Book Talks Coming Up at Maine Historical Society

02 May 2016 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Announcement below from Maine Historical Society:

Friday, May 6, 12:00 pm
Book Talk: Daisy Turner’s Kin: An African American Family Saga

A daughter of freed African American slaves, Daisy Turner became a living repository of history. The family narrative entrusted to her--"a well-polished artifact, an heirloom that had been carefully preserved"--began among the Yoruba in West Africa and continued with her own long lifetime. In 1983, folklorist Jane Beck began to interview Turner, then one hundred years old and still relating four generations of oral history. Beck uses Turner's storytelling to build the Turner family saga, using at its foundation the oft-repeated touchstone stories at the heart of their experiences: the abduction into slavery of Turner’s African ancestors; Daisy's father learning to read; his return as a soldier to his former plantation to kill the overseer; Daisy's childhood stand against racism; and her family's life in Vermont. Beck weaves in historical research and offers a folklorist's perspective on oral history and the hazards and uses of memory. Join us to hear firsthand from Beck the origins and inner-workings of documenting this moving family history.
Free for MHS Members and faculty, staff, and students of USM; $5 general admission. Offered in cooperation with the African American Collection of Maine. University of Southern Maine's Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.


Wednesday, May 25, 12:00 pm
Book Talk: The Phantom Punch

The two bouts between Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston are widely considered the most anticipated and controversial fights in heavyweight boxing. Cassius Clay won the first bout in Miami Beach in February 1964, when Liston refused to come out for the seventh round. The second fight took place in Lewiston, Maine, fifteen months later in May 1965. Halfway through the first round, Ali countered a left from Liston with a fast right, knocking Liston down. He did not get up. Ali’s right was so fast many spectators never even saw it. It was quickly dubbed the Phantom Punch and rumors began to swirl that Liston had thrown the fight. Many who believed Liston--a brutal fighter who picked up boxing in prison--had also thrown the first fight the year before in Miami were now vindicated.
Journalist and sports historian Rob Sneddon takes a fresh look at the infamous Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston fight of May 25, 1965, which ended in chaos at a high school hockey rink in Lewiston, Maine. Sneddon digs deep into the fight’s background and delivers new perspective on boxing promotion in the 1960s; on Ali’s rapid rise and Liston’s sudden fall; on how the bout ended up in Lewiston--and, of course, on Ali’s phantom punch. That single lightning-quick blow triggered a complex chain reaction of events that few people understood, either then or now.
Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission.

More information about each program can be found on the MHS website:

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Maine Archives and Museums

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