contContents for February 10, 2015


Join OLLI for a Road Scholar Trip to Oregon! 

Critic's Corner 

Join Us for the Study Group: Immigrants Enriching America

Join Us for the Study Group: American 20th Century Regionalism Painters

Hilltop Happenings: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow

Join OLLI for a Road Scholar trip to Oregon!
OLLI is sponsoring a private Road Scholar charter trip to Oregon June 21-26, 2015.  Among the highlights are visits to the Columbia River Gorge, downtown Portland, historical Astoria, Mt. Hood, and the Cascade Mountains.

This educational adventure will include field trips and lectures led by Road Scholar expert instructors, who are authorities in their fields of study.
You will be accompanied by a Bradley Continuing Education staff member.  The trip will include round-trip charter transportation to and from Chicago, plus roundtrip airfare to Portland.

For an information packet, please call or email Elly at 677-3900 or

The deadline to register with a deposit is March 2.
Critic's Corner


When the Oscar Nominations for films released in 2014 were announced in January, film critics, cinema historians, and moviegoers alike were taken aback by the slate of candidates for two major categories. Notably absent from the Best Actor slate was the name of David Oyelowo, who so ably portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. in the film Selma. And while Selma itself was nominated for Best Picture, its director, Ava DuVernay, an African American female, was also shunned.

These two "oversights" only add to the questionable history of Hollywood's Oscar nominations and victories for African-Americans and other monitories.

The first African-American actor or actress to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy in David O. Selnick's epic, Gone with the Wind, released in that memorable year of film history, 1939. While the Board of Directors of the Academy may have congratulated itself for its recognition of actors of color, two events associated with the event will forever tarnish McDaniel's victory.

First, when the film opened in Atlanta, Georgia in December of 1939, city officials did not allow McDaniel to participate in any of the festivities associated with its release. To his credit, Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) stepped forward and announced that he would boycott all of the hoopla planned for the city unless McDaniel was included. Various sources have noted that McDaniel persuaded him to reconsider that decision. Too bad that he didn't remain steadfast and stay away.

When the awards ceremony itself took place at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California in February of 1940, McDaniel was allowed to attend and accept the honor of being the Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

However, she was seated at a table separate from other nominees in the back of the room.

After McDaniel's dubious triumph, almost twenty-five years passed before another African-American won an Academy Award. That happened with Sidney Poitier took home the statuette for his performance in Lilies of the Field in 1963.

Only once in Oscar history has an African-American woman been selected as Best Actress. Who can forget Halle Berry's acceptance speech when she won her Oscar for Monster's Ball released in November of 2001.

Indeed, Hollywood's lack of recognition of actors and actresses of color is underscored by this sad note. Today the whereabouts of Hattie McDaniel's Oscar award remains unknown. When McDaniel died of cancer in 1952, she bequeathed the plaque to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Howard University still maintains that it never received the award in the first place, but students in attendance at that time noted its presence in a glass case on campus.

One popular theory is that student protesters in the late 1960s seized the award and tossed it into the Potomac River in repudiation of Mammy's subservient role in Gone with the Wind.

                                                    -Written by Carol May-

                       Hattie McDaniel winning Best Supporting Actress: 1940 Oscars

Hattie McDaniel winning Best Supporting Actress
Only four African-American women and six African-American men have won the Academy Award in 87 years.

                               Halle Berry winning Best Actress: 2002 Oscars
Halle Berry Wins Best Actress: 2002 Oscars
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Join us for the OLLI Study Group: Immigrants Enriching America: Stages, Struggles and Stories
Tuesdays, February 24- March 31
9:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Humana Guidance Center

For most of its history, the United States has been portrayed as a nation of people who migrated here from around the world to find a better way of life for themselves and their children. In spite of this heritage, immigration has long been a hot-button political, financial, and social issue in our society. Efforts to develop, enact, and implement meaningful immigration policy and reform have remained highly controversial to this day.

In Collaboration with the Peoria Public Library and Peoria reads, we invite you to join us in a discussion of immigration, and review how our nation's ethnic profile has changed since 1840, how it will continue to do so in the next twenty-five years, and how major immigration laws have defined who has come to the Promise Land.

Discussion Leaders: Julie Issa-Ghantous (Adjunct French Instructor, Illinois Central College), Najeebe Abbound (Sales, Helzberg Diamonds), Sonni Choi Williams (Deputy Corporation Counsel, City of Peoria Legal Department), Faisal Hasan (Inventory Management Manager, Caterpillar, Inc.)  and William Ordaz (President, Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation).

$45- Facilitated by Roberta Koscielski, Assistant Director , Peoria Public Library and Carol May, retired ICC Social Sciences Department Chair.

Click here to register for the Study Group online.
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Join the Study Group: American 20th Century Regionalism Painters
Friday's, March 6 - April 17 (Skip April 3)
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Peoria Next Innovation Center
This Study Group will focus on the painters of the Midwest along with Andrew Wyeth who painted in the style of the Regionalists. Most of us think of Grant Wood as the artist who painted "American Gothic", but he was much more than that single painting.
We will also discuss Thomas Hart Benton's work that depict the paintings of the "Great Depression" and "The Jazz Age." Come an join us to learn more about these great American Regionalist painters and become familiar not only with their paintings, but also to learn about how their lives were impacted by the society of the times in which they lived.
$45- facilitated by Jean Gronewold, a frequent OLLI Class instructor, Study group facilitator and Learning Trip lecturer.
Click here to register for this study group online.
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z3Hilltop Happenings: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
New York Times Best-Selling Author, Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
Thursday, February 12
7:00 p.m.
Bradley Michel Student Center, Ballroom
This event is free and open to the public
Michele Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, legal scholar, and author of the best-seller, The New Jim Crow, will speak at Bradley University on February 12. Alexander's lecture on "Colorblind Racism in the American Judicial System" will be followed by a panel discussion addressing the question "Where do we go from here?"
Panelists are Dr. Marwin Spiller, Associate Dean of Social Sciences, ICC; The Honorable James E. Shadid, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois; and Reverend Carole Hoke, President, Peoria Chapter of the National Interfaith Alliance.
Alexander holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, she was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics. To learn more about Michelle Alexander and the new Jim Crow, please click here.
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z4Last Chance to Participate in the 2015 OLLI Oscar Contest

The committee has chosen 10 categories from the nominations list. Simply select which film or individual you think will take home the trophy on Oscar night to submit your answers electronically. 

The winner of the 2015 OLLI at Bradley University Oscar Contest will be revealed in our newsletter on Tuesday, February 24.  In the event that multiple participants guess the correct winner in all 10 categories, we have selected a tie-breaker question. The winners will then be placed in a drawing. Our first place winner will receive a free passport to the OLLI film festival- Four from the War: A Cinema Remembrance of World War 2. The second place winner will receive 2 free tickets to Corn Stock Theatre and Peoria Players Theatre. Finally, the third place winner will receive a gift certificate worth 4 movie tickets to Landmark Cinema. The deadline for the Oscar contest is Tuesday, February 10. 
Click here to start the contest. 

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z5Keep Up with OLLI!
Stay up-to-date with the latest in OLLI news on any of our social media platforms. 

Find out what OLLI members are up to--follow us on our learning trips, and stay informed on class information.

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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
 is an organization at Bradley University whose members share a common goal:  to remain vital and active in their late career and post-career lives.

Consisting of more than 1,000 nearly 1,100 people ages 50+, OLLI members come from all backgrounds and educational levels.  Together they enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, study groups, cinema, and lectures.

To learn more about OLLI, please visit