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Celebrating African American History Month with Focus on Education: Music, films, and programs planned at all branches

1/25/2013 12:35:41 PM

We are celebrating African American History Month throughout February with a variety of programming, music and events at Main Library and branches with special focus on education and educators.

“African American History Month is a special time at CPL,” said Felton Thomas, Director of CPL. “It’s an opportunity to both celebrate and reflect, and this year we are looking forward to a month full of dynamic speakers, phenomenal musicians, and insightful and engaging programs at Main Library and throughout our branches.”

Featured programs and events include the following:
World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements
TIME Magazine named Mr. Hunter one of "12 Top Education Activists for 2012" for his innovative and inspiring approach to teaching. For over 30 years, John Hunter has taught his students to resolve conflict and global challenges through a remarkable interactive exercise called the World Peace Game. TED and the Huffington Post selected John Hunter's TEDTalk as "the most influential idea of 2011."    

We will screen the award-winning documentary film World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements on Saturday, February 2 at 2:00 p.m. in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium.  The screening will be followed by an interactive discussion with the filmmaker and John Hunter, the inspiring teacher featured in the film.

Dr. Howard Fuller
We will host Dr. Howard Fuller for an evening of conversation about education and African Americans. Founder and director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Dr. Fuller chronicles the historical barriers faced by the African American community in its struggle for quality and equality in education. The conversation takes place Tuesday, February 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium in Main Library.

The Youth Renaissance: Utilizing Pop Culture to Re-engage At-Risk Youth
The Youth Renaissance Choir will perform on Saturday, February 9th at 2:00 p.m. in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium in Main Library. The show will include a showcase of student-produced music and video made with and by Cleveland’s youth through the efforts of Edward “Phatty” Banks and his Reading R.A.M.M. (Recording Arts Music Media), a program that connects kids with reading and education by using pop-culture-style music and media. As the kids create, produce, and perform songs, music videos, and film, they improve their language and reading comprehension skills while having fun and making amazing multimedia art.

The Seekers of Truth Revolutionary Ensemble
Collaborators since high school, Ralph Miles Jones and Baba Issa Abramaleem, The Seekers of Truth Revolutionary Ensemble, consider themselves and wish to be considered as messengers of cosmic sounds. The ensemble will perform at the Rice Branch on Friday, February 15th at 6:30 p.m.

Ralph Jones is Faculty-In-Residence at Afrikan Heritage House at Oberlin College and an internationally recognized performing and recording artist. His instruments of choice range from modern saxophones to indigenous flutes and traditional wind instruments. 

Baba Issa Abramaleem is a composer, visual artist, playwright and percussionist-guitarist who also explores the wider category of membranephones and chordophones. 

PUSH: Madison vs. Madison
We will host a free screening of the award-winning documentary film PUSH: Madison vs. Madison on Friday, February 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch in University Circle. Following the screening, Coach Dennis Wilson and Rudy Hypolite, the film’s director and executive producer, respectively, will participate in an interactive discussion with the audience.

Set in Roxbury, Massachusetts, PUSH follows the story of Coach Wilson’s Madison Park Cardinals, a dysfunctional but talented team graced with a handful of sharp shooters and savvy ball handlers. Basketball is their escape, their crutch, and the hope for a way out and a way forward. Both on and off the court, the challenges faced by these young men often lend harsh truth to their team’s season motto: “the only team that can beat Madison is Madison.”


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