Ashley Bryan will speak about his new book, “Freedom over Me,” at Birch Bay Village on Nov. 18. PHOTO COURTESY OF ACADIA SENIOR COLLEGE

Bryan to speak at Food for Thought

BAR HARBOR — Artist and writer Ashley Bryan will discuss his newest book, “Freedom over Me,” images and stories about 11 slaves on an antebellum plantation, at Acadia Senior College’s Food for Thought program at Birch Bay Village on Friday, Nov. 18, from 12-1 p.m.

Several years ago, Bryan obtained the tax documents of an old plantation, and among the taxable assets listed were 11 enslaved persons, indexed by age, sex and monetary value. Although these slaves were regarded only as property during their lifetimes, Bryan has developed them into full, realistic characters. Using his imagination, he has brought them to life with pictures and narratives.

Bryan, originally from Harlem, N.Y., lives on Little Cranberry Island, where he writes and illustrates his books. He also makes fantastic puppets using found objects and has created a series of stained-glass windows using colorful beach glass. He travels broadly, presenting his stories to people all around the world.

Bryan was educated at Cooper Union and Columbia University. He has written and illustrated several award-winning books for children, many of which grow out of the oral traditions of Africa, the West Indies and the American South. These include “Beat the Story Drum,” “Pum-Pum,” “Walk Together Children” and “I’m Going to Sing.” He is a recipient of the Arbuthnot Prize, recognizing a lifetime of achievement in children’s literature.

Food for Thought is held at Birch Bay Village in Hulls Cove. All Food for Thought events are open to the public. The lecture is free. A hot buffet lunch is available at 11:30 a.m. for $11. Reservations, required for either, must be received by noon Thursday, Nov. 17. Contact Acadia Senior College at 288-9500 or [email protected].


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