The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will host multiple events throughout February in observation of Black History Month.
On February 12, readers will participate in the 22nd National African-American Read-In. The event, cosponsored by Topeka Chapter of LINKS, begins at 10 am in Marvin Auditorium 101C. The Read-In is an opportunity for people of all ages and cultures to come together and celebrate reading.
“The materials are all written by African-American writers. Many of them are local Topekans and many others, such as Langston Hughes, have roots in the Topeka area,” said Glenda Kearney DuBoise, president of Topeka Chapter of The Links, Inc.
A one-woman performance called Steal Away: The Story of a Kansas Homesteader and Exoduster is scheduled for February 23 for 7 pm in Marvin Auditorium. In it, Penny Musco performs as a Kansas homesteader telling the story of her friendship with an Exoduster in 1880 Topeka.
The library is also hosting book discussions on works by African-American authors. A complete list of book discussions and dates can be found in connectnow magazine. Books such as John Brown: The Legend Revisited, Go Tell It on the Mountain and The Englishman in Kansas are being discussed this month. Registration is required. Call 785-580-4510.
If you are looking for other good books by influential African-American authors, check out our librarian-recommended book list.
Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry
Ed. By: Camille T. Dungy
The first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated.
Letter to my Daughter
By: Maya Angelou
Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.
The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings
By: James Baldwin
A treasury of essays, articles, and reviews by the late author includes pieces that explore such topics as religious fundamentalism, Russian literature, and the possibility of an African-American president.
Looking for the Easy Life
By: Walter Dean Myers
Life’s pretty good on Monkey Island. All day long, the monkeys sit around talking their monkey talk and enjoying their big-time monkey dreams. That is, except Oswego Pete, who is one slick monkey gets bent on finding the Easy Life—a place where a monkey never has to bend all out of shape for a banana, or do any hard work, ever. Chief Monkey, says easy isn’t always good, and a little hard work’s not always bad. Who’s right?
One Crazy Summer
By: Rita Williams-Garcia
In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
Peeny Butter Fudge
By: Toni Morrison
Children spend the day with their grandmother, who ignores their mother’s carefully planned schedule in favor of activities that are much more fun