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Chatham Community Library To Host Community Celebration of Black History Month

Post Date:01/09/2020 3:54 PM

The Chatham Community Library (CCL) will host a month-long observance of Black history on five consecutive Saturdays during February, 2020.  The library is located at 197 NC Hwy North, Pittsboro, NC 27312.  All events take place in the Holmes Meeting Room and are FREE and open to the public.

The event will kick-off on Saturday, 2/1, at 11:00 am with a screening of the documentary, February One: the Story of the Greensboro Four (2003).  This film includes first-hand accounts and rare footage of the volatile winter in Greensboro, NC that challenged public accommodation laws in North Carolina and served as a blueprint for a wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept across the nation during the 1960’s.

On Saturday, 2/8, at 2:00 pm, Dr. Charles Johnson, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Public History Program at North Carolina Central University, will discuss “Black Chatham: Its People and Institutions”.  Dr. Johnson was a guest speaker at the 2018 and 2019 Chatham County Juneteenth observances, where his engaging and informative discussions were always favorites with the audiences.

Saturday, 2/15, at 2:00 pm will feature a lecture by Dr. Freddie Parker, Professor Emeritus and former chair of North Carolina Central University’s History Department.  Dr. Parker will discuss “Enslaved Runaways in North Carolina: 1775 – 1840” and will include information on Maroon societies of the Great Dismal Swamp and other communities of former slaves.  Dr. Parker is a recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in the Social Sciences. He is also a member of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians, and the Southern Historical Association.

On Saturday, 2/22, from 1:00-4:00 pm, the Library will will pull out the stops with a jubilant celebration of Mardi Gras Nouvelle Orleans!  Join us for classic Fat Tuesday music, food, and light hearted fun. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (known as Shrove Tuesday). Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

The Black History Month observance will culminate at  2:00 pm on 2/29 with a performance by the North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers.  The organization promotes and perpetuates Black storytelling as an art form that embodies the histories and cultures of Africans and African-Americans, especially those in North Carolina.  Enjoyed by audiences of all ages, these storytellers weave tales of humor, home and hearth in ways that transport and delight.

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

For more information, please call (919) 545-8084.  Funding for this programing is made available through the generous support of the Friends of Chatham Community Library.



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