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In celebration of this year’s Black History Month, the Waukegan Public Library will present two family interactive programs about African culture by storyteller Oba William King and JUSTUSarts Educational Entertainment.
We Speak in Rhythm on Monday, February 9 at 6 p.m.,takes a look at the African American experience through the fundamental role that artistic expression has played in shaping the lives of African Americans and America’s rich heritage. This cultural program is presented by King, a poetic storyteller who brings stories, poetry, and cultural songs to life through interactive, dynamic presentations. Some of the stories, folklore, and folk tales include “Monkey and the Snake” and “Anansi the Spider”, poetry written by Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes, and Negro spirituals such as “Go Down Moses”, “Strange Fruit”, and “Change Gonna Come”.
On Saturday, February 28 at 3:30 p.m. there will be an interactive drumming program for all ages that celebrates the unifying power of rhythm and music. The Community Unity Drum Circle will begin with a history of drums, including proper placement of hands, tones, and voice. Everyone can join in the drumming with their own drums, bongos, rhythm sticks and shakers or can use one of the handmade African style Djembe drums.
Both of the library’s Black History Month programs are presented by Oba William King and JUSTUSarts Educational Entertainment. King is a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council’s Artists Fellowship and Master Apprentice grant. He was acknowledged by the poetry center of Chicago with the Gwendolyn Brooks Hands on Stanzas award and honored with the Jewel Osco Hidden Jewel of the Neighborhood Award. He is a published author and recording artist and his newest series of stories for young readers is called “Firefly and Little Star”.
In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national “Day of Service” in honor of Dr. King’s dream that Americans from all walks of life can come together to strengthen our communities. On January 19 and 20, the Waukegan Public Library will take part in the initiative with a community service project for Vista Health System patients.
From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., community members have the opportunity to create get well cards that will be distributed to pediatric patients of Vista Health System. All of the supplies will be provided by the library on the lower level.
The library will also show two films that carry messages of perseverance, community involvement, and self-confidence. On Monday, January 19 at 6 p.m., the Library will show “Selma, Lord, Selma”, a film based on true events that happened in March, 1965 when two African-American girls participate in a voting rights march that turns violent. “Akeelah and the Bee” will be shown on Tuesday, January 20 at 1 p.m. and tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who overcomes obstacles to participate in a national spelling bee. Free popcorn will be provided.