Full slate of events set for Black History Month


Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:50 p.m.

The Alachua County Library District celebrates Black History Month with music, dancing, storytelling, educational displays, movies, guest speakers and other activities.

Facts

Celebrating black history locally

Following are local black history events in the coming days. For a complete list of black history events, go to the Alachua County Library District website at www.aclib.us/events or visit your local library.

An evening with Javaka Steptoe: Artist and Illustrator Steptoe discusses his artistic style, inspirations and work, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23, Headquarters library. All ages.

Black History: Outside the Book: Dancing, singing, storytelling, and other reflections of our rich and diverse heritage, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12, Headquarters library. All ages.

Facebook: Share “Your Dream” with the library on Facebook and at the third floor alcove display at Headquarters. Results will be posted in a blog on the library website.

Celebrating Black History with the Spirit Dancers: Jordan Glen Spirit Dancers perform at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Archer Branch. All ages.

Local African American History: Black elders discuss Newberry’s history on at 6 p.m. Feb. 8, Newberry Branch. All ages.

Wild Buffalos, Wild Wheels: The Jacksonville Florida Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club, 5 p.m. Feb. 16, Library Partnership. All ages.

African American Movie Marathon: Screening 11 a.m. Feb. 22, Library Partnership. All ages.

History of Local Plantations: Presented by Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, adjunct professor of the African American Studies Program at the University of Florida, 3 p.m. Feb. 4, Tower Road Branch. Suggested for adults and seniors.

African-American Read-In: Teen volunteers read selections from African-American authors in the children’s area in an ongoing Read-In, 1 p.m. Feb. 19, Tower Road Branch. All ages.

And at the Matheson Museum, the works of Mary Ann Carroll, the only female Highwaymen artist, will be on display from Feb. 2-28.

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

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.

Alachua County library branches will offer programs that recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Americans, Nickie Kortus, the library spokeswoman, said.

Meanwhile, the exhibit, "Beyond Expectations: Florida's Highwaymen," which begins with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave., runs through Feb. 28, said Alicia A. Antone, executive director of the Matheson Museum.

Antone said the program features a gallery talk with Highwaymen artist Mary Ann Carroll, and a demonstration of her art style, along with a panel discussion featuring local artists, Ernest Lee, Alynne Harris and Nkwanda Jah. Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, professor of African-American Studies at the University of Florida, will serve as moderator.

Javaka Steptoe, an award-winning author, artist and illustrator, will headline Black History Month at the Headquarters Library. "An Evening with Javaka Steptoe," will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Headquarters Library, 410 E. University Ave. Steptoe's program is being sponsored by the Alachua County Friends of the Library.

A Brooklyn native, Steptoe is the recipient of numerous awards including The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor Book, the New York Book Show Award. New York Times Bestseller, and other awards.

Special programs will be offered at Library Partnership, 1130 NE 16th Ave., and at the Cone Park Branch Library, 2841 East University Ave.

Anita Jenkins, library manager at Library Partnership, said offerings at Library Partnership will include a movie marathon and an interactive presentation about the "Buffalo Soldiers" by the all-black Jacksoville Florida Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. The "Buffalo Soldiers" were established in 1866 by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army.

Last year, Jenkins said the Florida Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club presented a very successful program at Library Partnership.

"They rode into town in their motorcycles and the kids were so excited," Jenkins said. "There will be a special treat in conjunction with this program."

Following are Black History Month programs planned for libraries in east Gainesville:

Pre-School Storytime with stories, songs, and activities illustrating black history and culture at 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Feb. 6 and 20 at Cone Park; 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at headquarters; and 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at Library Partnership.

"The Wiz" by Danscompany of Gainesville will be shown at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Eastside Recreation Center, 2841 E. University Ave. The Wiz, is a modern adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

Black History: Outside the Book will feature Africa 2000, featuring traditional African music and dance; the LaVern Porter Dancers, David Richardson and Company, gospel singers, Revelation, a local R&B and Jazz Band, and other performers.

Black History Movie Mondays will highlight African American stories and contributions at 4 p.m. on Mondays through February at headquarters.

"Wild Buffalo, Wild Wheels," with the Jacksonville Florida Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club will be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 16; and an African Movie Marathon will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 22, both at Library Partnership.

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