Library planning Black History Month celebration; author will visit


The Alachua County Library District will celebrate Black History Month with activities that will include movies, storytelling and theater

Aida Mallard/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.

The Alachua County Library District will be celebrating Black History Month with a host of activities that will include a soul food fest, guest speakers, movies, music, storytelling, theater and more.

Facts

Author visit

What: Tonya Bolden, an award-winning author, will discuss her books for young people and adults.

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7.

Where: Alachua County Headquarters Library, 410 E. University Ave.

Cost: Free.

Information: Visit www.aclib.us/events/blog/visiting-author-tonya-bolden.

Black History Month, which kicks off Tuesday, is an annual celebration of black history, culture and achievements. Although Black History Month became an annual celebration in the United States in 1976, it has its roots in 1926 and grew out "Negro History Week," which was held on February and founded by noted historian Carter G. Woodson.

Woodson chose February because it marked the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, two people who greatly influenced the lives and conditions of African Americans.

Highlighting Black History Month at the Alachua County Headquarters Library will be Tonya Bolden, an award-winning African-American author. who will discuss her life and her books, including her latest novel, "Finding Family," at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Headquarters Library, 410 E. University Ave.

Special programs also are being planned for Black History Month at The Library Partnership at 1130 NE 16th Ave.

Angela Gregory, marketing and public relations manager of the Alachua County Library District, said Bolden's program is being sponsored by the Alachua County Friends of the Library.

Listed as the Best Children's Books of 2010, "Finding Family" is a historical fiction set in 1905 in Charleston, W.Va. It centers around a young girl who is raised very sheltered by her grandfather and her aunt who are trying to keep hard realities from her.

A native New Yorker, Bolden has written more than 20 books for young people and adults. Gregory said Bolden's books about African-American heroes and the African-American experience include "Maritcha," which is a Coretta Scott King honor book and James Madison Book Award winner; "MLK: Journey of a King," a National Council of Teachers of English 2008 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and "George Washington Carver," a Virginia Library Association 2009 Jefferson Cup winner and Cleveland Public Library 2010 Sugarman Award winner.

"‘Finding Family' is about appreciating your family and everything you've been through to get to where you are in this life," said Be Astengo, youth services manager at the Alachua County Library Headquarters.

Below are programs planned at the library headquarters and at Library Partnership:

Pre-school storytime: Stories, songs and activities illustrating black history and culture, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and also Feb. 8, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 at The Library Partnership and 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at the library headquarters.

Teen program: A discussion about African-American history, 4 p.m. Tuesday, The Library Partnership.

"I Have a Dream:" A dramatic interpretation by the Star Center Theatre of milestones in the civil rights movement, 3 p.m. Feb. 6, library headquarters.

Teen Tech Time: "The Black List," an HBO documentary by famous blacks, 4 p.m. Feb. 10, library headquarters. Featured speakers include Gen. Colin Powell, Sean Combs, Suzan-Lori Parks, Chris Rock, Toni Morrison, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and others.

Black History Outside the Box: Features dancing, singing, storytelling and more, 2 p.m. Feb. 13, library headquarters.

"Zora Is My Name:" A celebration of the life of author Zora Neale Hurston, 4 p.m. Feb. 14, Library Partnership.

"Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later:" A documentary featuring present-day Little Rock Central High School students, faculty, community leaders and one of the original "Little Rock Nine," 4 p.m. Feb. 16, Library Partnership.

The Little Rock Nine were African-American students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus and by troops from the Arkansas National Guard.

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years:" A film that covers the civil rights movement from 1954-1962, 4 p.m. Feb. 23, Library Partnership.

Teen Tech Time: "Black in America," the CNN award-winning documentary series, "Black in America Volume 2 — Journey for Change," 4 p.m. Feb. 24, library headquarters.

It tells the story of a youth empowerment group that included 30 street-wise kids from Brooklyn who travel to Africa, and in the process, become global ambassadors through community service and fundraising projects. There will be a discussion and refreshments following the viewing.

Black History Month celebration: Featuring soul food and the viewing of the film, "Eye on the Prize: Ain't Scared of Your Jails," which covers 1960-1961, and "No Easy Walk," which covers 1961-1963, 4 p.m. Feb. 28, Library Partnership.

Anita Jenkins, manager at The Library Partnership, said the community is invited to participate in the month-long celebration, with programs suited for everyone in the family.

"We will have a nice celebration and fun while learning about black history," Jenkins said.

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