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ONLINE Book Club: Audubon at Home: The Home Place
May 1, 2020 , 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Pre-registration is required by 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 22nd, and space is limited to ten people.
UPDATE: Registration is now closed. Check out our other upcoming events here.
In response to social distancing and shelter-in-place rules for Alabama during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are offering free online courses, talks, and book clubs as a public service to help folks continue to learn about the birds they love! While these will initially be offered for free, please support our work if you are able and make a tax-deductible donation at alaudubon.org/give. Please make sure to comply with all state and local social-distancing regulations. See our full COVID-19 statement here.
Join Alabama Audubon’s Office Manager, Alliemarie Humphries, as we read through The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by Dr. J. Drew Lanham. Winner of the 2017 Southern Book Prize and Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center, Dr. Lanham reflects on his lifelong interactions with the natural world around him, beginning with where it all started for him—Edgefield County, South Carolina.
Where and when do we meet? This online book club will meet on three consecutive Fridays (5/1, 5/8, 5/15) from 5:30–6:30 p.m. It will be an hour-long discussion. Click on the registration link above to sign up, and you’ll receive the instructions on how to join the meeting via a confirmation email.
Please note, you will receive a separate email with the Zoom meeting instructions before the class. You’ll need the meeting ID and password from this email to join the meeting.
Registration: Class size is limited to 10 to allow for adequate sharing. To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form.
The book: All participants are required to purchase their own copy of the book The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by Dr. J. Drew Lanham. We have included a list of vendors that currently have the book available for order. Due to COVID-19, please plan accordingly for delayed online ordering. Please plan to have a copy of the book by Thursday, April 23. The book will be broken down into three parts: Flock (pages 1–96); Fledging (pages 99–132); and Flight (pages 135–212). Each meeting will cover a different section of the book. While you are reading, make note of any questions or comments that come up and bring them to our discussion meetings!
*Staff Pick* Staff recommends purchasing through one of Birmingham’s local bookstores, Thank You Books. Due to COVID-19, the store is currently closed for browsing. There are three options to still support the shop:
- Curbside pick-up is available Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Free deliveries for those within six miles of the store’s location; $50.00 minimum for deliveries
- Non-local folks can use Book Shop (https://bookshop.org/books?keywords=The+Home+Place+) or can be used for those looking to have it shipped to your home. Thank You Books will receive a commission for each book sold through this link!
Amazon*—several options available for those interested in audiobook, Kindle, paperback, or hardback books: https://www.amazon.com/Home-Place-Memoirs-Colored-Affair/dp/B07NWYFR1Y/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1451I5MQNELN7&dchild=1&keywords=the+home+place+by+drew+lanham&qid=1585837407&sprefix=The+Home+Place+%2Caps%2C211&sr=8-1
*When using Amazon, make an easy contribution to Alabama Audubon by using Amazon Smile and selecting Alabama Audubon as your contributing charity!
Questions? Email the Office Manager.
About the Book
“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils—of love, land, identity, family, and race—emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist J. Drew Lanham.
Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way to somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Dr. Lanham himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity”—to find joy and freedom in the same land his ancestors were tied to by forced labor, and then to be a black man in a profoundly white field.
By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.
—Overview provided by Milkweed Publications, 2020.
About the Author
A South Carolina native, Dr. J. Drew Lanham has won numerous awards for his work, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. Dr. Lanham is an avid birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist. He is currently a professor at Clemson University, where he serves as an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and as an Alumni Master Teacher and Certified Wildlife Biologist. Dr. Lanham is a widely published author and award-nominated poet, his work can be found in various publications and anthologies including Audubon, Wilderness, State of the Heart, and The Colors of Nature.
Follow Dr. Lanham on Twitter @1blackbirder.