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Great Michigan Read 2011-12

low-res_coverGMR_logoArc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle

Plymouth patrons will once again join hundreds of communities across the state participating in the Great Michigan Read, the statewide one-book reading initiative sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council, by reading Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder by native Detroiter Kevin Boyle. Arc of Justice tells the story of Detroit in the Roaring Twenties when Ossian Sweet, an African American physician, purchased a home for his family in an all-white Detroit neighborhood in 1925, and started the chain of events that eventually led to a sensational murder trial, with the famous attorney Clarence Darrow for the defense. Arc of Justice was published in 2004 and garnered high praise, winning the 2004 National Book Award, and nominations for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named a Michigan Notable Book in 2005, and is the basis for the play Malice Aforethought: the Sweet Trials, performed at the University of Detroit Mercy in 2007.

Activities at PDL will include two book discussions and a presentation about Detroit in the 1920’s by a guest speaker. The Contemporary Books Discussion Group will meet on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. and the Brown Bag Books Discussion Group will meet on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at noon for thoughtful and lively discussions of this period in our state’s history. No registration is necessary to participate. Copies of the book will be available for check-out at the Library. Readers Guides will also be available.

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7 p.m. Joel Stone, curator of the Detroit Historical Society and Museum, will speak at the Library about Detroit in the 1920’s, a turbulent time in the City’s past, and the backdrop for the Ossian Sweet drama. Mr. Stone is a Detroit historian who has studied history, archaeology, and archival management at various universities worldwide, and has made Detroit’s history the focus of his research and writing. Sign-up is requested at 734.453.0750, ext 4, or online at

 Join us as we explore an important and fascinating story about our past, and its effect on our present, when we read Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age.

  The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.