February 4: Stephen Clingman (UMass English), on Nelson Mandela's attorney

posted Jan 3, 2014, 2:16 AM by Amherst Club   [ updated Jul 14, 2014, 9:54 AM ]
Topics in February celebrate Black History Month:

Stephen Clingman (UMass English Dept.), biographer of Nelson Mandela's attorney in South Africa (who also got a life sentence).

President Ellen Kosmer called the meeting of the Amherst Club to order at noon on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, and welcomed us all.
Ellen announced that there would be a board meeting today if a quorum were present. Ultimately, there was no quorum, so the board will meet next week.

Announcements: Shakespeare Trivia! Arthur Kinney reminded the club that on Thursday, February 6th, from 7-9 p.m. there will be a Shakespearean Trivia night at the Massachusetts Renaissance Center. All are welcome, including teams. Refreshments will be served and prizes will be awarded. Free admission.
African Music. Linda Honan announced a series of talks and performances of African music on each Thursday in February at 6 p.m. at the Gallery of African Art in Clinton, MA. The talks will be in the gallery and the performances will be in a non-profit café next door, with refreshments and fair trade gifts for sale. Clinton is about one and a half hours away from Amherst. For more information, see the attached flyer.
Madrigal Concert. Arthur Kinney announced that on Sunday, February 9th at 2 p.m. there will be a concert at the Massachusetts Renaissance Center by the madrigal group Nota Bene, led by Elizabeth Chilton. All are welcome, with free admission.

Love Notes Appetizer! A musical interlude brought warmth and laughter to a gray February day, with Phyllis Lehrer as the chanteuse, nobly backed by Vivienne Carey and Joan Hanson, who led us in a Sell Love Notes Tickets sing-along!

Snapshot: Nancy Brose brought us back to simpler times with a charming story from her childhood in the Baltimore and Washington DC areas, ending with a Valentine tale.

Speaker: Andrea Battle welcomed our speaker, Stephen Clingman, professor of English at UMass and Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute there. Professor Clingman, who is from South Africa,  spoke about his award-winning biography, Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary.  Much less well known than Nelson Mandela and some other figures from recent South African history, Bram Fischer came from a notable Afrikaner family, yet came to identify with all peoples of South Africa and to advocate for a non-racist state with freedom and equality for all. He defended Nelson Mandela at the trial where he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and years later was himself sentenced to the same punishment. Professor Clingman left the group wanting to know more about this remarkable man.

Raffle: The bottle of wine was won by Paul Bacon. The $10.00 was won by Harrison Gregg.

Your scribe, Linda Honan