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”.