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Black Music History Showcase

Review of RPL's program by YA Librarian, Amber Kresol:

Black Music History Showcase on February 27, 2014 at Nordlof Center, Sullivan Theater
Rockford Public Library teamed up with the Hip Hop Congress (HHC) of Rockford for a Black Music History Show to celebrate Black History Month. This event showcased tributes to famous African American musicians of our past, present and future generations. Local talents performed their favorite songs from artists using their own unique twists to the music, provided motivational speeches, and gave the audience a taste of their poetry. Throughout the night, attendees enjoyed soulful sounds from Etta James, India Arie, Pete Rock, Lauren Hill, Tupac, Pharell Williams, among others.

We had an amazing turn out with over 100 people attending.  There is no way to calculate the benefits these programs offer our community. But ultimately, it was heartwarming to see the local talent presented during the course of the show.  The look on the faces of the artists as they performed in a real theater made it clear, these are the moments they dream about and work so hard for to provide expressions of their culture.  It was obvious from the positive remarks of friends and families in attendance that this is a valuable event that they all could be proud of. 

This type of event took a lot of hard work from many people and it was exciting and inspirational to see it all come together.  I collaborated with the wonderful DJ Maclin and Naqueesea Sharp from the HHC organization in planning the event. Special thanks goes out to Seth Peterson from IT and Luxe Productions for their impressive and electrifying audio and lighting assistance.  And lastly (but definitely not least), to Kathi Kresol and Fay Muhammad for being the greeters and keeping the handful of YA volunteers on their usher tasks, even when they wanted to watch the stunning show!

There were many positive opinions expressed last night. Most of the people I spoke with were pleasantly surprised that this was a library event.  As one gentleman expressed to Kathi Kresol when he found out the library liked Hip Hop too, "That's what's up!" (I had to explain to her that meant it was GOOD!) A lot of feedback could be found posted on Facebook:

Salina Walton praised:
“Thank you so much to the Rockford Hip-Hop Congress, Djaun Maclin, and Naqueesea Sharp, and the Rockford Public Library for such a great event tonight!!! Was great to see all of that local talent and their performances!!”

Naqueesea Sharp thanked:
“Thank you to everyone that came out and supported. Ultimate thank you to Luxe Productions, RPL and my HHC Team for being the spine of the event.”

Justin Saichek boasted:
“This happened tonight in Rockford! Shoutout to Naqueesea Sharp, Amber Kresol, and the rest of the Hip Hop Congress Crew!” 


Again, thanks to all who helped make this event possible. What a great way to end the month-long celebration!


Amber Kresol
Rockford Public Library
215 N. Wyman Street           
Rockford, IL 61101
Work: 815.987.6685
Your Library. Your way.

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