Library features Black History Month events

Monday, February 7, 2005

From the power of abolitionist editor Frederick Douglass's words, to the twang of Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter belting out his folk-blues guitar; black history has a strong place in American culture. Those contributions will get a tip of the hat this week at the Marshall Public Library through two celebrations of Black History Month.

The first of these will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday night when Anita Wright will do her monthly travelogue "Picture Your World." This month's theme will be Africa.

With subjects ranging from Cape Town and the Cape of Good Horn to Kruger National Park game reserve, Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe, Wright will share her experiences visiting the oldest inhabited place on earth and the birthplace of African-American history.

There's a large amount of information to cover, said Wright. "I'm going to try to scurry through it."

Wright will show off a variety of her collection of African paraphernalia from her trips as well, including jewelry, wood carvings and a handmade tablecloth.

She said she will wear an African outfit as well. "That alone will be worth the price of admission," Wright said, laughing. The event is free of charge.

Then, at 7 p.m. Thursday, the Missouri Valley College dance team will put on a dance performance in celebration of black history. "It will be a performance honoring African-American dance as part of our culture," said Amy Crump, library director.

Black History Month was spawned from "Negro History Week," started by Carter Woodson in the 1920s. As Woodson tried to expand the coverage of African-American influences and contributions to history at a time when history books barely acknowledged their existence, Woodson set aside the second week of February to remedy the situation.

In addition to the two events, Crump said that the library features two displays, one in the children's section and one in the adult's section of the library, celebrating African-American history. These displays feature some recommended reading on the subject, including some books that are recent additions to the library's collection.

Contact Matt Heger at

marshallbusiness@socket.net