February, 2021

LibriVox Celebrates 15,000 Audiobooks!

Posted on February 14, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, News | Comments: 2 Comments on LibriVox Celebrates 15,000 Audiobooks!

In 2020, LibriVox welcomed an amazing amount of new volunteers, one of the few positive side-effects of the Covid19 pandemic. Consequently, we could finish many more books than usual, so it took us only 9 months since the last milestone to celebrate LibriVox audiobook # 15.000!

Enjoy our drama production of Berenice, a play set in ancient Rome written by famous 17th century French playwright Jean Racine.

You can also give any of the other free LibriVox audiobooks a listen. In our catalog there are currently 1922 projects in 43 languages besides English, and a total of 7982 solo recordings of novels, poetry, and non fiction.

As always, a big thank you goes to all our more than 10850 readers (more than 1000 new ones since the last time) and everyone who helps with proof listening, project coordinating, cover design, making m4b files, and the technicalities behind the scenes.

Thank you all for making LibriVox one of the best places on the internet!

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History in Black and White

Posted on February 1, 2021 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: Comments Off on History in Black and White

February marks Black History Month in the US, and together with the Black Lives Matter movement, LibriVox has risen to put out more books by African Americans. Delve into a truly black part of world history with 10 gems from our catalog.

To understand the root of the evil, let’s follow British actress Fanny Kemble as she moves to the American South after her marriage. Growing sensible to the plight of slaves, she published her Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation after the end of the Civil War.

Paul Laurence Dunbar had many tales to tell, and 20 of his short stories are collected in The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories. They are written in a dialect used by African Americans of that time and provide interesting insights.

Some things take time, as a black Homesteader in the Dakotas finds out. In love with the white Agnes, he still marries a black woman. However, when the marriage fails and he returns to Agnes, things have changed drastically in the novel by Oscar Micheaux.

When a young man finds out that he is of mixed race after all, his whole world falls apart. In the novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, James W. Johnson leads his protagonist onto a trip of self-discovery during the Reconstruction.

Fast forward to the US in the 1950s where prejudice against black people was still rampant in much of the country, especially in the South. J. Saunders Redding tells his very own story On Being a Negro in America.

After race riots in 1967, President Johnson installed the Kerner Commission to conduct an investigation. The Commission’s Report finds that “our nation moves towards a black and white society, separate and unequal…” but ends on the positive note that this “is not inevitable.”

Not to be negative, but can you write a comedy about slaves, kidnapping, rape? Terence, himself a slave in ancient Rome, definitely thought so when he penned Eunuchus: The Eunuch back in 200 BC. Different times, different places…

… and yet, everything’s the same. Antonio de Castro Alves wrote about slavery and the exploitation of the black race in Brazil. Os Escravos is a collection of 34 of his poems.

Alice Dunbar Nelson sees slavery through the eyes of women. Violets and Other Tales is a collection of 22 poems and short stories, and sone of them have a decidedly feminist outlook.

We don’t know if Pauline E. Hopkins was a feminist or not. But Hagar’s Daughter was groundbreaking: Maid Venus Johnson becomes the first black female detective as she investigates the murder of a white woman in this first African American mystery novel.

Enjoy – and let’s make the world a good one for everyone!

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