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The Big Read : February 1 through March 10

| January 25, 2019, 01:23 PM
Rams Head

Imagine a community coming together to read one book and then having the opportunity to attend events for over a month where you can celebrate the themes of the book and even get a free copy of the book. That is what The Big Read is all about.

This year’s book is The Big Smoke – A finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in Poetry–a collection that examines the myth and history of the prizefighter Jack Johnson. The legendary Jack Johnson was a true American creation. The child of emancipated slaves, he overcame the violent segregationism of Jim Crow, challenging white boxers–and white America–to become the first African-American heavyweight world champion. The Big Smoke, Adrian Matejka’s third work of poetry, follows the fighter’s journey from poverty to the most coveted title in sports through the multi-layered voices of Johnson and the white women he brazenly loved. Matejka’s book is part historic reclamation and part interrogation of Johnson’s complicated legacy, one that often misremembers the magnetic man behind the myth.

The public in encouraged to get a copy of the book from the library, your favorite local book store or at one of The Big Read events (while supplies last). Then meet up at one of the many Big Read events being held around Anne Arundel County celebrating African American History, boxing, overcoming obstacles, love and relationships during The Big Read of Anne Arundel County.

The events have something for everyone including, films, concerts, exhibits, lectures, book discussions, kids’ activities and more. “As we celebrate Black History Month and Valentine’s Day this list of events is a great way to spend your February.”  says Erik Evans The Big Read Marketing Director.

The Big Read of Anne Arundel County events schedule

Songs of the Caged Bird
The work of Baltimore artist, Lawrence Hurst (pictured) highlights an exhibit of Maryland-based African American artists.  The exhibit runs through June 8. Open 10 am to 4 pm.  Closed Sundays and Mondays. Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis. 410-216-6180.

Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches Dance Party 
Stroll, shuffle, twist and boogaloo down memory lane as we recreate the music scene at Carr’s Beach and Sparrow’s Beach, major stops on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” during and beyond segregation. The event features local musicians including the Clones of Funk and Scotti Preston with piano accompaniment by Shajid. The evening includes tributes to the stars that came to the Bandstand at the Beach: James Brown, George Clinton, Sly and the Family Stone, and Sarah Vaughan to name a few.  Vince Leggett will M.C. a musical Kick Off to The NEA Big Read – Anne Arundel County.  Cape St. Claire Community Clubhouse, 1223 River Bay Road, Annapolis. Friday, February 1, 7 pm – 12 midnight. $20 Advance  $25 Door.  Tickets: www.theccm.org  410-990-1993

Competing Realities: Black Southern Marylanders and Their Quest to Shape Freedom in “Loyal” Maryland 1860-1880
Dr. Sharita Jacobs Thompson, Saturday, February 2, 10 am, $10, free for members. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 London Town Road, Edgewater.  410-222-1919

African-American History Challenge for children
Meet historic figures then test your knowledge to win prizes!  Saturday, February 2, 10 to 11:30 am – gr. 2-3, 1 to 2 pm – gr. 4-5, 3 to 4:30 pm – gr. 6-8. Participation fee $10. Observers (parents, siblings): $5 each. Chesapeake Children’s Museum, 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis. www.theccm.org  410-990-1993.

Exhibit Opening: Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches
Combined exhibits from Banneker-Douglass Museum collection “Music to the Ears” and Blacks of the Chesapeake Local Legacy Collection, panel discussion, films, oral histories, hand dance demos, and your own memories of summers at Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches.  Live music with Karen Somerville and Band in tribute to the women of the Beach: Billie Holliday, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, etc. Light refreshments. Saturday, February 2, 2-6 pm. Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center, 1101 Smithville St., Annapolis. $25 Advance.  $30 Door.   Presented by Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation and Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center. 410-570-1187.

Magnificent Folks, Animals and other such Tales
Applaud the great accomplishments of those with paws, fins, feet or wings.  Storyteller Diane Macklin highlights teamwork and the best tool for solving problems: the brain!  Saturday, February 2 at 2 pm.  Family audience. Maryland City Library, 3501 Russett Common, Laurel.

The Many Hats of Jack Johnson
Dramatic portrayal of the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World.
Vince Leggett presents sketches from the life of Jack Johnson, rising from his harsh beginnings in Galveston, Texas, to conquering the world both inside the boxing ring and out.
Sunday, February 3, 2-4 pm.  Annapolis Friends Meeting House, 351 Dubois Road, Annapolis.
Presented by Chesapeake Children’s Museum: 410-990-1993

Poetry Writing Class
Join a Poetry and Creative Writing Class every Monday at 10 am.  Membership in the center is free to county residents ages 55 and up.  Mondays, February 4 – March 4, 10:00 a.m.  Annapolis Senior Activity Center, 119 South Villa Avenue, Annapolis.  410-222-1818

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power (2013).
Documentary about Anita Hill and her testimony against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment while in his employ.
Tuesday, February 5 at 10 am. Teens through adults. Mountain Road Library, 4730 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & the NAACP (PBS, 2014).
Thurgood Marshall won more Supreme Court cases than any lawyer in American history as a Civil Rights attorney.  His ultimate triumph was the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America’s public schools. Tuesday, February 5 at 6:30 pm.  Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30 pm. Teens through adults. Brooklyn Park Library, 1 East 11th Avenue, Baltimore.

Bates High School: Center for Excellence – Memories of Bates’ Teachers(2018). 
Fifteen former teachers of Wiley H. Bates High School tell its story from its opening in 1933 to its closing in 1966, soon after desegregation. The only secondary school for African Americans in the county as far north as Brooklyn Park and as far south as Friendship, “Bates was the hub for the African American community.”  Wednesday, February 6 at noon.  Teens through adults. Sponsored by Kunta Kinte – Alex Haley Foundation Edgewater Library, 25 Stepney’s Lane, Edgewater.

Journey to Nubia and Kemet: Exploring African History, Culture & Contributions  
After School program for 20 middle school students at CCM presented by Angel Harriot. Supported by grants from AA Rec. & Parks and AA Arts Council.  Wednesdays & Fridays, February 6-22, 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Must pre-register. 410-990-1993.

BESA
Besa means “come dance” in the Akan language of Ghana. This is a fun aerobic and cardio workout that uses African dance forms and techniques. Wednesday, February 6 at 6 pm.  Family audience. Sponsored by Performing Arts Center for African Cultures. Severn Library, 2624 Annapolis Road, Severn.

Deep River: Songs of an Enslaved People
Experience a moving tribute to the legacy of Negro Spirituals, narrated and performed by Washington National Opera Tenor Wayne Jennings and violinist Alexander Strachan.  Thursday, February 7 at 6 pm.  Family audience. Sponsored by Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts. Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library, 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis.

In Slavery and Freedom: Sierra Leone’s Ties to the Americas
Dr. Nemata Blyden, Saturday, February 9, 10 am. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 London Town Road, Edgewater.  410-222-1919

Inspiring & Extraordinary Ladies – The  History and Journey of Black Ladies through Fashion, Hair, and Education
A fashion and hair show will be included in the event. Vendors will be on site to meet your every fashion need.  Saturday, February 9, 11 am – 4 pm.  Presentation starts at 12 noon.  Refreshments. St. Phillips Episcopal Church, 730 Bestgate Road, Annapolis.  $15 donation to: Broadneck African-American Heritage Project, Inc.
broadneckheritageproject.weebly.com

Among the Stars
Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, was also an engineer and physician.  Learn about her life and what propelled her into orbit!  Saturday, February 9 at 2 pm.  For children. Discoveries: The Library at the Mall, 2260 Annapolis Mall Road, Annapolis.

The Conversation Starters with Allie Simmons
Ms. Simmons holds monthly forums with the goal of “dismantling racism and continuing the reconciliation and healing process of this nation.” Saturday, February 9, 2 pm.  Included with admission of Adults $9 and Seniors $7.  Free for London Town members. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 London Town Road, Edgewater.  410-222-1919

Health and Fitness Fair
Health screenings, medical professionals with information and demonstrations.  U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen along with the football team’s strength and conditioning coach. A Scavenger Hunter and other hands-on activities for children. Saturday, February, 9, 2-5 pm.  Pip Moyer Rec. Center

Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration
The “Year of Frederick Douglass” honors the 200th anniversary of Maryland’s own, abolitionist, writer, and orator. Join in the culminating celebration of his life and legacy. Special guest speaker: Kenneth B. Morris, Founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Saturday, February 9, 2019, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm  Click here to register! events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efvyoj6ea49ac78c&oseq=&c=&ch=   Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis. 410-216-6180.

From Jazz to Hip-Hop
Explore the origins and evolution of popular music forms that originated in the African-American community.  Monday, February 11 at 6 pm.  For teens and adults. Sponsored by Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center.  Odenton Library, 1325 Annapolis Road, Odenton.

Researching African-American Families at the Maryland State Archives
Research Archivist Ryan Cox from the Maryland State Archives will lead a discussion about the resources available for those looking to research their Maryland roots. Monday, February 11 at 6:30 pm. For adults.  Linthicum Library, 400 Shipley Road, Linthicum.

Whose Streets: An Unflinching Look at the Ferguson Uprising (R, 2017)
An account of the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri as told by the people who lived it. The film examines how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was left lying in the street for hours, inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Tuesday, February 12 at 10 am. Mountain Road Library, 4730 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

Loving
Movie followed by discussion. Relationships can be complicated enough. Why does skin color matter when it comes to love and marriage? The 1960’s story of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving depicts the prevailing attitudes in our country regarding acceptable partners.  Laws had not changed much since heavyweight champion Jack Johnson dared to have romantic relationships outside his race more than 50 years earlier. A discussion follows the movie. Wednesday, February 13, 6-10 pm.  Anne Arundel Community College, West Campus, Cade Fine Arts Building, rm. 219

Historical Character Interpretation: Connecting the Dots
Brenda Parker will show how to create a more complete “story” of African American people in the past using whatever resources are available. Saturday, February 16, 10 am. Historic London Town and Gardens, 839 London Town Road, Edgewater.  410-222-1919

A Journey in Time – Reach Back to Go Forward
Meet some change makers of African American history through book readings, crafts, STEM projects, and a scavenger hunt, starting at the Center Court.  Marley Station Mall, 7900 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie. Saturday, February 16, 1 – 4 pm.   Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority [email protected]

African American Heritage Walking Tour
Tour Annapolis with a Watermark Journey guide in period dress to explore African American heritage.  African Americans have for over 300 years, comprised a significant portion of the population of the state of Maryland, our county and the city of Annapolis. Saturday, February 16, 1-3 pm. Adults: $20, Children ages 3-11: $10.  watermarkjourney.com/ 410-268-7600

Succotash Tales.  Engage in the richness of African American stories and traditions.

Storyteller Diane Macklin brings the audience in with her “captivating voice and dancing hands.” Saturday, February 16 at 2 pm.  Family audience. Crofton Library, 1681 Reidel Road, Crofton.

Salute to Black Inventors
Discover African-American inventions that changed the world!  Use your imagination and materials provided to make an invention of your own. Saturday, February 16 at 2 pm. Family audience. Sponsored by Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Odenton Library, 1325 Annapolis Road, Odenton.

African American Literature class
Discussion of The Big Smoke. Dr. Lester Brooks will give a talk on the historical context of the book. Monday, February 18, 11 am.  Humanities Building, room 117, Anne Arundel Community College, Main Campus, 101 College Parkway, Arnold.

Hat-Making Workshop
Create your one-of-a-kind topper with feathers, ribbons, and flowers inspired by the fashions during Jack Johnson’s rise to fame.  Monday, February 18, 1-3 pm.  Free with museum admission of $5.  Chesapeake Children’s Museum, 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis. 410-990-1993.

African-Folktales and Crafts
Travel to Kunta Kinte’s childhood homeland! Take part in Anansi Stories, traditional folk tales from West African.  Make a Kufi hat and shake your shekere! Tuesday, February 19 at 10 am.  Family audience. Sponsored by Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Riviera Beach Library, 1130 Duvall Highway, Pasadena

Ken Burns: The Central Park Five (NR, 2013).
In 1989, five teen-age boys were convicted of raping a woman in Central Park. This film tells the story of a horrific crime, the media frenzy highlighting the racial differences between the boys and the victim, and the miscarriage of justice that upended the boys’ lives. A murderer and serial rapist eventually confessed to the rape, after the innocent young men had spent years in prison. Tuesday, February 19 at 10 am.  Teens through adults. Mountain Road Library, 4730 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

African American Literature class
Discussion of The Big Smoke. Mike Gavin will do an analysis of masculinity in sports as it relates to Jack Johnson and the text. Wednesday, February 20, 11 am.   Humanities Building, room 117, Anne Arundel Community College, Main Campus, 101 College Parkway, Arnold.

ACEs and The Big Smoke Book Discussion
What were the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that Jack Johnson experienced? Where did his resilience come from? Wednesday, February 20, 6 – 7:30 pm. Eastport Library, Hillsmere Road, Annapolis.   Moderated by Dr. Deborah Wood, 410-757-1675.

Deep River: Songs of an Enslaved People
Experience a moving tribute to the legacy of Negro Spirituals, narrated and performed by Washington National Opera Tenor Wayne Jennings and violinist Alexander Strachan.  Thursday, February 21 at 6 pm.  Family audience. Sponsored by Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts. Brooklyn Park Library, 1 East 11th Avenue, Baltimore.

African Beats
Tap your feet to jazz while listening to a story about musician from the past.  Children will handle and decorate jazz instruments.  Friday, February 22 at 10 am.  For ages three through five.  Sponsored by Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Deale Library, 5940 Churchton-Deale Road, Deale.

Jazzy Storytime. 
Celebrate the rich culture of Jazz with stories, songs and a fun craft!  Friday, February 22 at 10:30 am.  For ages five and under. Discoveries: The Library at the Mall, 2260 Annapolis Mall Road, Annapolis.

African American Literature class
Discussion of The Big Smoke. Dr. Suzanne Spoor will lead a literary discussion of the book. Friday, February 22, 11 am.  Humanities Building, room 117, Anne Arundel Community College, Main Campus, 101 College Parkway, Arnold.

Music in Film, Animation, TV and Video Games! 
Have fun singing along to popular jazz themed music from classic cartoons, cinema, animated movies and video games of the past and present!  Saturday, February 23 at 10 am.  Family audience. Sponsored by Renée Collins Georges, Kidz MusiQ Club. Edgewater Library, 25 Stepney’s Lane, Edgewater.

Music in Film, Animation, TV and Video Games! 
Have fun singing along to popular jazz themed music from classic cartoons, cinema, animated movies and video games of the past and present! Saturday, February 23 at 2 pm.  Family audience. Sponsored by Renée Collins Georges, Kidz MusiQ Club. Glen Burnie Library, 1010 Eastway, Glen Burnie.

Lead On, Harriet!
Interactive program about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, recommended for ages 9 & up, Saturday, February 23 7-9 pm. $12. Chesapeake Children’s Museum, 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis. Please register in advance. www.theccm.org 410-990-1993.

Rising Notes
A concert of First and Notable African Americans in Music. Featured artists include Ethel Ennis and Billie Holiday, portrayed by Scotti Preston. Members of The Clones of Funk will round out the live music with selections from James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, and of course some soul-freeing P-Funk.  A soul food buffet will be served from 7-8:45 pm. Saturday, February 23, 7 pm – midnight. (D.J. until 1 am).  Advance tickets – Dinner and concert: $40.  Concert only (doors open 9 pm): $15.  At the door – Dinner and concert: $50.  Concert only: $20. Black Tie optional.  Big Hats encouraged.  Tickets at www.theccm.org American Legion Cook-Pinkney Post, 1707 Forest Drive, Annapolis.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood
Vince Leggett, author of Chesapeake Bay Through Ebony Eyes, presents a book talk about African American watermen, with cooking demos and tastings of recipes “from the galley” section of the book. Signed copies of the book will be for sale. Sunday, February 24, 1:30 pm.  Free admission to church members, $5 suggested donation. Asbury-Broadneck United Methodist Church, 657 Broadneck Road, Annapolis. 410-757-2995.

Rise Up
A stirring mix of music, poetry and portrayals of African American Firsts and Notables, presented by the AngelWing Project.  Sunday, February 24 at 4 pm.  $10. Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

Strange Fruit: the Biography of a Song. (NR)

The signature song of Billie Holiday was written under the penname Lewis Allan, actually Abel Meeropol, a high school English teacher and union activist.  In 1938, Meeropol saw a photograph of a lynching and was haunted by the image for days. The film examines the history of lynching, and the interplay of race, labor, and the left. (At the time, Meeropol was a member of the Communist Party.)  Popular culture, in this case millions of Billie Holiday fans, also played a part in the birth of the Civil Rights Movement.  Tuesday, February 26 at 10 am.  Adults. Mountain Road Library, 4730 Mountain Road, Pasadena.

Inspiring Stories of African American Women in AA County.

A panel will showcase the positive impact African American women have had on our community with accounts of their journeys.  Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 pm.  Teens through adults. Broadneck Library, 1275 Green Holly Drive, Annapolis.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016, PG-13).

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project – a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends. Filmmaker Raoul Peck picked up the project after Baldwin’s death using Baldwin’s 30 pages of notes about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The collaborative result insists on uncomfortable truths, drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history and the tortured subject of American identity.  Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 pm.  For teens through adults. Severna Park Library, 45 West McKinsey Road, Severna Park.

“Verda’s Place” Exhibit Opening –

As the first African American woman state senator, Verda Welcome remains a beloved figure in the State of Maryland. This cafe-themed exhibition is a direct response to places where Welcome was unwelcome: the bars and nightclubs where the male legislators parlayed after leaving their offices. Through memorabilia, photographs, and archival documents, Verda’s Place encourages interaction and participation to bring visitors’ communities into the exhibit space. Saturday, March 9, 3:00 pm-5:00 pm Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin Street, Annapolis. 410-216-6180.

Love Tales with Amazon’s International bestseller author of Conquer the Man Monster Now!

T. Renee Garner joined by Aileen London, author of Love Sex Pain: A Poetry Collection and Versiphire the Poet, author of We All Have 2 Answer: Consider the Truth.  Kingdom Hope Ministries, 1566 Annapolis Road, Odenton.  Saturday, March 9, 10:30 am.

Lead On, Harriet!

interactive program about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, recommended for ages 9 & up, Saturday, March 9, 7-9 pm. $12. Chesapeake Children’s Museum, 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis. Please register in advance. www.theccm.org 410-990-1993.

The Big Read is made possible with the support of the National Endowment of the Arts, Koons Toyota, The Chesapeake Children’s Museum and the many other partners hosting events throughout The Big Read.

The public is invited to follow The Big Read of Anne Arundel County to keep up to date on all the events.

Rams Head

Category: Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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