History of African American life informs artist’s work

Linda Dallas is an artist, illustrator, assistant professor visual art at Saint Augustine’s University and a Raleigh Arts Commissioner.

Recommended read: Culture Town: Life in Raleigh’s African American Communities” by Linda Simmons-Henry and Linda Harris Edmisten. This wonderful book combines a wealth of photographs and architectural drawings with authentic stories from members of Raleigh’s African American communities to build a detailed picture of Raleigh’s rich African American cultural history. I loved reading this collection of oral histories; these stories make the past come to life. Reading “Culture Town” has changed and enhanced the way I see the place I work and live.

Currently reading:The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” by Toni Tipton-Martin. My art is inspired by the food that graces my table everyday. This book, a perfect blend of food, culture and history, is an intellectual feast.

What favorite book from childhood have you kept? I still have (and can recite from) my copy of “Now We Are Six” by A. A. Milne, hooray Winnie the Pooh!

Who or what taught you to love to read? My mother taught me to read and gave me my deep, deep love of reading.

What movie was better than the book? I seldom think that movies are as wonderful as the books that inspire them. However, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of my favorite adaptations.

Where do you go for book recommendations? If I’m looking for a book recommendation, I simply head for my local branch of the Wake County Public Library. I can’t say enough good things about this great library system.

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Culture Town: Life in Raleigh's African American Communities

Linda Simmons-Henry and Linda Harris Edmisten

Raleigh Historic Districts Commission, 180 pages