Thursday, December 28, 2023

Kanopy: Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Explore the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Kanopy, a streaming service that is free with your WPL card. Titles include I Have a Dream, which features four historic speeches by Martin Luther King Jr., and Black America since MLK: And Still I rise which analyzes African American history within the past 50 years.

WPL card holders have 9 tickets to use to watch films. Follow this link to learn more about how tickets work. The Kanopy app is available on mobile devices and smart TVs. Create an account here. If you already have an account, click on the film title to sign in and start watching. 

This historical compilation features highlights of major speeches given by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. - August 28, 1963

Brown Chapel, Selma, AL - March 8, 1965

Final Speech - April 3, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy Eulogy - April 4, 1968

Personal comments from family, friends, and advisors fill this remarkable documentary honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coretta Scott King joins the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, Jimmy Carter, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Senator Edward Kennedy, John Lewis, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Andrew Young, who recall Dr. King's career and trace his leadership in the civil rights movement.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise 

This series looks at the last five decades of African American history through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years. Drawing on eyewitness accounts, scholarly analysis and rare archival footage, the series illuminates our recent past, while raising urgent questions about the future of the African American community and our nation as a whole.

King: A Filmed Record

A monumental documentary that follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1955 to 1968, in his rise from regional activist to world-renowned leader of the Civil Rights movement. Rare footage of King's speeches, protests, and arrests are interspersed with scenes of other high-profile supporters and opponents of the cause, punctuated by heartfelt testimonials by some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

This film documents the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police.

A skillful reconstruction of the two eventful months that transformed a strike by Memphis sanitation workers into a national conflagration. 

Friday, December 1, 2023

New Releases: December 2023 Edition

Check out these highly anticipated new releases featuring fiction and nonfiction titles. Click on the title to request a copy or get your name on the waitlist. Don’t forget to watch for more featured releases next month!


Prophet Song by Paul Lynch: Could it actually happen in Ireland? Commercial scientist Eilish Stack is living a quiet middle class life in a Dublin suburb with her husband, a trade unionist, and their four children. While, they may not be happy with the creeping loss of civil liberties under a new authoritarian government, they aren’t overly inconvenienced until a knock at the door signals her husband’s arrest and ultimate disappearance, and Eilish’s hitherto comfortable life is, step-by-step, upended utterly. Just how far will she go to preserve her family? The British edition of this timely, bleak, but beautiful novel, recently won the prestigious Booker Prize.

Rebecca, not Becky by Christine Platt and Catherine Wigginton Greene: This whip-smart, compulsively readable novel focuses on two affluent stay-at home mothers, one Black, and one white, who attempt to find common ground across a yawning racial divide. Forced by circumstance to leave her Atlanta home, former lawyer, D’Andrea Whitman finds herself marooned and deeply unhappy in the heavily white suburb of Rolling Hills, Virginia, until her therapist challenges her to find a white friend. Enter the painfully earnest Rebecca-not-Becky Myland, champion of racial diversity in the Rolling Hills community, who may just fit the bill. Satire meets probing social commentary. Misunderstanding and missteps abound, but eventually both women learn a little something about race, class, gender, parenting, and, yes, sisterhood.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon: Anyone who encounters the real-life midwife and diarist, Martha Ballard, through the pages of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife'sTale, is unlikely to forget her. So, it is perhaps not surprising that author Ariel Lawhon, has chosen to make this intrepid, competent, and courageous woman the protagonist of an historical mystery. When, in the year 1789, a man is found entombed in the ice-bound waters of the Kennebec River, Ballard, well-known in her community as an astute observer and healer, is asked to examine the body and assist in establishing a cause of death. However, when her conclusion differs from that of a prominent local physician, Martha is forced to investigate what she believes to be murder on her own.


Zero at the Bone: Fifty Entries Against Despair by Christian Wiman: Few contemporary writers ask the questions about faith, morality, and God that Christian Wiman does, and even fewer do so with his urgency and eloquence. Wiman, an award-winning poet, professor, parent and cancer survivor, has created a genre-defying work, an indivisible blend of poetry, criticism, theology and searing memoir in which he explores and ultimately refuses to accept existential despair. A soul-provoking contribution to devotional literature from a contemporary mystic.

Airplane Mode: An Irreverent History of Travel by Shahnaz Habib: Attending a lecture by a travel videographer, author Shahnaz Habib heard him proclaim, Europeans travel in August, cruises are for American retirees, and people from the third world do not travel, they immigrate.” Habib, who was raised in India, lives in Brooklyn and routinely visits relatives on several continents, is both an immigrant and a traveler. In this witty and wide-ranging collection of essays, she examines the intersection between tourism and western privilege, as well as diverse travel-related topics, including, the history of travel guides, the popularity of Thai food, and her own fear of nature (biophobia) among others.

The Lost Tomb and Other Real Life Stories of Bones, Burials and Murder by Douglas Preston: For those of us who believe that there is nothing more relaxing after a hectic day, than kicking back with a bracing account of an unsolved mystery, archeological conundrum, or gruesome murder, Preston’s latest offering may just be the perfect book you. His essays, many published previously in the New Yorker, cover the mass-murdering Monster of Florence, the discovery of an Egyptian tomb, and the booby-trapped money pit on Oak Island, among many other historical (and in some cases prehistoric) puzzles past and present.