What’s Happening at the Library: Of Black History, baskets and photographs

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, February 21, 2017

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Thursday at 6:15 p.m., as part of the Clark County Public Library’s celebration of Black History Month, the Local History Department’s Potluck Dinner program features Elizabeth Lawson performing “Suing for Freedom: The Charlotte Dupuy Story.”

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Charlotte Dupuy, a slave from Maryland, was sold to Henry Clay’s family in 1806. In 1825, the Clay family moved to Washington, D.C., as Henry Clay served as secretary of state. Charlotte found a lawyer who filed papers for her and her children, suing for their freedom.

Bring a dish and join us for this inspiring program. It is free and open to the public. You may come at 6:50 p.m. if you would prefer not to eat. Either way to ensure you have a seat, call 744-5661 for a reservation or register using Evanced, the library’s online program registration system. Evanced can be accessed at our web site, www.clarkbooks.org. This program is made possible by the Kentucky Humanities Council.

In the library’s reference section there is an exhibit of photography by Willie Lee “Pat” Edwards.

The photographs were loaned to the library by Winchester resident Lindrell Blackwell, a board member of the Winchester Heritage Commission, the Hopewell Museum in Paris. Ky., and an active and respected member of the African-American Genealogy Group of Kentucky. Willie Lee Edwards was his grandfather.

Called “Pat” by his friends, Mr. Edwards is an important contributor to local history because his photographs provide a record of the history and culture of Bourbon County’s black community from 1920-47.

In the 1920’s, Willie Lee Edwards reinvented himself as the photographer of the black community in Paris, taking photos of weddings, graduations, sports teams, church congregations, funerals and special occasions. In the evening, after his family had finished dinner, he would close off the kitchen and use it as his darkroom.

He was a warm-hearted, gracious man who got along with everybody. Those personality traits helped him engage, get to know and earn the trust of the people he photographed. More of his photography can be seen online at the Bourbon County Digital Library, www.diglib.bourbonlibrary.org.

Local basket weaver Ginny Golpert has a display of her work in the community room side case of the library’s front foyer.

Ginny got interested in basket weaving after taking a class at the Clark County Extension Service Office. Practice, books (from the library) and YouTube basket weaving DIY videos helped her develop her art. In 2016, she was the basket weaver at Fort Boonesborough where she created 50 baskets, all of which were sold at the Fort’s gift shop.

She appreciates both the history of woven baskets, the fact that they were essential items for pioneers and frontier settlers and the fact they continue to be useful adornments in contemporary settings. Ginny does take orders for her baskets.

In this current display only the egg basket is for sale.  To contact her about the egg basket or about a special order, please leave your contact information at the circulation or reference desk and we will pass it on to Ginny.

Other programs this week:

— Tuesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m., Easy Email. An email address is essential for filling out online employment applications.

— Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show presents the moving story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a married interracial couple, whose challenge of anti-miscegenation laws led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court. Rated PG-13.

— Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Outside the Lines Coloring Group waltzes with the rainbow.

At the library, every hue is beautiful and there are no color lines.