 046

Hello and welcome to Episode Forty Six of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Forty Six is So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. If you like the sound of So You Want to Talk About Race you should also check out: How to Be An Antiracist by Abram X. Kendi, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Speaking of Race by Patricia Roberts-Miller.

Bonus segment my personal favorite Goodreads list So You Want to Talk About Race is on is Durham Tech Equity & Inclusion Council Book List

Happy Reading Everyone

Today’s Library Tidbit comes to us from the Adult Services Librarian and is on Ndebele art.

On February 8th the library will be holding a program on creating Ndebele inspired artwork. It will probably be full or past by the time you hear this podcast, however, that does not mean that you cannot learn about and experience Ndebele art for yourself! The Largo Public Library also has a few books on Ndebele art that you can check out to gain a deeper understanding.

Ndebele art is the traditional artwork of the Southern Ndebele people of South Africa. Traditionally it is the art tradition of the women of the Ndebele people. The tradition began with woman painting their houses and while it is still traditionally used as house painting it has also been transferred to canvas and at least one BMW art car.

One of the most well-known Ndebele artists is Esther Mahlangu. Mahlangu learned Ndebele from her mother and grandmother. It is important in Ndebele house painting to paint straight lines. When Mahlangu was 10, after watching her mother and grandmother paint their house and wanting to join in, she picked up a chicken feather and tried her hand. She says she was scolded by her mother and grandmother for not painting straight lines and forbidden from trying again. However, she was not dissuaded and kept trying until her mother and grandmother gave her a section of the house, in the back where it would not be visible, to practice until she had learned the craft.

Ndebele house painting is categorized with straight lines, geometric patterns, and bold colors. Traditionally these held meaning for the Ndebele people and were a way to communicate to others information such as, marriages, births, death, etc. After the Boer wars, through British expansion, and finally through apartheid Ndebele house painting was a way to express resistance and spread information through the community without the colonizing force knowing. Another aspect of the tradition was that a woman painted her first house when she got married and if the lines were straight the family assumed that she was a good wife and could take care of her family.

The walls of houses are white-washed before the lines and patterns are painted in black. The patterns are filled in with colors. Traditionally the pigments used were only colors that could be created using natural pigments. However, modern Ndebele painters use acrylic paints and therefore the colors used in Ndebele house painting has grown. The geometric patterns traditionally used in Ndebele house painting are triangles, chevrons, rectangles, and circles. The patterns tend to be repeated with different colors being used to fill it in.

Since the 1980s, Esther Mahlangu has traveled the world spreading the knowledge of Ndebele house painting and teaching others. Mahlangu has collaborated with global brands, such as BMW, Belvedere vodka, Eytys, and Fiat to name a few. She has also been invited to exhibit in 12 countries around Europe, Africa, and the US. Mahlangu has opened an art school to pass on the tradition and worried that it may die out she has begun to teach boys as well as girls.

I highly recommended checking out the books available in the county on Ndebele artwork, especially if you missed out on our program.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am a librarian at the Largo Public Library. Today I’m going to be talking about a book that we have in the collection in Spanish titled Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

Synopsis: Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.

Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.

Opinion: Transcendent Kingdom is an excellent novel as it navigates the story between the different conceptions of God, the African, origin of the family of the main character, reaching the American church, within a capitalist soil, until ending in the foundations of science, where the main character dedicated her life. Gifty, the protagonist of the novel, is a complex character due to the different interconnected facets of her. As an adult, she tries to find her own sexuality, conditioned by the ancestral concepts of sex in Ghana, the country where her parents and brother were born. But she carries thoughts that are hard to overcome. The death of her dear brother Nana, a basketball player who dies at an early age from drugs. Her mother, a character tormented by the abandonment of her husband and the death of her son, and who takes refuge in religion as the only way out of her life. Gifty seeks refuge in science, trying to find a reason why these two pasts do not leave her mind. In San Francisco, far from Ghana and Alabama, where she grew up and the conditioning events of her state took place, she will find a certain stability that will try to advance her existence.

The book is highly recommended.

Outro: It’s all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. See you later.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
March 1st TikTok STEAM at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is required
March 2nd Monotype Printing at 6 and 7 pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is required
March 5th the Library will be closed for Touch-A-Touch Play Unplugged in Largo Central Park
March 6th Adult Sign Language – Beginner at 6 pm in Jenkins Room A
March 11th St. Patrick’s Bingo at 4 pm in the Children’s Program Room
March 12th Library Legos at 2 pm in the Children’s Program Room
March 15th Census – Non-population Schedules at 1 pm in the Local History Room
March 18th March Maze Mayhem at 3 pm in the Children’s Program Room
March 19th Lecture Series – Cemetery Preservation and Restoration at 1 pm in the Jenkins Wing
March 21st Cardmaking with Cutouts at 6 pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is required
March 26th Pup Pals Reading Dogs 20 minute timeslots from 10 am until 11:40 pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is required
March 28th Teen Trivia Night at 5:30 pm in Jenkins Room C
March 29th Make Your Own Watercolor Paint at 6 and 7 pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is required
March 31st Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass Still Relevant to Modern Times at 6:30 pm in Jenkins Rooms B & C
-Registration is required

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.