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Eve Ewing (free)

  • Central Library 201 West Mifflin Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

The multi-talented scholar and writer visits to read from her new book about disastrous school closures in Chicago. Info

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The Wisconsin Book Festival is closing out the year with a home-run reading from Chicago native Eve Ewing, whose work spans public-school policy, sociology, poetry, and, more recently, comic books. This visit focuses on her Ewing's new book, Ghosts In The Schoolyard: Racism And School Closings On Chicago's South Side, which details the history of failing public schools in Chicago and how public-education policy in the city has disproportionately impacted its most vulnerable residents.

The book focuses on the 2013 closures of dozens of schools in the nation's third-largest school district, and hones in on the fact that 94 percent of the students affected were low-income and 88 percent were African-American. The fallout from this disastrous decision left communities shattered, and the results are still lingering today.

Ewing asks the central question: "If the schools were so terrible, why did people fight for them so adamantly?" Chronicling the history of activism in the south-side Chicago community of Brownsville, this book points to teachers, to community leaders, and stakes holders who look past test scores and funding to see the importance of thriving public schools. The conversation around power of public schools comes to Madison at a crucial point in the state's history. Governor-Elect Tony Evers, a career educator himself, has made substantial promises to fuel public school funding throughout the state. Here's hoping that attendees talk can find some touchstone that connects them to the importance of social infrastructures, this being a reading about public schools at a public library. It's also your chance to try and get the Ewing-written debut issue of Marvel's Iron Heart signed. I suggest both. —John McCracken

Earlier Event: December 5
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Later Event: December 6
Being There (free)