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A celebration of history

February 07, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Free Library recently unveiled a Black History Month presentation featuring a wealth of new materials that will be on display through the end of the month.

The first of its kind, the display is one in a series of new cultural presentations and activities planned by the library's multicultural committee.

Although the display is being highlighted this month, library assistant and multicultural committee member Nicole A. Onley said, "We want the public to experience black history all year long."

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The library values a multicultural perspective and many of the materials on display will help the reading public broaden its viewpoint, Onley said.

A new 20-page black history bibliography booklet, compiled by Onley and listing more than 150 books, is available at no cost to library patrons.

Onley said the display focuses on less-popular historical figures and showcases new books, documentaries and feature films. The television series "Roots" and the four-part documentary "Slavery and the Making of America," which airs on PBS on Wednesdays, Feb. 9 and 16, are among the movies available on DVD.

Cornel West's "Race Matters" and a collection of essays on race relations in "Beyond the Color Line" are among the titles on display, she said.

"The display goes beyond the norm of black history, covering topics ranging from blacks at Harvard to the hidden treasures of the African-American experience," Onley said.

Onley said many of the materials explore topics like race relations, blacks in the Old West and blacks in literature.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, the library will show Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Naomi Butler, chairwoman of the library's multicultural committee, said the committee will continue to offer programs that take an in-depth look at various aspects of the Civil War and the cultures of people in countries around the world.

"We are very proud of this display, and there's much more to come," Butler said.

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