Monday, January 29, 2018

National African American History Month Takes Off with Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit

A special exhibit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen will launch the Forsyth County Public Library’s celebration of National African American History Month when it opens at the Post Road Library on Thursday, February 1.

The Tuskegee Airmen: Segregated Skies of World War II” is on loan to the library from the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State University and explores the history and heroism of the first African American pilots to fly in combat during World War II.

Getchel Caldwell will speak about the
Tuskegee Airmen at the Post Road Library.
Image: Clark Atlanta University
Between 1941 and 1946, what became known as the “Tuskegee experiment” trained more than 1,000 pilots. Although required to train and fight in segregated units, the Tuskegee Airmen proved to be some of the most skilled aviators during the war. The undeniable courage and skill of these brave pilots contributed to the desegregation of the United States Armed Forces in 1948.

Through a series of photographic panels and stories, the exhibit offers a look into the historical challenges and triumphs of these unsung American heroes. The exhibit is open to the public during the library’s normal operating hours and will be on display through February 27.

To provide greater detail about the Tuskegee Airmen, Getchel Caldwell, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement and University Relations at Clark Atlanta University will speak at the Post Road Library on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to hearing Mr. Caldwell share his experiences working with The Tuskegee Airmen National Site and Museum at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama,” says Ann Decherd, branch manager.

Genealogy and History Programs at the Cumming Library

Elyse Hill, a professional genealogy researcher and member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), will lead a workshop on African American Genealogy at the Cumming Library on Saturday, February 3 at 3:00 p.m.

“Ms. Hill will share information to help patrons take the first steps in researching family histories and provide information on accessing different types of genealogical records, particularly those that are available online,” says Denise Leeson, branch manager.

The workshop is intended for adults and admission is free.

Sheri Jackson, Regional Manager with the National Parks Service’s Network to Freedom Program, will speak about the Underground Railroad at the Cumming Library on Saturday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m.

“This program demonstrates the importance of the Underground Railroad in the eradication of slavery and also as cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Jackson will share stories about people and stops, including a few here in Georgia,” explains Leeson.

Admission to “Taking Another Look at the Underground Railroad” is free and registration is not required.

Celebrations of Music and Literature at the Post Road Library

Bright Star Touring Theatre will perform their hit musical revue Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History at the Post Road Library’s African American History Celebration on Sunday, February 11 at 1:45 p.m.

“This special event is part of the library’s ongoing One World Forsyth program sponsored by the FCPL Friends & Advocates,” says Decherd.

Freedom Songs will feature music from the hymns of the Underground Railroad, the blues of Beale Street, and anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. After the performance, participants are invited to enjoy crafts in the library and sample foods, like Famous Amos cookies, that were created or made popular by African American inventors and entrepreneurs.

All ages are welcome to attend the African American History Celebration. Admission is free and registration is not required.

The library’s Novel Diversions book club will celebrate modern African American literature by reading What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons. The group will meet to discuss the book at the Post Road Library on Wednesday, February 14 at 10:15 a.m.

What We Lose was recognized as a finalist for the NBCC John Leonard First Book Prize and Ms. Clemmons was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, so we’re looking forward to discussing such a wonderful book with our patrons,” says Decherd.

Copies of What We Lose are available at the library in print, eBook, and eAudiobook formats. The Novel Diversions book club is open to all adult readers and registration is not required.

For more information on these and other programs at the library, please visit