In celebration of this year's Black History Month, the Waukegan Public Library will present interactive programs about Africa and showcase exhibits created by the Waukegan Historical Society profiling the rich history, culture and contributions of African Americans to the Waukegan community.
"Akwaaba: Learning West African People, History and Culture through African Music" is a family, interactive African drumming workshop at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4. All ages are welcome to this hands-on event focusing on the music and instruments of West Africa.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, Dr. Gilo Kwesi Logan will present a workshop for all ages sharing his personal liberation story stemming from 8½ years of travel involving 43 visits to 23 countries throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and West Africa.
Dr. Logan is a professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and teaches courses in Justice Studies & African and African-American studies. His multimedia presentation, "The Inward Journey through Ebony Eyes: Transformative Learning Through Cultural Immersion," uses video, music, artifacts, poetry, and storytelling to share his experience traveling the world.
Both of the library's Black History Month programs are presented by SOUL Creations, a not-for-profit, community-based educational agency in Evanston, whose mission is to educate, empower, and validate youth through self-discovery.
Dr. Logan is the founder, former executive director, and current program facilitator for SOUL Creations. He holds a doctorate in education.
In addition, a Black History Month traveling exhibit titled "Waukegan's African American Past," on loan from the Waukegan Historical Society, will highlight some of the museum's archival collections connected to individuals -- both slave and free -- in local history.
Exhibit topics include the Underground Railroad, the Anti-Slavery Movement, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln's early speeches about the problem of slavery, former slaves in the Union army, and notable black Waukegan citizens, including the first black Waukegan policeman and fireman.
The exhibits are open through the month of February during normal library hours.
The Waukegan Public Library is at 128 N. County St., Waukegan. For details, visit www.waukeganpl.org.