Celebrate Black History 2012

This year’s theme for Black History Month is African American Women in History and Culture. Forsyth County Public Library has got some great programs lined up.

 Preserving Photographs and Documents, January 28th, 2pm: The celebration kicks off in late January with our very own photograph librarian, Molly Rawls, who will talk about the organization, storage and conservation of photographs and documents. Molly will provide a historical overview of the types of photographs you may have in your collection. She will discuss best practices in archival housing and environment such as acid free boxes, folders, and photo albums, what is available and how to choose among the options, and the importance of climate control. She will also demonstrate how to deal with simple preservation issues and when to consult a conservation professional. So bring your questions and meet Molly in the Central Library auditorium at 2pm.


Septima Clark: Citizenship Education, February 2nd, 3:30 pm: Civil rights activist Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) is best known for her role in developing the Citizenship Schools. During the 1950s and 1960s thousands of disenfranchised African Americans passed through Citizenship School classes in which they learned to read and write in order to pass the literacy tests required by southern states to register to vote. Septima Clark brought four decades of practical experience as a public school teacher and civic activist to bear as she designed the Citizenship Schools.  Join Katherine Mellen Charron, Ph.D. at the Southside Branch library as she talks on three moments in Clark’s life to show that the roots of the program lay in organizing tradition forged by black women educators in the segregated South. 

This program is sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Roads Scholars program of the North Carolina Humanities Council. 


Elaine Riddick, February 3rd, 12pm: Elaine Riddick is an African American woman who, as a 14-year-old girl in 1968, was forcibly sterilized by the Eugenics Board of North Carolina which argued that she was “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.”  In March 2003 Ms. Riddick and       another victim of the Eugenics Project spoke out against the atrocities committed to them to the Eugenics Study Committee. As she said “When you’re a little girl, what do you want? You want to be a mommy. To find out that’s been taken away from you is devastating.” Ms. Riddick has worked tirelessly in bringing awareness to this project since 1970 and continues to do so through speaking engagements and television appearances. She will be at the Central Library auditorium to talk about her experiences as a survivor of the sterilization project.    


 First in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Panel Discussion, February 24th, 10am: Join three African American women that have been celebrated as being the firsts in their fields. They are educators, entrepreneurs, civic leaders and more.  They are “First” in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Join us in the Central Library auditorium!

Ms. Mutter Evans (Business woman, entrepreneur and first African American woman to own and operate a radio station in the United States)

Mrs. Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin (First African American and woman to serve as Library Director of the Forsyth County Public Library System)

Mrs. Denise Franklin (General Manager of WFDD, and first African American woman to anchor at WXII News)


Storyline Bus: ECHO’s Storyline bus will be visiting some of our library locations to collect personal stories during the months of February and March. To read about Storyline and for more information about their visits see my blog post from January 12, 2012.