U City Library to host African American history programs

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – The Unversity City Public Library (UCPL) will present a series of programs for all ages centered on African American history and culture.

The programs, set to take place in February and March, will include storytelling, a presentation, a book discussion and a movie screening. All of the events will be free and open to the public at the University City Public Library’s auditorium (6701 Delmar Blvd).

The first program in the series will be a book discussion of James Baldwin’s novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, February 19th. The 1953 semi-autobiographical novel tells the story of an intelligent man growing up in 1930s Harlem and focuses on the role of the church in the teen’s life and the lives of his mother, father and “violent” stepfather.

Copies of Go Tell It on the Mountain are available to be picked up at the library in advance of the discussion.

The second program in the series will be an evening storytime session for children and their families on Tuesday, February 19th at 6:30 pm. The storytime will be led by the library’s popular Ms. W and will feature singing, dancing, crafts and stories. The program will take place in Lil’s Treehouse in the youth services department of UCPL.

The third program of the series will be a screening of Rejoice & Shout: Gospel Music and African-American Christianity on Tuesday, February 26th at 6:30 pm. This award-winning documentary examines the 200-year history of African-American Christianity. The film is rated PG and the library welcomes all to attend.

Emmy Award-winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk will present the fourth program of storytelling. On Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00 pm, Norfolk will read Henry “Box” Brown and the Underground Railroad, a theatrical reenactment of the story of an enslaved man turned hero as he struggled for emancipation.

The final program of the series will be on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:00 pm. Historic consultant and professional genealogist LaDonna Garner, M.A., will present Navigating African American Genealogy. During the 60-minute presentation, she will offer tips on starting the genealogical search and will include handouts for participants.