Tag Archives: Black History month

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH! KNOW YOUR HISTORY TO KNOW YOURSELF!

Parlee for Rosalie
Go, Parlee Jones, go!!!

editor’s note: In honor of Black History Month, we re-post one of Parlee’s Black History Month ICT columns.

But first, here’s MLK Jr:

… and President Obama, a leader we miss so intensely these days it hurts!! A mountain of a man (and orator) compared to the nefarious sack of Trump shit who usurped the Oval Office in November 2016 (my heart is broken!💔)

– R. Tirella

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By Parlee Jones

There has been a lot of discussion lately as to the relevance of Black History Month. Is it still needed? Why should there be a Black History Month. For me, I feel that it is still relevant. Not only for Black people, but for all people. We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King at the library this past January. When I ordered the cake, the woman who took my order, did not know who Dr. King was. Hmm. Yes, she was from another country. Welcome. Yes, she was enjoying the freedoms that were won through the Civil Rights movement. No, she didn’t know who he was. There are a lot of people enjoying the freedoms that were wrought from the Civil Rights movement who don’t know the history.

What hurts more is the fact that our young Black people don’t know who Fred Hampton, Medgar Evers or Emmet Till were. Yes, I concede that there have been improvements in regards to acknowledging the accomplishments of Blacks here in America, but there is still a lot of denial, resentment and straight out disdain for Americans of a darker hue. Just the blatant disrespect shown towards our President and the First Lady shows that America still has issues with Black people in power positions.

Knowledge of self to better yourself! Every people has a history. And, every people should know some of that history.
Black History Month had its origins in 1915 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”). Through this organization Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. In 1976 this commemoration of Black history in the United States was expanded by ASALH to Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Never Forget:

Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an African-American activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). He was killed in his apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO), in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hampton’s death was chronicled in the 1971 documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton, as well as an episode of the critically acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize. He was shot twice in the head at close range.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. He became active in the civil rights movement after returning from overseas service in World War II and completing secondary education; he became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta region when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam, arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later. Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King helped organize a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. His partners in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom included other religious leaders, labor leaders, and black organizers. The assembled masses marched down the Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, heard songs from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and heard speeches by actor Charlton Heston, NAACP president Roy Wilkins, and future U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis.

King’s appearance was the last of the event; the closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Towards the end of his life, MLK Jr. was passionate about economic equality – for everyone. Poverty – as well as peace – were the two issues he was now speaking about. Then he was gunned down … . Here he is on economic equality:

“Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively…the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada.

“Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it. We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”

Toward the end of the speech, King refers to threats against his life and uses language that seems to foreshadow his impending death:

“And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

“So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything.

“I’m not fearing any man.

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Of course, people say they are tired of hearing these stories, but, until there is equality for all, these stories will need to be told! In the spirit of Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Nat Turner and all our ancestors who survived middle passage and helped to build this country, I salute you and will keep your memories alive ~ not only in the month of February, but 365 days a year!

Mark your calendars! Our Story Edutainment Black History Month events at the Worcester Public Library!

Shepard-ProtectEachOther
by Shepard Fairey

At the WPL
Salem Square

Compiled by Parlee Jones

Feb 15 – Wednesday

Black Culture Movie Night

6 p.m.

Hidden Colors – Part 1

Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: *the original image of Christ * the true story about the Moors *the original people of Asia *the great west African empires *the presence of Africans in America before Columbus
*the real reason slavery was ended *And much more.

Feb. 22 – Wednesday

Black Culture Movie Night

6 p.m.

Trials of Muhammad Ali

No conventional sports documentary, THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject’s life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali,to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America’s controversies over
race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin
Films, this film examines how one of the
most celebrated sports champions of the
20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.

Feb. 25 – Saturday

Black Culture Movie for Children

2 p.m.

Zarafa

Under the cover of darkness a small boy,
Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe – and an orphan, just like he is – as well as the nomad Hassan, Prince of the Desert. Hassan takes them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who orders him to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. And so Maki, Zarafa and Hassan take off in a hot-air balloon to cross the Mediterranean, setting off an adventure across Northern Africa, the bustling port of Marseilles, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, arriving at last in Paris. But all the while, Maki is determined to find a way to return Zarafa to her rightful home.

Free! This school vacation week at WPL School Branches and WPL: CRAFTS, COOKING, MUSIC, POETRY TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

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Unsung Heroes – PAINTINGS OF African American soldiers throughout American history. STILL ON EXHIBIT at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. CHECK OUT THIS ONE (above) AND the MANY OTHERS during school break! 

At the Worcester Public Library School BRANCHES … and the Main Library at Salem Square and the Greendale branch 

Free and Open to ALL!

Goddard School Branch Library

Tuesdays, February 17, 24

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Black History Month Film Festival

From classic fairy tales to comedic sports to inspiring stories, celebrate the African American experience through a weekly movie night! Call library for titles. Refreshments served.

All ages.

Wednesday, February 18

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

People Could Fly – A celebraton of African American History.

Act out traditional African stories and songs with costumes and instruments with Mary Jo Maichack. “A surprising mix of laughter with powerful images enables all ages to connect to her love of this genre.”

Friday, February 27 (after vaca)

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

A Fascinatng Rhythm- Afro-Latin Drums, Dance & Culture. Join award-winning teaching artst Cornell “Sugarfoot,” Coley as he “edu-tains” audiences of all ages. Dance, sing and jam during this engaging performance!

All ages.

Roosevelt School Branch Library

Wednesdays, February 18, 25

4:30 – 6:30

Black History Month Film Festival

From classic fairy tales to comedic sports to inspiring stories, celebrate the African American experience through a weekly movie night! Call library for titles. Refreshments served.

All ages.

Friday, February 20

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Soul Food Celebraton!

Feast on Southern-style cookin’! Kids and parents are the cooks as we bake sweet potato biscuits served with honey and jam, and mix up a batch of fresh lemonade to wash it all down.

Registration required.

All ages.

DATE AND TIME TBD – Rhythm & Roots for Kids

Explore the rhythmic roots of blues music with Cooked Goose Productons! This interactve event follows blues music from its African incepton through the ’20s and ’30s .

All ages.

Celebrate African American Heritage with us throughout February 2015!

Tatnuck School Branch Library

Mondays, February 16, 23

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Black History Month Film Festival

From classic fairy tales to comedic sports to inspiring stories, celebrate the African American experience through a weekly movie night! Call library for titles. Refreshments served.

All ages.

Saturday, February 21

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Black History Month Crafts

Celebrate African heritage as we create traditional African shields! Used in an initiation rite in tribes from Kenya and beyond, these beautiful shields are an introduction into the amazing culture of all African peoples. Ages 5 and up with a caregiver.

For more informaton visit our Events Calendar at worcpublib.org

… or call 508-799-8330 for the Goddard Branch

508-799-8327 for the Roosevelt Branch

508-799-8329 for the Tatnuck Branch.

Free and open to ALL!

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At the Worcester Public Library Main Branch 

3 Salem Square, Worcester

In the Children’s Room:

Friday, February 20

2 p.m.

POETRY AND PIZZA!!

Ages 12 and under.

Explore the rich tradition of African American poetry. Listen to favorite poems – or recite your own!

AFRICAN DRUMMING AND DANCING!

For all ages!

In the Saxe Room!

3:30 – 5 p.m.

Featuring Edward Oluokun, local artist and musician originally from Nigeria. So talented African percussionist with his own local ensemble and dancers!

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Frances Perkins (Greendale) Branch

West Boylston Street

A Celebration of African American History

Wed., Feb. 18

3 p.m.

Act out traditional African stories and songs with costumes and instruments!!

Main South: Black History Month and International Women’s Day events at Clark U

Here’s a list of events planned at Clark University (950 Main St.) to celebrate Black History Month and International Women’s Day.

These events are free and open to the public.

Film screening and panel discussion
“Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights”

6:30 pm

Monday, February 16

Sackler 120, Sackler Science Center, 950 Main St.

This feature-length film unearths the lesser-known story of black women’s political marginalization between the male-dominated Black Power movement, and the predominantly white and middle class Feminist movement during the 1960s and 70s. Following the screening is a panel discussion with Professors Ousmane Power-Greene (History), Esther Jones (English), and Stephanie Larrieux (Screen Studies). The trailer is available at reflectionsunheardfilm.com.

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Disagreeing with Sexism: Norms, Sexual Violence, and Violence Prevention”

12-1:15 pm

Tuesday, February 17

Lurie Conference Room, Higgins University Center, 950 Main St.

Andrew L. Stewart is a social psychologist studying intergroup relations in the contexts of gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and class. His research examines how widespread beliefs about social groups contribute to intergroup violence and discrimination, and how to change those beliefs to reduce violence and discrimination. For example, Andrew’s research has examined how sexist and traditional masculinity norms contribute to violence and discrimination against women, and he has administered and evaluated sexual assault prevention programs for college men to reduce sexual violence.

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Pre-screening and community conversation
“American Dilemma” (1944)

7 pm

Tuesday, February 17

Jefferson 218, Jefferson Academic Center, 950 Main St.

Pre-screening and community conversation of the film “American Dilemma” as a part of Community Cinema Worcester, organized by N-CITE Community Media and co-sponsored by the Hiatt Center for Urban Education and Difficult Dialogues.

This event includes a panel discussion to deepen our engagement in the current national dialogue on race in America.  Panelists include Ousmane Power-Greene, from Clark’s History Department; Raphael Rogers from Clark’s Education Department; and Julius Jones, a Clark alum and community organizer engaged with Black Lives Matters protests locally.

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Talk and meet & greet
“A talk and meet & greet with Franchesca Ramsey”

6-8 pm
Wednesday, February 25

Jefferson 320, Jefferson Academic Center, 950 Main St.

Franchesca Ramsey, better known as the Internet sensation Chescaleigh, is a Youtube blogger, an actress, a comedian, a graphic designer and a vlogger. Ramsey has been featured on MSNBC, ABC, The Daily Mail, the Anderson Cooper talk show, and many more, for her successful Youtube channel that covers all sorts of social issues like health care, safer sex, body image, race, homophobia, and rape culture.  For more about Ramsey, visit Franchesca.net and Upworthy.  This event is sponsored by the Black Student Union.

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The following event will be held in honor of Women’s History Month 2015.

It is free and open to the public.

“The Continuum of Displacement:  Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan and the USA Post 2003”

1:30 pm

Friday, February 27

Lurie Conference Room, Higgins University Center

This talk will focus on the continuum of displacement among Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the USA since 2003, and the challenges they face as they transition from one country to the other to rebuild their lives. Isis Nusair, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and International Studies at Denison University, will analyze the themes that emerge in the women’s narratives and the modes of support Iraqi women refugees employ to sustain their agency in this prolonged state of instability and displacement.

A sneak peek …

… at some of the great paintings of African American soldiers throughout U.S. history that you’ll see in the Saxe room today, if you attend day 3 of the Bob Marley Bash at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square.

They’re exhibited in honor of Black History Month – FEBRUARY. I saw them, along with 15 or so other paintings, Friday and loved them! These big, bold works of art pay homage to our troops of color – unsung American heroes. They comprise a traveling exhibit that is making its way throughout our state; they were created by Boston artists who are hoping the USPS makes them commemorative stamps. Cool! Here’s hoping our school kids can view them and discuss them in school, church and around the family kitchen table!

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CAM00414Today! Sunday –  February 8 – Celebration film!

 Documentary ~ Rocksteady Roots of Reggae Music

While everybody has heard the music of Bob Marley, the superstar of reggae, few people know that it was Rocksteady that developed the buoyant rhythms, prominent bass pulse, soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics that gave reggae its power.

This film features a mix of studio recording sessions at Tuff Gong Studios, rarely seen archival footage from the period and interviews with the performers at home or at places on the island that had had profound effects on their music and lives.

Drumming too with Francesca Abbey Worcester Public Library

Be there! 2 pm – 5 pm

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And the lady who makes the Bob Marley celebration happen every year in Worcester  – PARLEE JONES! Here she is (far left) at the library, on Friday, with friends at the beginning of the celebration.     – R. Tirella

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Worcester celebrates Black History Month

FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH

During the Month of February (1st – 28th) Worcester has the honor of hosting the Art Exhibit, “Triumph, Black Military Unsung Heroes.” It’s an American History project that focuses on the omitted sector of American Veterans of African American heritage.

The exhibit will be on display at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square.

It was commissioned by Haywood Fennell, a Veteran/Educator and representative of Tri-Ad Veterans League and was created by Artists for Humanity, Boston’s after-school art program.

The youth involved were supervised by Stephen Hamilton, an Art Instructor at Artists for Humanity, Boston. It consists of 13 paintings. These paintings have been exhibited at the Massachusetts State House, Newton City Hall and at the Strand Theater. The group hopes to have the paintings recreated by the US Postal Service and transformed into commemorative stamps.

From the paintings, a calendar has been created which has names, dates and mostly unknown information about the African American Veterans, male and female, from the American Revolution to World War II.

At the Worcester Historical Museum 

All month long we will be collecting photographs, memorabilia and stories of your Black Veterans (family, friends, loved ones) that will be presented at the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street, at 7 p.m. on February 19.  

If you so choose, you can allow the Worcester  Historical Museum to make your contribution a part of their collection! If you have stories of a loved one or you would like to share, or if you, yourself are a veteran and would like to be included, bring your items to be scanned to the event.

The Antiquarian Society at 185 Salisbury Street will have their “Black Veteran”-related materials on display during the month of February, with free tours on Wednesdays at 3 pm.

February 1 (Sunday) ~ Opening Ceremony TRIUMPH! BLACK MILITARY UNSUNG HEROES ART EXHIBIT ~ Worcester Public Library – 2 pm to 5 pm.

At WPL TATNUCK BRANCH

February 2, 9, 16, 23 (Mondays) ~

Black History Month Film Festival

Tatnuck Branch Library, 1083 Pleasant Street.

4 pm to 6 pm.

From classic fairy tales, to comedic sports, to inspiring stories, celebrate the African American experience through a weekly movie night.

Call library for titles.

Refreshments served. All ages.

For more information, call (508)799-8329.

February is Black History Month …

 

 

Listening to this cd — Mavis Staples, We’ll Never Turn Back. Here are some great, inspiring, brave songs. Click on links below …R. Tirella

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcE1gkcw5Q8&feature=youtube_gdata_player&noredirect=1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeZmZ1Pt6C0

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeEN84JYT4

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxqtdDrvMFo

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Black History month!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King helped organize a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. His partners in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom included other religious leaders, labor leaders, and black organizers. The assembled masses marched down the Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, heard songs from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and heard speeches by actor Charlton Heston, NAACP president Roy Wilkins, and future U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis.

King’s appearance was the last of the event; the closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Towards the end of his life, MLK Jr. was passionate about economic equality – for everyone. Poverty – as well as peace – were the two issues he was now speaking about. Then he was gunned down … . Here he is on economic equality:

“Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively…the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada.

“Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it. We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”

Toward the end of the speech, King refers to threats against his life and uses language that seems to foreshadow his impending death:

“And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything.

I’m not fearing any man.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

SKIN at the Worcester Public Library!

Tonight there will be a showing of the movie “SKIN” at the Worcester Public Library in honor of Black History Month!  Be there!

5:30 pm.

Snacks provided!

 

Ten year-old Sandra is distinctly African looking. Her parents, Abraham and Sannie, are white Afrikaners, unaware of their black ancestry. They are shopkeepers in a remote area of the Eastern Transvaal and, despite Sandra’s mixed-race appearance, have lovingly brought her up as their ‘white’ little girl.

Sandra is sent to a boarding school in the neighbouring town of Piet Retief, where her (white) brother Leon is also studying, but parents and teachers complain that she doesn’t belong. She is examined by State officials, reclassified as ‘Coloured’, and expelled from the school. Sandra’s parents are shocked, but Abraham fights through the courts to have the classification reversed. The story becomes an international scandal and media pressure forces the law to change, so that Sandra becomes officially ‘White’ again.

By the time she is 17, Sandra realises she is never going to be accepted by the white community. She falls in love with Petrus — a black man, the local vegetable seller, and begins an illicit love affair. Abraham threatens to shoot Petrus and disown Sandra. Sannie is torn between her husband’s rage and her daughter’s predicament.

Sandra elopes with Petrus to Swaziland. Abraham alerts the police, has them arrested and put in prison. Sandra is told by the local magistrate to go home, but she refuses.

Now Sandra must live her life, for the first time, as a black woman in South Africa — with no running water, no sanitation, and little income. She and Petrus have two children, and although she feels more at home in this community, she desperately misses her parents and yearns for a reunion.

After many more years of hardship and struggle, the chances of that reunion ever happening seem remote. But Sandra carries her father’s advice with her wherever she goes: ‘Never give up!’

SKIN is a story of family, forgiveness and the triumph of the human spirit.