From staff reports
On Wednesday, September 25 at 2 pm, the Leelanau Historical Society & Museum and Leland Township Library will host award-winning author and oral historian Martha Bloomfield for a talk titled “Michigan Immigrants: Romanies, Hmong, and Many More” in the Munnecke Room at the Library.
Bloomfield is passionate about discovering, gathering, and documenting the stories of marginalized people—immigrants, migrants and the homeless—in an effort to humanize issues; dissipate prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination; and to foster dialogue, civic engagement, social responsibility and justice. Bloomfield is the author of many books, several of which are about immigrants in Michigan. During her talk, she will share peoples’ stories multi- dimensionally through their own voices, including family historical documents, photographs and artifacts, with commentary about the greater social/historical context at the time.
An avid and engaged traveler, Bloomfield conducted her undergraduate studies in English and French at Bennington College in Vermont and the Haile Selassie I University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (now the Addis Ababa University). She holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University and briefly served as an adjunct writing instructor at Michigan State University and at the University of Pittsburgh, before beginning her tenure at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. In 2010, Bloomfield retired from the Museum to devote her time to writing.
Her newest book, Romanies in Michigan was published in July of 2019 by Michigan State University Press. Her first book, The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants was co-authored by Steve Ostrander and won a national IPPY Award, an Independent Publisher Book Award, Silver Medal for Multicultural Adult Non-Fiction and a Michigan Notable Book Award in 2011. Bloomfield is currently a member of the Michigan Humanities Touring Directory and will be presenting at libraries throughout the state from September through April 2020.