March 1, 2005

Women Change America ...

In celebration of Women's History Month, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) honors the role of American women in transforming culture, history and politics. Throughout March, BPL's Central Library hosts a special line-up of readings and discussions on feminism and social activism, in addition to films on religion, culture and screen legend Marilyn Monroe. All programs are free and open to the public, and take place at BPL's Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

Authors gather to exchange ideas about women and society during BPL's Women's History Month Author Series. Dawn Lundy Martin, editor of The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism, discusses modern-day feminism and the 21st Century woman. In Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives, psychiatrist Anna Fels examines mixed messages women receive about ambition and achievement. Thomas Rayfiel's sequel, Eve in the City, tells the story of a young woman searching for herself in fast-paced New York City. Feminist historian Debra L. Schultz documents northern Jewish women's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement. And Italian-American bilingual poet Angela Toscano recites her inspiring, award-winning poetry.

Films from around the world will be featured in BPL's "Third Annual Women of the World Series." Religious fundamentalism and its effect on ultra-orthodox Chasidic Jewish women in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem is portrayed in Kadosh in a film from Israel. The New Zealand film, Once Were Warriors, depicts the life of a married woman struggling against domestic violence. Finzan examines two Malian women as they rebel against the commonly practiced traditions of arranged marriage and female circumcision in their rural African village. And Señorita Extraviada, an award-winning documentary from Mexico, investigates the mysterious disappearance of more than 200 young women missing from Juárez.

Brooklyn Public Library's special tribute to America's blonde bombshell, "Friday Night @ The Movies, A Marilyn Monroe Retrospective," features Marilyn Monroe's most popular film roles, including her role as a showgirl who sails to Paris in search of an eligible millionaire in the hit musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as the sexy saloon singer with dreams of moving to Hollywood in Bus Stop and the sizzling temptress next door in The Seven Year Itch. The series concludes with Marilyn Monroe's final film, The Misfits, where she portrays a runaway divorcee who tries to rediscover the West.

During a special event, "The Dinner Party: A Slide Presentation," Brooklyn Museum of Art curator Maura Reilly, will share a slide presentation on Judy Chicago's famous feminist art installation, "The Dinner Party."

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