Saturday, February 23, 2013

FOSL Sponsors Black History Month Celebrations at Smyrna Public Library

The Smyrna Public Library will offer two exciting programs for children, families, and adults in celebration of Black History Month. Thanks to the generous donation and support from the Friends of the Smyrna Library, these programs are free of charge and are open to the public. No reservations are necessary to attend. Both programs will be held in the first floor meeting room of the Smyrna Public Library.

On Saturday, February 23rd, the library will host a storytelling program for children and families from 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM. The Cobb Cluster of the Southern Order of Storytellers, members of the Kuumba Storytellers, and the youth Tattle Tales group will be featured. Children and adults alike will share stories about notable African Americans and African dolls will be featured at the program as well. Storyteller Margaret Edinburgh says, "We can preserve our history by preserving the art of storytelling." These storytellers will educate and entertain while also paying homage to important figures in black history. Edinburgh will be joined by storytellers Esther Culver, Amy Johnson, and Mama Koku, as well as by several youth storytellers. This program will be fun for the whole family!

On Sunday, February 24th from 2:00-4:00 PM, the library will offer a special Black History Month program for adults featuring two speakers, Ms. Robin Washington Banks and Mr. Charles Black. This program, also sponsored by the Friends of the Smyrna Library, is open to the public and will offer light refreshments.

Ms. Robin Washington Banks, educator and author, is the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and the daughter of a Tuskegee Airman. Her great-aunt was also one of the co-founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American sorority. Ms. Washington Banks focuses on promoting the philosophies of her great grandfather. "It has become my life's work to keep my great grandfather's legacy alive by doing things that will draw attention to his philosophies and his work." Ms. Washington Banks' presentation, "Colors, Character and Choices," will include stories about her family and will highlight character as a powerful tool in bringing our diverse nation together in harmony.

Mr. Charles Black is a professional actor on stage, screen, radio, video and television, a Special Correspondent for The Atlanta Inquirer newspaper, and a community activist. Mr. Black served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP of which he is a Life Member. While attending Morehouse College, Mr. Black was one of only eight students taught by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Black served as chairman of the Atlanta Student Movement in the 1960s, where he implemented the desegregation plan for lunch counters in Atlanta, negotiated desegregation of all theaters and movie houses in Atlanta and negotiated desegregation of Grady Hospital. He will focus on "Hidden Heroes of History" and will share his experiences as a civil rights figure in Atlanta.