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Big Read kicks off Feb. 17

Rowan Public Library and Livingstone College’s Big Read, studying Ernest Gaines’ novel “A Lesson Before Dying,” kicks off Sunday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. at Livingstone College.
The event includes a presentation and mini-performance of “A Lesson Before Dying,” African-American songs, dance and poetry.The event will be followed by a month of book discussions, films, children’s programs, an essay contest and activities at partner locations.
At Rowan Public Library headquarters at 7 p.m. Mondays from Feb. 18 through March 10, guest speakers and staff members will lead book discussions.
From noon-1 p.m. each Wednesday from Feb. 20 through March 12, there will be brown-bag lunch book discussions. Drinks and dessert will be provided. On Monday, Feb. 18 there will be a story time and program for younger readers at 10:30 a.m. in the children’s room at headquarters. “Max Found Two Sticks” by Brian Pinkney will be the story.
South Regional library will feature a story time with dance books for children, including the book “Rap a Tap Tap” by Leo and Diane Dillon on Monday, Feb. 18 at 10:30 a.m. and a movie night on Monday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m., showing “A Lesson Before Dying.”
East Branch will present Jazz, a special story time featuring the book “Jazz” by Walter Dean Myers, on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., and a movie night on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m., showing “A Lesson Before Dying.””The Big Read Program provides a wonderful opportunity for all Rowan County residents to come together and participate in an initiative as important as reading,” said Jimmy R. Jenkins, president of Livingstone College.
Other partners in the Big Read include Catawba College, Westside Community Foundation/ Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church and other community organizations in Rowan County.
Information is available at the Livingstone Academic Affairs office, 704-216-6194 or 6195; Rowan Public Library, 704-216-8259; or Westside Community Foundation/ Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, 704-633-5057.
The Big Read is a program offered by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.For more information about programs at RPL, contact Melody Moxley at 704-216-8230. At Livingstone College, contact Donnie Jefferson at the Department of Academic Affairs, 704-216-6195 or djefferson@Livingstone.edu.Rowan Public Library’s Tuesday Night at the Movies, will celebrate Black History Month in the Stanback Room at headquarters in Salisbury at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. Free lemonade and popcorn will be available.
– “Claudine,” Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. ó This lean, funny, Nixon-era movie is about a romance nearly undone by a patronizing welfare system. Diahann Carroll stars as Claudine, a single mother of six children in Harlem and a maid working for under-the-table wages. Claudine further complicates her domestic situation by falling in love with Roop (James Earl Jones), who simply by his presence jeopardizes Claudine’s official status as a mom without means.- “A Lesson Before Dying,” Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m. ó Set in south Louisiana in the 1940s, the film is about an African-American (Mekhi Phifer) wrongly accused of killing a white store owner. When he is convicted and sentenced to die, his godmother and his aunt (Cicely Tyson) ask the local school teacher (Don Cheadle) to visit his cell each day to try to reaffirm that he’s not an animal but a man with dignity.
– “A Raisin in the Sun,” Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m. ó Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Claudia McNeil head a fine cast in the story of an African-American family in Chicago who are struggling with different goals, lack of money, religious conflict and institutional racism.

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