Celebrate Black History 2008 at Rockford Public Library
Rockford Public Library will celebrate Black History Month 2008 with a variety of programs. Children and families are invited to learn the extraordinary accomplishments of African Americans through readings, film showings, a musical performance, a talk highlighting African Americans’ contributions to the military and more. The events are free and open to the public.
The following is a complete list of Black History Month programs scheduled throughout the month of February.
African American Read-In
In honor of Black History Month, Rockford Public Library is hosting its fifth annual African American Read-In. The African American Read-In celebration is designed to bring kids and families together to enjoy the written and spoken words by and about African Americans and their rich history. The event is based on the national program sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Conference of Teachers of English. In order to accommodate all of our local schools, Read-Ins will be held at the area schools at various times. For more information, please contact Katrina Burns at 815- 965-7606 ext. 769. For all ages.
Monday, February 4
Rockford Area Schools
Mardi Gras Celebration
Come out and experience a Mardi Gras celebration New Orleans style featuring the music of jazz Saxophonist Harlan Jefferson and his eight piece band. Learn the latest dance techniques with style from Rock City Unique Steppers. Food will also be served! For ages 18 and older. Registration is not required.
Saturday, February 9, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
City Hall Lobby, 425 E. State St.
Boot Camp for Kids
Atten-SHUN! March on down to the Library and “enlist” in this challenging yet fun program celebrating life in the military. The activities include an obstacle course, a tug-of-war contest, camouflage face painting, and of course, “chow time.” To register, call 815-965-7606 press option 5.
Sunday, February 17, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Montague Branch Classroom
For ages 6 – 10
Saturday, February 23, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
For ages 6 – 10
Films @ the Library
All films will be shown in the Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St. (Enter from Mulberry St.) Registration is not required.
A dramatic account of the American Civil War's first all-black regiment, led by an idealistic, privileged, northern white commander Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), fighting not only the enemy, but also convention and prejudice. This stunning drama based on actual events is based on Shaw's Civil War letters. For ages 17 and older.
Monday, February 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
African Americans in World War II: A Legacy of Patriotism and Valor
War veterans from all military branches describe their personal experiences of WWII. Archival film footage has been woven between their accounts to bring their stories to life. Some of the personal stories include: Tuskegee Airmen; The Red Ball Express; The 92nd Infantry Division; The 1st Battalion of the 24th Infantry, plus much more.
For ages 13 and older.
Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
A Soldier's Story
An intense, exhilarating, suspenseful movie that is, on the surface, an investigation into a murder, but underneath that is an investigation into the heart-wrenching and familiar question of how a black man lives in a white society. For ages 13 and older.
Monday, February 25, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
“A Soldier's Story” – A Talk by Charles Blatcher III
Join us as we celebrate Black History, highlighting African Americans’ contributions to the military. Charles Blatcher III, founder and CEO of the National Minority Military Museum Foundation in Oakland, CA will discuss the accomplishments of African American soldiers in the military. Refreshments will be served. For ages 13 and older. Registration is not required.
Sunday, February 17, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Montague Branch Library
1238 S. Winnebago St.
Book Discussion of Sidney Poitier's The Measure of a Man
Join us for this program highlighting pioneering actor Sidney Poitier. Dr. Elizabeth Tardola will lead this discussion of his memoir, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, and show film clips. Dr. Tardola, a leading consultant, presents programs on Interculturalism, African American literature, and other topics. It isn't necessary to read the book before this program, but many copies are available at RPL. Poitier, the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, “takes his own measure – as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor.” For ages 14 and older. To register call 815-965-7606, press option 5.
Tuesday, February 26, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
215 N. Wyman St.
(Enter from Mulberry St.)
About Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance in February, celebrating the past and present achievements of African Americans. In 1926, Harvard Scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson known as the “Father of Black History” organized the first Negro History Week, which took place during the second week of February as a way to honor the history and contributions by African Americans to American life. Over time, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month as we know today, a four-week long celebration of African American History.
About the Library
The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five Branch Libraries. The Rockford Public Library’s mission is to enhance community life and development by informing, educating, entertaining, and providing cultural enrichment to all people of all ages by collecting information to address the diverse interests of our dynamic community.