Christiansburg Library to host Black History Month celebration Feb. 25
On Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m., Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library will present a celebration of Black History Month at the Christiansburg Library, 125 Sheltman Street. The celebration will feature recitations from the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nikki Giovanni. Other highlights include spirituals to be performed by The Family and a step dance demonstration.
Dr. Anita Puckett,Virginia Tech Associate Professor and Director of Appalachian Studies, will provide information about Dunbar, and two Dunbar poems will be presented. “In the Morning” will be read by Naomi Davidson and her grandson, Alphonso Banian and “The Pahty” will be read by Jean Eaves. Howard Eaves will present Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech. The Nikki Giovanni poem, “Step A Little Closer,” will be read by a member of the Virginia Tech fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, followed by a step dance demonstration. The program will also include a display of artifacts from the Wake Forest Community Action Club and Kentland Slave Monument and Museum.
The program’s readings, recitations and performances reflect African American history and experiences. Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Ohio in 1872. His father escaped from enslavement in Kentucky and served in the Massachusetts 55th Regiment during the Civil War. Dunbar’s works were powerful interpretations of the African American folk experience. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., born in 1929, became the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1964 and was assassinated in 1968. Nikki Giovanni, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, is an award winning poet and University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. The Poetry Foundation’s web site includes this, “Giovanni’s first published volumes of poetry grew out of her response to the assassinations of such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Robert Kennedy, and the pressing need she saw to raise awareness of the plight and the rights of black people.”
The Christiansburg Library’s celebration of Black History Month is part of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library’s Sharing America series.
– Submitted by Linda B. Spivey, Programs Coordinator at Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library