Dance, taste, talk open Black History Month at Gail Borden

Submitted by Gail Borden
Posted1/28/2013 2:23 PM
  • Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will perform the eighth annual Black History Family Festival on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.

    Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will perform the eighth annual Black History Family Festival on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.

The theme of the eighth annual Black History Family Festival will be "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind."

Learn the connection between the body and mind and how the health of one affects the other at fun and informative workshops and lectures from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin.

This free festival works to bridge cultures by uniting the Elgin area in a celebration of the African-American experience.

The festival will feature storyteller Linda Gorham, Ron "Dr. Sweat" Anderson from The Centre of Elgin, Future African American Leaders from Elgin Area School District U-46 high schools and free snacks from Elgin Community College's Food Service Department.

Local artists, authors and representatives from community organizations will have information available. Activities for children include a craft and the opportunity to be filmed talking about their favorite book for StoryTubes, a free contest in which kids individually or in a group promote a book. For more information, go to Also at the library that day, In The Neighborhood Fresh will feature a "Sweatwich" named after Ron Anderson.

Muntu, the largest African dance company in the United States, will perform in the library's community rooms. In the Bantu language, "muntu" means "the essence of humanity."

Through its performance, Muntu strives to create an atmosphere of communal participation, encouraging and inspiring audiences and participants to join in the celebration.

Gail Borden Library also will be hosting the following Black History Month programs:

• "The Great Black Migration and Cultural Exports to Illinois" will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. More than 3 million African-Americans migrated from the South to the North, Midwest and West from 1910 to 1970. This population shift helped fuel the civil rights movement and served as a pathway for cultural exportation. Focusing on the link between New Orleans and Chicago, speaker Denese Neu will explore how the musicians and folkways of Louisiana influenced modern Chicago. Denese Neu holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans and has researched and consulted on place-based issues. The program is co-sponsored with the AAUW. Register at, by calling (847) 429-4597 or in person at the main library or Rakow Branch.

• "Reel Women for Real Women" will feature the movie, "Lilies of the Field" at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Co-sponsored by the Elgin Area Branch of the American Association of University Women, this 1963 film features Sidney Poitier, who won an Oscar for his performance as Homer Smith, a jovial handyman who comes across a group of foreign nuns in the Arizona desert.

• Join the screening of the 2012 war film "Red Tails" for Black History Month at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27. A crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard. It stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Get articles sent to your inbox.