“Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story”

Presented Fall 2009 by the MxCC Library and Russell Library in Middletown, CT

Middlesex Community College’s Jean Burr Smith Library and the Russell Library invite you to travel back to the 1930s when our country and state were struggling to pull out of a depression and get people back to work. “Soul of a People” is a series of library programs about the Federal Writers’ Project , a small Works Progress Administration endeavor that created an enormous cultural legacy for the nation.

The WPA Writers’ Project created the famous “American Guide Series” of travel guides for every state. Writers interviewed former slaves and recorded the life histories of thousands of ordinary Americans in small towns and large cities across the U.S. Many writers who worked for the WPA became prominent literary figures later in the century, among them Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Saul Bellow and Eudora Welty.

Events include a 1930s live radio show, oral histories from the 1930s, a broadcast of excerpts from the “Soul of a People” documentary, and a book discussion of Zora Neale Hurtson’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. All events are free and open to the public, and event locations are handicapped accessible.

For more information, call the Jean Burr Smith Library at 860-343-5830.