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Library plans programs celebrating Black History

The Demopolis Public Library will host its 23rd annual Black History Month celebration with programs throughout February. Each event is for all ages and free to attend.

According to Library Director Morgan Allen, the annual celebration was started to honor the history and accomplishments of African-Americans.

“We’re a community library and feel it’s important for people to know their history,” she said.

Connie Lawson, who is in charge of the celebrations, said she wanted to showcase more than the obvious examples of famous African-Americans.

“It’s more than Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou — the ones they know,” she said.

Lawson said that each year she chooses a theme and builds the celebrations around that theme. This year the theme is songs and churches.

“I really want people to be encouraged to be the best they can be. That’s the bottom-line,” Lawson said.

Allen and Lawson both said that community response has been great in the past and has brought more people to the library.

“Usually people come to these events that don’t normally come to the library,” Allen said.

The goals for the celebrations are to show community members what the library has to offer and to celebrate and share an important part of history.

“The purpose of the program is to celebrate Black History Month for the people who really don’t know the history. It’s fun. It’s educational. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you cry. I want something to show the struggle of what black people went through and where we are now,” Lawson said.

The first event is Black History Trivia on Feb. 2 at 4 p.m., where Charles Jones will call out trivia questions and the winner of the night will go home with a prize that has not been determined yet.

The second event is a Lunch & Learn on Feb. 6 at noon, where Robert Kane will give a presentation on African-Americans in the military.

The third event is a presentation by Mary Jones-Fitts on Feb. 8 at 4 p.m., where she will give a presentation on kings and queens in Africa.

The fourth event is a Lunch & Learn on Feb. 16 at noon, where Richard Bailey will give a presentation on black churches in 19th Century Alabama.

The final event is Black History Through Music on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., where Michele Dill and a choir will perform songs written by African-Americans and tell the story behind each one.

Lunch can be reserved at the Lunch & Learn events for $7, but is not required to attend. Patrons are welcome to bring their own lunch, as well. Guests must call the library to RSVP for the lunch.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, January 20 issue of the Demopolis Times.)