Thursday, January 23, 2020

Library to Celebrate African-American History in February

Forsyth County Public Library will pay tribute to authors, filmmakers, and educators in a series of “Celebrating African-American History” events next month. The series is sponsored by the FCPL Friends and Advocates.

Getchel Caldwell, Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement and University Relations at Clark Atlanta University, will visit the Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road, on Thursday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S.

Caldwell’s presentation, “The History Behind and the Need for HBCUs,” will explain that such institutions were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and describe their continuing relevance in today’s educational landscape. Caldwell previously spoke about his experiences at Tuskegee University and opening The Tuskegee Airmen National Site and Museum at the library in 2018.

“Our patrons loved hearing Mr. Caldwell share stories about the Tuskegee Airmen and we’re looking forward to his return. His career has been devoted to serving HBCUs, so he has a deep understanding of their history and the ways those institutions impact students, local communities, and the wider world,” says Walker.

Gnimbin Ouattara, Ph.D., will also make a second appearance at FCPL for a highly-anticipated screening of his film Ali, mbomayĆ©, a documentary about the “Rumble in the Jungle” between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman, at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road, on Monday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m.

“Dr. Ouattara spoke during last year’s series on African-American history and shared his passion for filmmaking. Our staff and patrons were so engaged by his enthusiasm for the documentary that we made sure to schedule a screening of the film,” adds Walker.

Paul Crater, Vice President of Collections and Research Services at the Atlanta History Center, will discuss the history of the African-American community in Atlanta at the Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, on Tuesday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Crater will explain how the Atlanta History Center’s Kenan Research Center collection documents African-American life in Atlanta in politics, civil rights, business, criminal justice, and sports, as well as life for enslaved African-Americans before and during the Civil War.

Fans of Marvel’s Black Panther and Avengers movies will be interested in learning about Octavia Butler, the author who paved the way for a whole generation of black women writers. Melissa E. Schindler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, will discuss Butler’s contributions to science fiction at the Post Road Library on Thursday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Octavia Butler published dozens of science fiction novels and short stories and is considered the godmother of Afrofuturism, a term used to describe African-American themes in a modern technoculture. Dr. Schindler will highlight portions of Butler’s work and describe how they inspired the Afrofuturism genre and brought fictional places, such as Wakanda, to life on page and screen.

Ian Afflerbach, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of American Literature at the University of North Georgia, is locally known for moderating discussions about race and American culture, particularly in literature, at the Hampton Park Library. Dr. Afflerbach will lead a discussion on the life and writings of Phillis Wheatley at the Hampton Park Library on Sunday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m.

In 1773, Wheatley published her first book of poetry--the first of its kind by any person of African descent in English. For this reason, Wheatley marks the inaugural moment of an African-American literary tradition.

Dr. Afflerbach will discuss Wheatley's most iconic poem, "On Being Brought from Africa to America," while also discussing her difficult path to publication, including the infamous "Prefaces" that had to accompany her volume in order to convince white readers that this creative and intelligent African-American woman really existed.

The “Celebrating African-American History” series will close with a second event led by Dr. Ouattara regarding his research on the American colonization movement to Liberia at the Cumming Library, 585 Dahlonega Street, on Monday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Ouattara, a filmmaker, a Fulbright scholar, and Assistant Professor of History and International Studies at Brenau University, describes how a slave rebellion in Virginia gave birth to racial nationalism in America and led to the foundation of Liberia by the American Colonization Society. His presentation will examine the history of Liberia through two civil wars and its current position as one of the world’s least developed countries.

Each event in the series is open to the public and admission is free.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Four authors explain why this is "Not Your Mother's Romance Novel"

Learn about the evolution of the romance genre from the bodice-rippers of the past to today's books which feature diverse women who take charge of their own lives from four multi-published authors in a special Forsyth Writes Together event presented in partnership with Georgia Romance Writers:

Not Your Mother's Romance Novel
A Romance Writer's Panel Discussion with Susan Carlisle, Jillian Neal, Vanessa Riley, and Tracy Solheim
Sunday, February 9, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sharon Forks Library
2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30041

Admission to “Not Your Mother’s Romance Novel” is open to the public and advance registration is not required.

Meet the Authors

“These authors have so much wisdom and experience to share with local writers who want to break into the romance genre,” says Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Susan Carlisle authored more than 25 books for the HarperCollins Harlequin medical imprint. Her Modern Masters of Their Castles trilogy will be out in 2020 under her own imprint. Her books feature strong, vibrant men and the women that challenge them.

Jillian Neal is the author of several romance series, including The Gifted Realm, a contemporary romance with a fantasy twist, and Broken H.A.L.O., a series focused on contemporary military characters.

Vanessa Riley writes Regency and historical romance novels for readers who love sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods set in vibrant communities with powerful persons of color.

Tracy Solheim is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary sports romance, romantic suspense, and small town women’s fiction.

“Each of these authors has a unique perspective on the evolution of the romance genre from the bodice-rippers of the past to today’s books filled with diverse women who take charge of their own lives,” explains Walker.

For more information on these and other programs for writers, please visit

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Staff Picks The Chain by Adrian McKinty Adult Fiction

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Adrian McKinty’s suspense thriller, The Chain describes a parent’s worst nightmare. When her thirteen-year-old daughter is kidnapped from the bus stop, Rachel Klein receives an anonymous call instructing her to pay a ransom and kidnap another child if she ever wants to see her daughter again. This diabolical scheme turns victims into criminals within just a matter of hours. It’s a fascinating and fast-paced read that will have you wondering just how far you’d go to save your child.

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist