To quote Coretta Scott King after President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into law on Nov. 2, 1983, “This is not a black holiday; it is a people’s holiday.”
This year, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21, and all Delaware County District Library locations will operate on our regular hours, celebrating the holiday for all people and Dr. King’s memory.
This year, our Orange Branch Library will utilize a new resource we have at the library, called Kanopy, to show special “book on video” screenings of picture book classics about Dr. King and other civil rights activists. Crafts celebrating Dr. King’s legacy of peace and equality will begin at 2 p.m. and will be a great activity for young children.
Additionally on Monday, our Powell and Delaware libraries will host a Freedom Riders Scavenger Hunt all day for children. Follow clues around the library to learn more about Dr. King and the freedom riders. Participants who solve the puzzle will win a prize.
Finally, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, you won’t want to miss a special visit from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. Ohio Humanity speaker Anthony Gibbs will present, in character, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Ostrander Branch Library at 7 p.m. Mr. Gibbs is the current Ohio History Connection’s Coordinator of Community Engagement. This event, titled “The Time is Ripe to Do Right: Martin Luther King and the Spirit of Non-Violence,” is not to be missed.
Your Delaware Library card grants you access to eight downloads from Kanopy every month. Here are some other videos featuring Dr. King that are worth checking out. Just download the Kanopy app or visit delawarelibrary.kanopy.com and use your library card information to create an account.
• “Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have A Dream” produced by SoundWorks. This historical compilation features highlights of major speeches given by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. including the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Brown Chapel in Selma, Alabama in 1965, Robert F. Kennedy’s Eulogy in 1968 and his final speech the day before his assassination on April 3, 1968.
• “At the River I Stand” produced by California Newsreel. Memphis, Spring 1968 marked the dramatic climax of the Civil Rights movement. This documentary skillfully reconstructs the two eventful months that transformed a strike by a Memphis sanitation worker into a national conflagration, and disentangles the complex historical forces that came together with the inevitability of tragedy at the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• “The March” produced by PBS. This feature documentary is a celebratory story of the renowned 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – largely remembered for Martin Luther Kings’ world famous and iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech delivered on the steps the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It tells the forgotten stories which led to the call for the March and the fierce opposition from the U.S. government – including John F. Kennedy’s administration and the FBI and its leader, J. Edgar Hoover. It also tells the eventual acceptance of the March by the state and the heroic endeavors to fundraise, organize and execute the March by hundreds of committed civil rights activists across America.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!