Local Events: Globetrotters, Kansas Day, and Theater

Over the next couple of weeks the strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown” will fill the Expocentre as the Harlem Globetrotters take the court.  Children will make crafts and learn about Kansas history as they celebrate Kansas Day at the Kansas State Historical Society.  And a play that examines issues of racism during the 1960’s will open at the Topeka Civic Theatre.   All of these local events will give us a chance to learn more about our world by exploring related topics at the library.

Harlem Globetrottersharlem globetrotters

Celebrating 90 years of providing smiles, sportsmanship and service to millions of people worldwide, the world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to Topeka during their 90th Anniversary World Tour.
Known worldwide as the Ambassadors of Goodwill™, the Globetrotters also announced today that they are giving back even more during their 90th year with The Great Assist program. Stars of the team will leave a mark in communities across North America with acts of goodwill during the tour that is set to play over 330 games in 260 cities.
Fans are encouraged to visit GreatAssist.com to nominate a worthwhile cause or a deserving family in need of a smile, and the Globetrotters will help as many fans as possible throughout the tour.  In addition to fan requests, the team is planning to bring their bullying prevention program to over 400 schools and community centers, talk to youth about character education and physical fitness, visit children’s hospitals and lend a hand to those in need.

Enhance the Experience

harlem globetrotters bookDid you know that the Harlem Globetrotters originally started in 1926 and that they used to regularly compete against the nation’s best college players-and even regularly beat NBA squads before the league became racially integrated?  One such game was in 1948, when the Globetrotters played the Minnesota Lakers in a game that turned out to be a racially charged confrontation which showcased the struggle of black athletes to gain credibility in the racially segregated world of sports.  I learned about these things by looking at the books Spinning the Globe The Rise, Fall, and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters by Ben Green and Tricksters in the Madhouse: Lakers Vs. Globetrotters 1948 by John Christgau from our collection.  Who knew an evening of fun with the Globetrotters could also turn into a history lesson?

Kansas Dayhappy birthday kansas

  • Kansas Day at the Museum
  • Friday, January 29th, 9 am – 3 pm
  • Kansas Museum of History, 6425 SW 6th Avenue
  • Admission: Free, advance registration is requested for groups of 10 or more

Kansas became a state on January 29, 1861! Join us as we explore the rich heritage of Kansas and commemorate its 155th birthday!

Kansas Day at the Museum features:

Enhance the Experiencea kansas year

The library has numerous books about Kansas’ history and geography both for adults and for children.  One of my favorites is A Kansas Year by naturalist and photographer Mike Blair.  Blair shows us Kansas through the year in a journal format that shows the beauty of all four seasons through ten featured photographs for each month.  Entries on cedar rust and bark beetles may lead the reader to learn something new and images of fox kits and birds of prey will enthrall anyone who treasures such sightings.
This is just one of our many wonderful books about Kansas, many of which have been listed as a Kansas Notable book by the Kansas State Library.  See the list below for more.

Local Theaterclybourne park

  • Clybourne Park
  • January 29 – February 6; the show starts at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, 2 pm on Sunday
  • Helen Hocker Theater
  • Tickets: $13, Adults; $11 Children (12 and under) *The play contains strong language and is intended for an adult audience

Clybourne Park explodes in two outrageous acts set fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African- American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification.

Enhance the Experience

a raisin in the sunClybourne Park was written by Bruce Norris and it is a spin off of Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun.  It continues the story of the Younger family as they move into Clybourne park–a white middle class Chicago neighborhood. Clybourne Park was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.
Both A Raisin in the Sun and Cybourne Park are loosely based upon historical events that happened during the 1950’s and 196o’s in Chicago as the city became more racially integrated.  Knowing the backstory of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun will certainly enhance your experience as you view this play.  Besides the written and film versions of the play, the Library also has some books about Hansberry’s life and a book entitled The Great Migration North by Laurie Harris, which examines the movement of African Americans out of the South during the Twentieth Century and the related political, social, and economic issues.