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In Danielle Allen’s elegiac family memoir, Cuz: On the Life and Times of Michael A., she tries to make sense of a young African American man’s tragic coming-of-age in Los Angeles. Allen, a Harvard professor and author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, became the “cousin-on-duty” when her younger cousin Michael was released from prison. Arrested at fifteen, tried as an adult—three years after his release, Michael was shot and killed. Why? Allen’s deeply personal and poignant story is an unwavering look at a world transformed by the sudden availability of narcotics and the rise of street gangs, drugs, and the failures of mass incarceration. Rallying an urgent call for system-wide reform, Allen discusses her new work with Franklin Leonard, a film executive who founded The Black List, a yearly publication featuring Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays.

 

Danielle Allen

Danielle Allen is the James Conant Bryant University Professor at Harvard University and author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, winner of the Parkman Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Franklin Leonard

Franklin Leonard is the founder of The Black List, the yearly publication highlighting Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays and the company birthed to continue its mission via live events, a podcast, and a two-sided screenplay marketplace.  More than 325 Black List scripts have been produced as feature films earning 250 Academy Award nominations and 50 wins including four of the last nine Best Pictures and half of the last twenty screenwriting Oscars. Franklin has been named of one The Root’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans, Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and was awarded the 2015 African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)’s Special Achievement Award for career excellence. He is a member of the Associates Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Cuz: On the Life and Times of Michael A. (Book Cover)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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