Celebrate African-American History Month

Celebrate African-American History Month
Posted on 01/29/2019
Kuumba Drummer Myron Jackson

Manatee Libraries has planned a wide variety of events and activities in celebration of African-History month (February), starting with The Life and Reflections of author James Baldwin on Saturday, February 2, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM at Downtown Library. Program Coordinator Jyna Johnson will provide a brief introduction to the documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, based on Baldwin's unpublished letters for his Remember This House book, which explores the history of racism. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary. Downtown Library is located at 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. W., Bradenton 34205.

At 1 PM, also on February 2, Storyteller Tamara Green makes her second appearance at Rocky Bluff Library, to delight audiences with African-American and “Citified Urban Tales” (what Green defines as stories about respect, success and sharing in the neighborhood). Sponsored by Friends of Rocky Bluff Library, the storytelling event is for all ages. Rocky Bluff Library is located at 6750 US Highway 301 N., Ellenton 34222.

A thundering drum performance by Myron Jackson of the Kuumba Dancers & Drummers will take place at this month’s Coffee & Music Friday at South Manatee Library. Jackson has performed traditional African folkdance, music songs and storytelling for audiences for three decades. Myron and his wife Natalie are recipients of the Florida Association of Multicultural Education Trailblazer Award, Arts Recognition Award Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Tampa/Hillsborough Youth Council and Weekly Planet's Best of the Bay/Best Dance Company. This event is sponsored by the Friends of South Manatee. Friday, February 8, 2 to 3 PM. South Manatee Library is located at 6081 26th Street W., Bradenton 34207.

Book discussions will take place at South Manatee with An American Marriage by Tayari Jones on Friday, February 1, from 10 to 11 AM, and Palmetto with N. K. Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month on Saturday, February 23, 11 AM to 12 PM.

South Manatee plans to make African Print Stackable Bracelets on Wednesday, February 20, 1:30 to 2:30 PM, and the Kids Krew afterschool group will learn about potato chip inventor George Crum on Tuesday, February 12, 3:30 to 4:30 PM.

Then to close out the month, Sherry Svekis of Reflections of Manatee, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the Curry Houses Historic District and sharing all the histories of this area, will give a presentation about Florida's Freedom Seekers & the Underground Railroad. Located between Manatee River and Sarasota Bay, Angola provided a place of refuge and peace in the 1810s until it was destroyed in a massive slave raid in 1821. Svekis will discuss what happened to those who were captured and those who escaped and how Angola came to be recognized as a National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6 to 7:30 PM, Palmetto Library, 923 6th Street West, Palmetto 34221.

For more information about any of these events, please contact Kelly Foster, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, at 941-748-5555, x6307, or kelly.foster@mymanatee.org.

About the Manatee County Public Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and two-time Innovation winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. This past year, Manatee Libraries was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.9 million times (a record high). Downloads of their digital ebook/eaudio/movies have continued to double each year, while technical training and computer assistance were up 16%. The 47,000 customers who attended their wide variety of informational and educational programs and events reflect an increase of 130% since 2006. Please contact Kelly Foster, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, at 941-748-5555, ext. 6307, for any additional information, or visit mymanatee.org/library and follow them at FacebookTwitter and Instagram @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit mymanatee.org, facebook.com/manatee.county.fl or twitter @ManateeGov