Film Screening & Celebration: I Know A Man…Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan by Robert Shetterly, courtesy KaneLewis Productions

Program Description: In culmination of our month-long celebration of children’s book author and illustrator Ashley Bryan, join us for a screening of “I Know A Man…Ashley Bryan.” Directed by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly, this documentary explores how Bryan has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith and create loving community. This screening is co-hosted with the library’s Tween Advisory Council. Special presentation, before the screening, of work created in our craft hours throughout the month. Fresh popcorn during movie & a sampling of home-cooked food from Kayah Payton of the newly formed Grandma’s House!. 

Date/Time: Thursday, February 28, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Suggested Audience: People of all ages.

Born in the Bronx in 1923, Ashley Bryan entered the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, after being denied entry elsewhere because of his race. Drafted into the segregated US Army during World War II, Ashley preserved his humanity by drawing, stowing pastel crayons in his gas mask. After the war, he completed his Cooper Union degree, studied philosophy and literature at Columbia University on the GI Bill, and went to Europe on a Fulbright scholarship, seeking to understand why humans choose war.

Ashley returned to the United States, teaching art at several schools and universities, and retired to Maine’s Cranberry Isles as professor emeritus of Dartmouth College. Ashley Bryan has published over fifty books, including children’s books on African American spirituals and oral tradition. Among Ashley’s awards are the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions award. Ashley has stated: “If you put art into the world, you get beauty in return.”