Library’s Annual Black History Month Festival Features Community Partners and Performances
By Arlington Public Library
Posted on March 07, 2017, March 07, 2017

Black-History-Month

Community members came together to celebrate Black History Month at the Arlington Public Library's sixth annual Black History Month Festival.

More than 600 attendees enjoyed entertaining and educational performances by local organizations and schools. The event was kicked off with a discovery of the Forgotten Images of Arlington's African American Past, led by librarian Mark Dellenbaugh. Selected photos from the Fielder House Museum's archive of historical documents and artifacts highlight African-American contributions to Arlington's rich history. Some attendees recognized family members in the images and noted that the images brought back memories of childhood.

The festival continued with performances and discussion from other community partners. TCC professor John Phillips gave an informative presentation on the Harlem Renaissance, an influential artistic and cultural movement of the 1930s. The TCC Southeast Jazz Combo played music for attendees.

Cheri Colbert, the City of Arlington Council Coordinator, served as the program's emcee. In between announcing groups and presenters, she quizzed the audience on Black history. Children in the audience were excited to raise their hands and win prizes for correct answers.

The whole family enjoyed performances from local arts groups, including the Ashworth Elementary Singers, Step By Step Dance Studio, and the Ousley Junior High Step Team. The winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Essay Scholarship also participated, reading their essays for the crowd. Festival sponsor Household of Faith Charities provided snacks and beverages, and TCC Southeast's Phi Theta Kappa volunteered throughout the event.

Librarian David Jackson has coordinated Black History Month Festival each year and enjoys this spotlight on the community. "It's always great to see people experiencing the diversity of the American culture," Jackson said. "We hope attendees can learn something new and feel connected to their community."

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