African American History in Maine and at Bowdoin (Portland Magazine)

The Stowe House, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.

Portland Magazine recently sent a writer to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., to look into the ways African Americans have shaped Maine. “African Americans have contributed so much to the making of everything we think of as American, and always have been a driving part of the making of Maine,” writes Sarah Moore.

Moore points as an example to John Russwurm, a member of the Bowdoin class of 1826, who was the third African American ever to graduate from college. Russwarm started the first African American newspaper in the United States, in New York.

The article also describes Bowdoin’s recently restored Stowe House, on 63 Federal Street, where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Stowe penned the 19-century bestseller several months after she harbored a runaway slave, John Andrew Jackson, in 1850, for one night.

Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal, helped establish the house’s place on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Chakkalakal will teach her Uncle Tom’s Cabin seminar next spring. In the class, she encourages students “to read the novel in its historical context by visiting various sites in and around town that inspired the novel, as well as to regard its impact upon American literary and political history.”  Read the magazine article here.

Two Students Start Cooking Classes at Local Soup Kitchen

When she was a freshman in a Georgia high school, Salam Nassar ’18 was the first in her family to arrive home after school. Her father was busy running his butcher shop in Atlanta, and her mother was working two teaching jobs. So it fell on her to start meal preparations for her family of seven.

She taught herself how to make Italian dishes, pizza, sushi, Thai. “I just wanted to make sure we were not always eating Arabic food,” she said with a little smile. Her mom, who is from Syria, often cooked the familiar dishes she grew up eating, explained Nassar, who is a biology major and education minor.

Now, in partnership with Miriam El-Baz ’18, Nassar is using her talents to feed people well beyond her family kitchen. The two juniors have started a new club, The Bite for the Better Project, to offer free cooking classes at Brunswick’s Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. The nonprofit runs a food pantry and soup kitchen close to the college, and has opened its kitchen up to the students. Read more about it.

The True Value of an Oscar (Mic)

Everyone who works in the movie industry dreams of winning an an Academy Award. But for those select few who do attain an Oscar, what is the accolade actually worth? What is the material value of the gold-plated bronze statue? And how does it impact the winner’s earning potential? These questions are posed in an article on Mic.

Polar Bear Weekend Preview

Women’s Basketball: The women’s basketball team will travel to Amherst this weekend for the 2017 NESCAC semifinals. The third-seeded Polar Bears will battle second-seeded Tufts in the semifinals Saturday at 4 p.m.

Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey: The ice hockey teams will travel to play in a NESCAC Quarterfinal doubleheader at Hamilton College Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s teams qualified for the championship but will face away games in the opening round. The women’s team (12-8-4) is seeded sixth while the men’s team (8-15-1) is seeded eighth.

Women’s Squash: The women’s squash team has learned its bracket for the upcoming College Squash Association Championship beginning Friday at Princeton University.