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LUNCH WITH BOOKS LIVESTREAM: The Choctaw Gift to Ireland during the Great Hunger

August 18, 2020
12:00pm - 1:00pm

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In this online presentation, presenter Christine Kinealy,  author of Charity and the Great Hunger: The Kindness of Strangers, will explore the gift made by the Choctaw Nation in 1847, and how it has been remembered in Ireland and by the Choctaw Nation.

This program will be available to watch live on Facebook, our YouTube channel, and on the OCPL website's LWB Livestream page.

In August 1846, potato blight reappeared in Ireland—earlier and more deadly than in 1845. Regardless of the fact that the Irish poor were confronting a crisis far more immediate and serious than in the previous year, the British government introduced a series of relief measures that proved to be inappropriate and inadequate for a people on the verge of starvation. As official relief broke down and people started to die, an international fund-raising effort gathered momentum, with donations coming from as far away as China, the Caribbean, the Cape of South Africa, Venezuela, New Zealand, and North America. The money raised cut across divisions of class, race, gender, and ethnicity, with many coming from people who had no direct connection with Ireland. Of the thousands of contributions sent to help the Irish poor, a number stand out as remarkable, as they came from people who were themselves impoverished and marginalized. These include donations from Native Americans, most notably the Choctaws and the Cherokees.

SPEAKER BIO: Christine Kinealy is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she completed a PhD on the introduction of the Poor Law to Ireland. Kinealy is a tenured member of Drew University in New Jersey, where she has been a member of Faculty since September 2007. She has published extensively on the impact of the Great Irish Famine and has lectured on the relationship between poverty, famine, and emigration in Ireland, India, Spain, Canada, France, Finland, the United States, and New Zealand. View her full list of publications at

Lunch With Books Livestream starts at noon on Facebook and YouTube.

"Lunch With Books" is the library’s flagship program for adult patrons. These lunchtime programs feature authors, poets, musicians, historians, and more every Tuesday at noon. Bring your lunch, feed your brain!

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