By the Book Author Series

By the Book Author Series

A Celebration of Research, Writing, and the Grand Reopening of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Library

Beginning this October, we invite you to experience the Cleveland History Center in a brand-new way through our By the Book Author Series. Join us in the newly renovated WRHS Research Library as we highlight scholars’ work on various aspects of history relating to Northeast Ohio. Hear from the authors as they discuss topics ranging from the historic to the sociological, then enjoy a networking session for more in-depth conversation with the authors and WRHS staff.

Tickets

WRHS Members: FREE
Adults: $15
Seniors (62+): $13
Veterans: $12
College: $10

Tickets include the book discussion and networking hour, as well as full museum admission. Participants will receive a 10% discount on authors’ works if purchased through the WRHS Museum Store. Participants will also receive $5 flat rate parking in our Visitor Lot.

Part of a book club? Ask us about special discounted admission rates for groups! For more information, email Whitney Stalnaker, Public Programs Manager, at wstalnaker@wrhs.org.

Light refreshments and beverages will be available for purchase.

Schedule of Topics

For more information on each session, including how to register, please click the links below.

Fashioning Black Womanhood: How African Americans Influenced the Fashion Industry and Fought for Equality

Presenters: Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, Patty Edmonson, Dru Thompson

Date: Thurs., Oct. 7, 2021

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

From slavery to the present day, fashion has served an important means for Black women to express their identities and to fight for racial equality. This coming panel, concurrent with the exhibition Amanda Wicker: Black Fashion Design in Cleveland, will discuss how Black women carved themselves a space as fashion experts and influencers and how the industry became an avenue to claim freedoms in Cleveland and beyond.

Speakers include Patricia Edmonson, Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costume and Textiles at WRHS, Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, a fashion historian who will discuss her new book Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism, and fashion designer and entrepreneur/owner of Dru Christine Fabrics & Design, Dru Thompson.


The Art and Science of Local History, Family History, and Genealogical Research

Presenters: Tonya Briggs & Dr. Regennia N. Williams

Date: Mon., Oct. 18, 2021

Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Location: Cleveland Public Library – Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch

Please Note: This session is being hosted through the Cleveland Public Library, and separate registration is required. To register for this session, please click here.


Chief Thunderwater: An Unexpected Indian in Unexpected Places

Presenter: Dr. Gerald Reid

Date: Thurs., Nov. 4, 2021

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

In his presentation, Dr. Gerald Reid will focus on his recently published book, Chief Thunderwater: An Unexpected Indian in Unexpected Places, which tells the story of Chief Thunderwater (Oghema Niagara), a Cleveland-based Indigenous activist who played a vital role in the political revitalization of Hodinöhsö:ni´ (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois/Six Nations) communities in Canada in the early twentieth century.   He will discuss the development of his interest in Thunderwater’s story, present a synopsis of Thunderwater’s life, and offer a consideration of his political influence and legacy.  Reid will highlight the importance of the CHC/WRHS collections for understanding and telling the Thunderwater story.


Black Politics and Black Power in Ohio, 1837-1860

Panelists: Van Gosse, Dr. Regennia N. Williams, & Dr. John Grabowski

Date: Thurs., Nov. 11, 2021

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

In the 1840s and 50s, a remarkable cadre of Black leaders built electoral and political influence within Ohio’s rapidly shifting partisan terrain. Taking advantage of state Supreme Court decisions recognizing as “Caucasian” any man claiming he was “preponderantly white,” thousands of African American men voted throughout the state by the 1850s.  A fiercely contested 1856 congressional race between Lewis Campbell and Clement Vallandigham was one of many instances where Black voters were seen as crucial, and the Republican Salmon P. Chase was repeatedly derided as a “Negro Governor” whose election depended on their support. Finally, on Election Day 1860, the New York Herald, the country’s leading newspaper, proclaimed that Congress should invalidate Lincoln’s election because of Ohio’s “fourteen thousand negro voters.” Learn more about the power of the Black vote in Ohio in a panel discussion, led by Van Gosse, Professor of History at Franklin & Marshall College; Dr. Regennia N. Williams, Distinguished Scholar of African American History & Culture at WRHS; & Dr. John Grabowski, Krieger Mueller Chief Historian at WRHS.


Virtual Discussion: A Choice of Weapons

Presenter: Dr. Regennia N. Williams

Date: Thurs., Nov. 18, 2021

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Virtual (Zoom Platform)

Event Description

This virtual discussion, led by WRHS Distinguished Scholar of African American History & Culture, Dr. Regennia N. Williams, will focus on several of the major themes that Gordon Parks explored in his 1966 memoir, A Choice of Weapons.  Among other things, the discussion group will consider Parks’ Kansas roots, his challenging young adult years, his early work as a pianist, his foray into professional sports, his family life, and his discovery of professional photography – the weapon that would transform his life forever.


Religion, Spirituality, and Rights

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

Date: Thurs., Jan. 20, 2022

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

​In this talk on Let the Oppressed Go Free, Dr. McMickle’s 18th book project, the author will consider the influence of various liberation theologies in social, cultural, and political history.  Among other topics, Let the Oppressed Go Free focuses on Black Theology, Feminist Theology, and Womanist Theology in America.


Class, Culture, and Consciousness in Black America

Presenter: Cassi Pittman Claytor

Date: Thurs., March 3, 2022

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

Northeast Ohio native Dr. Cassi Pittman Claytor’s talk on Black Privilege will enrich program participants’ “understanding of the Black middle class [by] drawing on the firsthand accounts of Black New Yorkers to offer original analysis as to what middle-class status buys Blacks who have cultural capital, credentials, and cash on hand.”


Important Differences in the Health of African Americans

Presenter: Dr. Gregory L. Hall

Date: Thurs., April 7, 2022

Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Location: Cleveland History Center

Event Description

In a talk that is designed to appeal to both general audiences and healthcare providers, Gregory Hall, MD, will focus on many of the topics that he explored in Patient-Centered Clinical Care for African Americans (Springer 2020). Participants are encouraged to visit Dr. Hall’s website and his blog prior to the event, if they would like to review related articles on this topic before the talk.