Putney hosts event series for Black History Month

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PUTNEY — This February, celebrate Black History Month by taking part in Putney's VT Reads programs, focusing on the themes of this year's community read: "March: Book One" by John Lewis.

"March" is a graphic novel autobiography of John Lewis, who was chairman of the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was considered one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement. He has served in the U.S. Congress since 1987 and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.

"Book One" tells of Lewis' childhood in rural Alabama, his desire as a young man to be a preacher, his life-changing interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the nonviolent sit-ins he joined at lunch counters in Nashville as a means of undermining segregation.

The narrative continues in subsequent books to tell of the 1963 March on Washington (Book Two) and the march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 (Book Three). All three volumes illustrate the story of Lewis' commitment to nonviolent protest in the pursuit of social justice.

Vermont Reads brings communities together around stories, ideas, and activities that are important to the life of towns of all sizes. In this spirit, Putney Public Library is circulating copies "March: Book One" to encourage as many people in the Putney community to read on the same topic. Putney Public Library has partnered with Putney Central School and The Putney School for this year's Vermont Reads project. Stop by the library to pick up a copy.

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Putney Public Library and The Putney School will host a series of public events on the history of the civil rights era in celebration of Black History Month.

- Thursday, Feb. 14 — Civil Rights Sing at The Putney School Currier Center - Calder Hall, 418 Houghton Brook Road. Community members and local schools are invited to participate in The Putney School's long tradition of singing civil rights era songs together. Lead by Putney School Music Director Cailin Manson.

- Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. —All ages book discussion of "March: Book One" at Putney Public Library, facilitated by Kristen Dawley of The Putney School. Snacks provided. Pick up a copy "March: Book One" at the Putney Library.

- Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. — Screening of the film "Selma" at Putney Public Library. The true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. Snacks will be served.

The Putney Public Library is located at 55 Main St. These events are all free and open to the public.


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