Marvin V. Arnett is a retired Federal Manager born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She has witnessed the understanding, or lack thereof, between the races in the Detroit Metropolitan area over a 70 year time span. During her career Ms. Arnett has received many awards, both honorary and monetary, for Outstanding Job Performances and cost cutting suggestions. She also served as a Material Program Instructor training more than 750 federal employees in new systems programs.
Ms. Arnett has served as National Vice-president of 'Blacks in Government' (BIG) an international organization devoted to the search for equal employment opportunities for people of all races within the Federal Service. She has held workshops at national conferences, e.g., Federally Employed Women (FEW) on Upward Mobility within the Federal Service, and The Detroit Writers Guild on 'The Making of the Memoir.'
Winner of the first AA-AHA Non-fiction Book Award, Ms. Arnett has had a life-long love affair with books. Over the years, she has attended numerous writing classes and conferences, including the prestigious Cranbrook Writers Conference at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Birmingham, Michigan. She has also served as guest instructor for Creative Writing classes at University of Michigan-Dearborn, and currently holds diversity session at local colleges and universities based on her childhood memoir, 'Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt.' She is in great demand as a speaker during Black History Month. Perhaps her most successful effort has been in the field of mentoring. She has counseled and advised many young men and women on both career and life situations.
Ms. Arnett has traveled extensively within the United States, and abroad, visiting more than thirty-seven foreign countries.
She is the proud mother of three, grandmother of four, great-grandmother of five, and great-great-grandmother of one. She serves on the Board of Friends of the Southfield Library, and enjoys reading, listening to jazz and volunteering time to service organizations.
Writing is her joy!
Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt
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Format: Hardcover, 208pp
Pub. Date: April 2003
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (American Lives Series)
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About the Book
Much has been written about the racism experienced by African-Americans living in the South during the 30's and 40's, but little about the racism experienced by their counterparts living in the North. Although the racism experienced by those in the North was subtle, it was just as devastating.
Part memoir and part urban social history, Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt is an African American woman's personal account of he life during a racially turbulent period in a northern American city. Raised in a black neighborhood in urban Detroit, Marvin V. Arnett begins her book with her birth during the Great Depression, and ends with the infamous Detroit race riot of 1943. Arnett's close observations and attention to details of her neighborhood and the complex adult relationships around her make this an understated yet powerful story of witness.
Like the idiosyncratic pieces of a crazy quilt, each chapter functions alone but takes on particular resonance when considered with the whole. Choreographed as one-act plays, each chapter invites the reader into the life of the Sprague family and their neighbors during the years after the Ford Motor Company closed their Detroit plants. Arnett tells the story of her childhood with subversive allusions to the Victorian-era coming-of-age stories she consumed while growing up and the moral lessons she absorbed in such readings but could not reconcile with her own experience.
Pieces from Life's Crazy Quilt is a collection of stories of the people, places and events that prepared a young girl for an unknown future.
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