February Marks Black History Month, 50 Years Since Civil Rights Movement

February marks the start of Black History Month, and this year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.

As part of a series of speakers and Black History Month events, Representative John Lewis (D – Georgia), kicked off the month-long celebration at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.

Lewis was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement, and was one of the original Freedom Riders in 1961. He helped organize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.`s historic march on Washington.

Lewis spoke on the importance of remembering where the black community, and the nation, have come from, and where we need to go from here.

“It is very moving and very gratifying that I think we are on our way to building what Dr. King called the ‘beloved community’. where we can lay down teh burden of race and see people as people and as human beings.”

Throughout the month the library is offering events discussing Huntsville and Alabama’s unique place in African-American history and the Civil Rights Movement.

Here is a schedule of programs for the month:

Tuesday, Feb 5, 6:30-8 p.m.

History of William Hooper Councill and Councill High School. A panel discusses the significance of W.H. Councill and Councill High School in local and national African American history. Contact David Lilly at 256-532-5975.

Thursday, Feb 7,10-11 a.m.

Finding our African American Ancestors. Resident genealogy expert Richard White explains how to find your African American ancestors, using the library’s genealogy resources and technology. Program will be held in the Heritage Room, third floor. Contact Richard White at 256-532-5969.

Thursday, Feb 7, 6-7 p.m.

Thursday Evening Concert. Oakwood Academy Choir. Call 256-532-5975 for details.

Saturday, Feb 9, 9 a.m.-noon.

Preservation Days. The Library Archives will offer public scan days during Black History Month. Bring in your photos from 1970s or earlier, and help build the Archives’ African American historical photograph collection. In the Archives, Third Floor. Contact Susanna Leberman at 256-532-5989.

Tuesday, Feb 12, 6:30-8 p.m.

Huntsville’s African American Business District. Dr. Michael Smith discusses Huntsville’s historically African American Business District, before and after desegregation. Contact David Lilly at 256-532-5975.

Thursday, Feb 14, 2-3 p.m.

Finding our African American Ancestors. Resident genealogy expert Richard White explains how to find your African American ancestors, using the Library’s genealogy resources and technology. In the Heritage Room, Third Floor. Contact Richard White at 256-532-5969.

Thursday, Feb 14, 6-7 p.m.

Thursday Evening Concert. Ivy Joe. Call 256-532-5975 for details.

Wednesday, Feb 20, 8:45 a.m-5 p.m.

Birmingham Civil Rights Bus Tour. Enjoy a Civil Rights trip to Birmingham for lunch at Niki’s West (extra cost), a 16th Street Baptist Church tour, and a self-guided tour at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Cost is $39, under 65; $35 over 65, and covers bus and entrance fees. A trip liability waiver is required. Co-sponsored by Huntsville-Madison County Public Library and LearningQUEST. Contact Sophie Young at 256-532-2362.

Thursday, Feb 21, 6-7 p.m.

Thursday Evening Concert. Alabama A&M University Choir. Call 256-532-5975 for details.

Thursday, Feb 21, 6-7 p.m.

Finding our African American Ancestors. Resident genealogy expert Richard White explains how to find your African American ancestors, using the Library’s genealogy resources and technology. In the Heritage Room, Third Floor. Contact Richard White at 256-532-5969.

Saturday, Feb 23, 9 a.m.-noon.

Preservation Days. The Library Archives will offer public scan days during Black History Month. Bring in your photos from 1970s or earlier, and help build the Archives’ African American historical photograph collection. In the Archives, Third Floor. Contact Susanna Leberman at 256-532-5989.

Tuesday, Feb 26, 6:30-8 p.m.

Civil Rights: 50 Years Later. A panel discusses the contemporary climate of civil rights. Contact David Lilly at 256-532-5975.

Thursday, Feb 28, 10-11 a.m.

Finding our African American Ancestors. Resident genealogy expert Richard White explains how to find your African American ancestors, using the Library’s genealogy resources and technology. In the Heritage Room, Third Floor. Contact Richard White at 256-532-5969.

Thursday, Feb 28, 6-7 p.m.



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