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What’s Happening at the Library: Celebrate Black History Month at the library

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

This year, the library’s Black History Month displays are devoted and dedicated to Winchester’s black community and especially the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee.

The displays would not have been possible without the help of Joyce Morton and James “Pee Wee” Robinson.

Morton loaned the library a number of trifold picture displays that are on exhibit in the reference section.

Some are wonderful, lovingly assembled portraits of the history of Oliver Street School, Clark County veterans, famous athletes, notable families and celebrities and Labor Day festivities.

Some dramatically reveal the painful legacies of slavery and racism.

Other displays deal with nationally-known black artists, musicians, actors, scholars and inventors.

Taken together, these displays illuminate the brave integrity and endurance of black people in Clark County and all across America, and they highlight the history of remarkable contributions made by black Americans despite the injustices perpetrated against them.

Robinson is a well-known local photographer who has been recording the lives, events and celebrations of Winchester’s black community for decades. He loaned the library a number his photographs from Black History and Heritage Committee events, Oliver Street School reunions, and photo ops with memorable local personalities like William “Pie” Didlick, Cora Newell and “Aunt” Tennie Taylor.

Morton also helped the library set up a special Black History month showing of “Sisters of Selma,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. This documentary concerns Catholic nuns’ involvement in the Selma voting rights marches of 1965, when sisters from around the country answered Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to join the protests. Archival footage documents the nuns’ participation.

Morton and Robinson are wonderful people to work with and they have devoted much time and many personal resources over the past few years to help the library create exhibits about Winchester’s black community. They also helped me meet local black artists who have donated work for library shows.

Thanks Joyce and James. It is inspiring to encounter people as gracious and intelligent as you are; it is a treat to experience your enthusiasm.

Celebrate Winchester’s black community by visiting their displays through February in the library’s reference section.

While you’re at the library, take some time to look the Winchester Black History and Heritage Committee’s book, “African American Pictorial History of Clark County, Kentucky” (call No. K973.0496 Afri).

Other events this week:

— At 2 p.m. Monday, chair yoga. The class is taught by Kathy Howard, a certified yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. There is a $5 charge per class.

— At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Kentucky Picture Show presents a 2019 film about bad girl Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora who begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play. Perhaps it’s just wedding jitters. Rated PG.

— At 9:15 a.m. Thursday, gentle yoga. The class is taught by Kathy Howard, a certified yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. There is a $5 charge per class.

— At 10 a.m. Friday, Write Local. They also write regional, commonwealth, national, international, celestial and trans-dimensional.

— From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, Outside the Lines Adult Coloring. Color a picture of a groundhog for Groundhog’s Day.

Which reminds us, Groundhog’s Day is Sunday. The Punxsutawney officials may have to wait if Phil sleeps in. I’m conflicted about Phil this year. Sure, I’d like an early spring, but we really need some winter to quash bugs and encourage fruit blossoms.

What’ll the Whistlepig predict?

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.