In recognition of Black History Month in February, Fort Bend County Libraries will have a variety of special programs celebrating the history and cultural contributions of African-Americans in the United States. Check out the film series, the history program and the family history: details are below. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FILM SERIES
Fort Bend County Libraries will present a series of films in February portraying the stories of African-Americans who broke racial barriers and made significant contributions toward equal rights.
- George Memorial Library -- Glory Road, Monday, February 8, 5:30 pm, Meeting Room.
Be inspired by the true-life story of the legendary 1965-66 Texas Western University Miners basketball team in this biographic sports drama released in 2006. Head coach Don Haskins went on the recruiting trail to find the best talent in the land – black or white. During a time when racially integrated teams were still a novelty in the South and West, Haskins and his all-black starting line-up generated a firestorm of controversy and faced seemingly insurmountable odds. Though mocked and ridiculed, Haskins and his players showed they could succeed where it counted – on the basketball court. In post-season play, the Miners went all the way to the NCAA National Championship game against powerhouse Kentucky’s all-white team. This movie is rated PG.
- George Memorial Library -- I Am Ali, Monday, February 22, 5:30 pm, Meeting Room.
The film to be shown is a sports documentary, released in 2014, providing an intimate look into the life of boxer Mohammed Ali. Utilizing exclusive, unprecedented access to Ali’s personal archive of “audio journals” and interviews with Ali’s circle of family and friends, the filmmakers capture a heartwarming portrayal of the man behind the legend, complete with commentary by other legends of the boxing community, including Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Gene Kilroy. This film is rated PG.
- University Branch Library -- Ray, Saturday, February 27, 1:00 pm, Meeting Room 1.
Released in 2004, this biopic portrays the true story of Grammy-Award winning musician Ray Charles, played by Jamie Foxx. Despite humble beginnings in Georgia and the loss of his eyesight at the age of seven, Ray Charles rose to meteoric stardom during the 1950s and 1960s, becoming an icon in both the music industry and the Civil Rights era. Foxx won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and other honors for his portrayal of Charles. This film is rated PG-13.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH HISTORY PROGRAM
“African-American Elected Leaders in the Post-Civil War Era in Fort Bend County”
- Sienna Branch Library -- Thursday, February 11, 7:00 pm, Meeting Room.
Dr. Nicholas Cox, a U.S. History professor at Houston Community College, will discuss the changes experienced by African-Americans in Fort Bend County in the 1860s, during the period before and after emancipation in 1865. He will also talk about the county’s first elected black office-holders before the restoration of whites-only political control in the 1870s.
Dr. Cox received his doctorate degree in U.S. History from the University of Houston. In addition to his work at Houston Community College, Dr. Cox has taught at the Bronx Academy of Letters in New York City, the University of Houston, and the University of Houston-Victoria.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FAMILY-HISTORY PROGRAM
“My Family Roots: An Intermediate Genealogy Workshop for African-Americans”
- Missouri City Branch Library -- Saturday, February 20, 2:00-4:00 pm, Meeting Room.
Researching African-American family histories may present special challenges for the genealogical researcher. Daniel Sample, manager of the Genealogy and Local History department, will discuss many of the resources that are available to family-history researchers, with special focus on tools to help individuals who are researching African-American family histories.
Learn more about Heritage Quest’s “Freedman’s Bank Records” database, which contains records from 1865-1871. This resource is an index to Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company’s registers of signatures of depositors, and it contains information such as the names of depositors, names of employers and plantations, names of family members, place of birth, and even height and complexion.
Other online resources, such as the Ancestry.com database, items that are available on microfilm, and print resources will also be discussed.
Refreshments for the program are provided by the Friends of the Missouri City Branch Library.