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2018 Black History Month Events

Derrick Davis Art Exhibit: From Africa to African American
Throughout February

Throughout the month of February, FLPL will be displaying the artwork of Derrick Davis, in a collection called From Africa to African American. The exhibit is on the 2nd floor of the library. 

Mr. Davis works in the mediums of India ink, watercolors, oils, and clay. He has a degree in Art Education and Fine Arts from Alabama A&M University. Mr. Davis acquired his love for art and creative expression from his grandmother and mother and his ability to build and create from his father and grandfather. He describes his style as "loose surrealistic abstractions," and his images often reflect the rural environment he grew up in and his African heritage.

Mr. Handy’s Blues Screening with Dr. Carlos Handy
Saturday, February 3, 1:00-3:00 pm
Dr. Carlos Handy (grandson of Musician, Songwriter and Composer, Mr. W. C. Handy) presents the documentary Mr. Handy’s Blues.

This timely documentary covers on film Mr. William Christopher Handy’s journey from minister’s son to music legend. Against the odds, Handy not only strived but succeeded in an era where the African American voice was rarely heard or acknowledged. The film includes rare footage and photographs. Program will conclude with a Q&A session, book signing and discussion.


The Screening Room: Hidden Figures
Sunday, February 4, 2:00 pm

The free film series The Screening Room: Classics, Crowd-Pleasers, Cult Favorites and Neglected Gems continues its 2018 lineup with Hidden Figures.

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA—Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

The series — sponsored by the library and Pillar of Fire — is hosted by film historian and Pillar of Fire founder Terry Pace and his wife, Anita. 

I Am Not Your Negro Documentary Screening
Saturday, February 10, 1:00-3:00 pm

I Am Not Your Negro is based on a nonfiction project started in the late 1970s by writer James Baldwin. After having written a 30 page outline for the book, he explained why he simply couldn’t bring himself to complete it. Originally titled Remember This House, the book was meant to be a retrospective of the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King based upon Baldwin’s own personal relationships and experiences with all three.

The film shows the importance of how the three men and the nation they were fighting to improve inspired one man to get off the sidelines and return to the United States after living and writing in Paris, France for many years. The documentary includes the truly moving recollections of how ashamed Baldwin felt by images in the newspaper of black students being verbally abused as they integrated white schools.

A Song for You, Father
Sunday, February 11, 2:00-4:00 pm

Join us for a joyous afternoon of gospel performances at the library! Scheduled featured performers include:

Minister Ray Cooper & the Miracles of Joy 
Trinity Missionary Baptist Children's Choir
Ms. Apriell Burgess (vocalist), with Mr. Grant Gunn (keyboardist)
Ms. Mary Robinson (vocalist) 
Ms. Kaylei Bullitt (vocalist) 
Ms. Catera Brae Allen (vocalist) with Mr. Grant Gunn
Mrs. Annie Cole
Rev. Rickie Cole

Lyrical Expressions Plus
Sunday, February 18, 2:00-4:00 pm

This Jazz and Blues program will include spoken word, music, and dance. Scheduled special guests include:

Mr. Shelly “Sax Man” Williams 
Mrs. Mary Mason (Vocalist) and Friends


Florence African American Heritage Project Presentation
Saturday, February 24, 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Join us as we present the results of the three History Harvests that Project Say Something hosted along with the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library and the UNA Public History Program. Project Say Something partnered with the FLPL and UNA to collect documents, photographs, artifacts, and stories from African Americans in the Shoals area. We will present some of what we've collected, and unveil the database on the library's website where all of the information will be displayed. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Youth & Family Program: Who We Were Then and Who We Are Now
Saturday, February 24, 12:00-2:00 pm

This family and youth event will include History Skits, Spoken Word, Storytelling, Rap, Hair Care and Skin Care, Music, and AfroFusion Dance and Drums (featuring music and dance moves from various parts of Mother Africa).

Scheduled special guests include:
Ms. Shonna Beckwith (Dance and Percussion) 
Dancers: Collin Ragland, Nashema Hayth, Kearra Shaw, Amari Ricks, Catera Brae Allen, Jasmine Ledford and Natalie Ledford
Jasmine Ledford (Spoken Word/Poetry/History Skit)
Catera Brae Allen (Rap/Spoken Word)
Jasmine Anderson (Spoken Word/Poetry)
Jerri M. Ragland (Spoken Word, Vocals and Dance) and Collin Ragland (Spoken Word and Dance)- includes AfroFusion Dance Music
Grant Gunn (Vocalist and Keyboardist) and Manley Russell (Bass Guitar)
Kerrigan Casey (Painter/Visual Artist)
Kennedie Casey (Demonstration on Healthy Hair and Healthy Skin Care for African-American males and females)
Myles Washington and Jared Nieves (Tech Crew)

How Far? Not Far Enough: The Civil Rights Movement in the Shoals
Sunday, February 25, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

FLPL's 2018 African-American history series concludes with a panel discussion remembering and reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement in the Shoals. Scheduled panelists include: 

Rev. Charlie Burgess
Dr. William Mansel Long, Jr.
Mrs. Anita S. Cobb
Elder Leonard Skipworth
Ms. Tori Bailey
Mrs. Odessa Bailey. 

There will also be a special audio interview segment with Mr. John T. Hampton.


Black Panther Film Discussion
Tuesday, February 27, 5:30 pm

A panel of scholars from the University of North Alabama will lead a discussion on Marvel’s new comic book film Black Panther.  The discussion will explore the history of the character in comics, how the film fits within the context of Afro-Futurism, and the use of music in the film.