Rockford Public Library Celebrates Black History Month
Library invites community to celebrate African Americans in sports
Throughout February, Rockford Public Library will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of programs, highlighting African Americans in sports. With an author event, readings, movies and more, Rockford Public Library invites the community to share in this annual observance, honoring the past and present contributions of African Americans to the United States. Events will be held at all Library locations, Rockford College and City Hall.
Unless noted, all programs are free and open to public. For more information on these and other Library programs, please visit our website at: www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org.
Rockford Public Library Black History Month Events
African American Read-In & Ice Cream Social
Sunday, February 1, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Montague Branch Library, 1238 W. Winnebago St.
Description: Join us as we listen to stories and music written by or about African Americans and enjoy an old-fashioned ice cream social. Materials will be presented by Readers and Performers in 15 minute intervals. For all ages. Registration is not required. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
We Are the Champions
Ages 7 – 12
Description: What makes an athlete a champion? Is it winning? Are there other qualities that make an athlete a hero? Learn about great African American athletes and what it takes to be a true champion. Registration is required; call 815-965-7606 press option 5.
Thursday, February 12, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Lewis Lemon Branch, 1988 Jefferson St.
Saturday, February 14, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Rock River Branch, 3128 11th Street
Monday, February 16, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Montague Branch, 1238 S. Winnebago St.
Connie Lane Room
Saturday, February 21, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Rockton Centre, 3112 N. Rockton Ave.
Black History Movies at the Library
The Great White Hope
Wednesday, February 11, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.
Description: James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander won Oscar nominations for their riveting performances in this study of a great fighter brought down by lesser men. Rated PG-13. For ages 9 and up. Registration is not required.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings
Wednesday, February 25, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St.
Description: Fed-up baseball players form their own team and barnstorm the country in 1939. Rated PG. For ages 9 and up. Registration is not required.
“The Slaves”: A One Act Play Presented by Auburn H.S. CAPA Students
Written by Charlyne Blatcher Martin
Wednesday, February 18, 6:00 p.m.
Rockford College Maddox Theater
505 E. State St.
“The Slaves” is a one act play inspired by the book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, by William C. Rhoden. It depicts the striking similarities between the African male slaves of the 1800s and the modern day African American athletes. This program is co-sponsored by Rockford College.
Meet William C. Rhoden, Author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves
Wednesday, February 18, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Rockford College Maddox Theatre
5050 E. State St.
Description: “From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and steep earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built,” says Williams C. Rhoden.
Join us to hear author and New York Times sports columnist, William Rhoden talk about his provocative and compelling book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves. A question and answer session will follow. Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served. For all ages. This program is co-sponsored by Rockford College.
Mardi Gras Afternoon Jam Session
Saturday, February 28, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
City Hall Lobby, 425 E. State St.
Ages 18 and older
Description: RPL celebrates its third annual Mardi Gras with music, food and dancing. Put on your music ears and your dancing shoes for an afternoon of entertainment and fun. Music Group “Too Deep” will perform soulful ballads. Ages 18 and older. Registration is not required. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
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.