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Heart & Hand
Book Talks

The Heart and Hands Book Talk Series hopes to inspire people to open their hearts and minds by challenging existing perceptions about systemic racism and injustice against people of color. Developed as part of LA County Library’s Equity Initiative, these talks feature discussions on thought-provoking literature as well as conversations with noted authors and speakers. The Heart and Hands Book Talk Series is moderated by Skye Patrick, LA County Library Director.

Upcoming Conversation

Heart & Hand Book Talk with Vanessa Chan

Heart & Hand Virtual Book Talk with Vanessa Chan
Thursday, May 23, 6-7 pm
Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an exclusive Heart and Hand Virtual Book Talk featuring Vanessa Chan, acclaimed author of the best-selling novel, The Storm We Made. Join us as Library Director Skye Patrick and author Vanessa Chan delve into the novel’s captivating saga, which unfolds against the backdrop of Malaya (now Malaysia) during World War II, weaving together the gripping narrative of an unlikely spy, a clandestine love affair, and the relentless forces that challenge even the strongest bonds. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with one of today’s literary rising stars.
Reserve your spot for an unforgettable evening!

Previous Conversations

Heart & Hand with James Spooner

Heart & Hand: James Spooner
We celebrated African American and Black History Month with a captivating virtual book talk with James Spooner, a multi-talented and award-winning filmmaker author, and illustrator. His works, including Afro-Punk, Black Punk Now, and The High Desert, explore themes of identity, race, and culture in the punk and alternative music scenes. With his unique perspective and artistic vision, Spooner sheds light on the often-overlooked experiences of Black punks and creatives. Hear from the mind behind groundbreaking projects and gain insight into the intersection of music, art, and social commentary.
Watch Event Recording Here.

H&H sq 6-7-23

Heart & Hand: David Ambroz 
Watch a special hybrid edition of LA County Library’s Heart and Hand Book Talk with David Ambroz, sponsored by LA County Library Foundation and BIG Outdoor.

David Ambroz is a poverty and child welfare expert and advocate and author of A Place Called Home – A Memoir. In a chat with Library Director Skye Patrick, he shared his journey from growing up homeless and navigating the foster care system to overcoming life’s obstacles and becoming an award-winning child welfare advocate. This hybrid event was sponsored by LA County Library Foundation and BIG Outdoor.
Watch Event Recording Here.

Heart & Hand March 2023

Heart & Hand: Exploring Black Indian Ancestry with Shonda Buchanan
Listen in on a book discussion as Award-winning author, Shonda Buchanan talks about her memoir, Black Indian, with Library Director Skye Patrick. Black Indian is an inspiring work of non-fiction that explores her family’s legacy of being African Americans with American Indian roots and how they dealt with not only society’s ostracization but also the consequences of this dual inheritance.
Watch Event Recording Here.

Heart and Hand event with Oliver James

Heart & Hand: Destigmatizing Illiteracy with Social Media
Tune in to a pre-recorded conversation with Oliver James, one of the brightest new stars on TikTok’s BookTok platform. His story makes for one of the most uplifting in the literary world: he taught himself to read at the age of 34 by leveraging TikTok. Oliver is also a fitness aficionado and personal trainer who got started on his reading journey while working out, and now he’s set a “modest” goal of reading 100 books this year. We promise you will come away from this talk inspired!
Watch Event Recording Here.

Heart and Hand Book Talk Series Cultural Awareness through Food Literacy

Heart & Hand: Cultural Awareness Through Food Literacy
Food can be a great unifier, helping connect people from different backgrounds and exposing us to new cultures and customs. Join Library Director Skye Patrick and Food Ethnographer and Author June Jo Lee for a conversation about food literacy and how it can be used as a tool to help spread awareness on diverse cultures and life experiences.

Lee is the co-author of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Award-winning Chef Roy Choi and The Street Food Remix and Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild, which is set to publish in June 2022. This live event was recorded on 6/7/22.
Watch event recording here.

Heart & Hand Book Talk with Annette Chavez Macias

Heart and Hand Virtual Book Talk: Celebrating Authentic Cultural Representation
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, LA County Library and its Chicano Resource Center host a special edition of the Heart and Hand Virtual Book Talk Series. This month’s program focuses on Celebrating Authentic Cultural Representation and will feature an illuminating conversation between Library Director Skye Patrick and Annette Chavez Macias, Mexican American author of Big Chicas Don’t Cry and Too Soon for Adiós. This live event was recorded on 10/6/22.
Watch event recording here.

Heart and Hand - Legacy of Bruce's Beach

Heart & Hand: The Legacy of Bruce’s Beach
Tune in for a pre-recorded conversation about the legacy of Bruce’s Beach, and the role of community and media in spreading awareness about social justice issues. Library Director Skye Patrick moderated an insightful conversation between Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson, historian and author of Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites During the Jim Crow Era and Dominique DiPrima, host of First Things First on KBLA TALK 1580. This program also featured a special appearance from Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn, an instrumental leader in the County’s effort to return Bruce’s Beach to its descendants. This live event was recorded on 1/19/22.
Watch event recording here.

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