Celebrate Black History Month at the Library
February is Black History Month and Buncombe County is grateful to be a partner in hosting multiple events focused on honoring the past of African Americans in our community, highlighting the many ways they have contributed to our community and also the struggles and challenges they have encountered as a community. As we look at efforts across our community it is important for us to have a solid understanding of our history so we can shape a better future.
Several events aimed at presenting material and fostering community conversation are outlined below. These are free and open to the public.
Black History Month programs at the Libraries:
- Continue the Conversation, Thursdays at noon in Lord Auditorium.
Last summer, the Buncombe County Community Engagement Team created a four-part Lunch and Learn series on African-American History in our community. It featured prominent guest speakers Marcell Proctor, Dr. Darin Waters, Commissioner Al Whitesides, and Dr. Sharon West. The presentations gained a tremendous following and though they took place in 2017, the conversations will continue in this year. This February, to kickoff Black History Month, join us for Continuing the Conversation, at Pack Memorial library every Thursday at noon.
The Community Engagement Team and Pack Library invite everyone to attend to watch the videos of the previous presentations and afterward continue the conversation with special guest speakers. All events will take place in the Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library.
- Thursday, February 15, noon - 1:30 p.m. The Wage Gap and Historical Wealth Disparities video and discussion.
- Thursday, February 22, noon - 1:30 p.m. The Historical Effects of Redlining and Gentrification video and discussion.
- EW Pearson’s grandson, Cliff Cotton, will host a talk on Saturday, February 24 at 2 p.m. in Lord Auditorium.
“Edward W. Pearson, Sr. was one of the most energetic and creative forces for positive change that Asheville has ever known. From Pearson’s arrival in Asheville in 1906, until his death in 1946, he worked tirelessly to improve the fortunes and the quality of life of his family and his community. Facing many barriers to advancement in a strictly segregated society, he saw not obstacles, but opportunities.” — Excerpt from Pack Library archives.
- Book Discussion: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Fridays at 10 a.m. (February 16 & 23).
"Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don't know how to face. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander is such a work" — The New York Review of Books.
- Documentary screening: 13th, Monday, February 26 - 6 p.m.
This Oscar nominated documentary is described as “Powerful, infuriating, and at times overwhelming … and will get our blood boiling and tear ducts streaming” by the New York Times.