Library celebrates black voices in series of events
February is Black History Month, but, if you’ve ever been to the library, you’ll know that it celebrates black history and black writers all year. The University Heights Library holds West African dance classes; the Lee Road Library Youth Services Department celebrates the birthday of Anansi, a character from West African folklore; and the Noble Neighborhood Library has held Soul Stories storytime featuring picture books by African-American writers, and later this year will host an extensive series of programs around Jacqueline Woodson’s book Brown Girl Dreaming in its “On the Same Page” series.
This winter, Heights Libraries will host a Black Voices Matter series that celebrates African-American writers and literature. This series is timely not only because it falls partially during Black History Month, but as a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement against violence toward blacks and inequality in the criminal justice system.
“Black History Month is a wonderful way to give thought to the history of the African diaspora around the world, but we wanted to reflect on something that is happening today, in our community, and that transcends the clean lines of a celebratory month,” said L.P. Coladangelo, adult services librarian.
On Feb. 10, the Original Voices Book Club will discuss Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin at 7:30 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. On March 1, at the Noble Neighborhood Library, the Noble Great Books Discussion will be centered on Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. On March 17, at 7 p.m., at the Lee Road Library, the Science and Nature Study Group will discuss Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality by Ronald L. Mallett.
The African-American Read-In, sponsored by Friends of the Heights Libraries, is set for Feb. 28, at 2 p.m., at the Lee Road Library. This yearly event has been so popular that the Noble Neighborhood Library decided to put on a children’s version of the program on Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. At this event, volunteers from the community will read and share some of their favorite African-American children’s books, characters and authors.
To learn about programs in the Black Voices Matter series, visit events.heightslibrary.org, or call 216-932-3600.
Julia Murphy is the marketing and volunteer coordinator for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.