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Celebrate Black History at St. Louis County Library

Press Release

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 12:00p.m.
St. Louis County Library will celebrate Black History Month with special programming throughout February. Bestselling author Ayana Mathis will be the featured speaker, discussing her book “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” on Saturday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Black History programming at SLCL will include a performance by the Black Rep, a jazz concert by Wendy Gordon & Friends, a gospel celebration, dance performances, storytelling and more. All events are free and open to the public.
A schedule of highlighted events is listed below; a full schedule is available online at
Featured Speaker:
Ayana Mathis
Saturday, February 15, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and a New York Times bestseller, Ayana Mathis’ astonishing debut novel, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” follows the trials of one unforgettable African American family: 15 year-old Hattie Shepherd, who flees the South during the Great Migration, and her nine children whose lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Highlighted Events:
“Witnesses to Freedom" presented by the Black Rep
Friday, February 7, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Inspired by events during the Civil Rights movement, this play focuses on happenings in the lives of Dr. Frankie Freeman, Margaret Bush Wilson and Norman Seay. Enjoy engaging stories, poetry and prose based on the book “Witnesses to Freedom: Young People Who Fought for Civil Rights” by Belinda Rochelle. The Antioch Baptist Church will present a puppet ministry following the performance. Refreshments will be served.
Gift of Gospel Celebration
Saturday, February 22, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Lewis & Clark Branch, 9909 Lewis–Clark Blvd.
Enjoy a myriad of gospel artists who will leave you feeling encouraged and inspired. Refreshments will be served.
Set the Night to Music
Friday, February 28, 7:00–9:00 p.m.
Florissant Valley Branch, 195 New Florissant Rd. South
Wendy Gordon & Friends will perform selections from her celebrated Jazz Heaven Series. The music of jazz legends Billie Holiday and Nina Simone will be featured along with historical prose detailing pivotal moments from these two jazz legends. All ages are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
African Percussion
Held at multiple locations
Explore the diverse percussion traditions of Africa with Freedom Arts and Education Center. Participants will expand their cultural knowledge and learn the techniques and rhythms of authentic instruments like the djembe, caxixi, agogo and kalimba. Through rhythmic games and call-and-response exercises, students will increase their musical abilities and communication skills. Ages 8-16.
African Dance
Held at multiple locations
Afriky Lolo, the region’s premier West African dance company, returns to St. Louis County Library. Diadie Bathily (pronounced Jah-jee Bah-chilly), the celebrated West African choreographer and artistic and executive director of Afriky Lolo, will lead the dance company in an exciting performance. All ages.
Br. John’s African Folktales
Held at multiple locations
Join acclaimed, motivational storyteller Br. John as we explore the continent, languages and cultures of Africa through fun activities and interactive folktales. The program finishes with an energetic “Harambe” call-and-response and djembe drum session. Ages 3 and up.
Program sites are accessible. Upon two weeks’ notice, accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities. Contact St. Louis County Library by phone 314-994-3300, or visit