See the present and past merge as promoters Linda Epps and Lawrence Green have made this happen for Black History Month. This is the last in a series being the subject of Black History Month at the Ormond Beach Public Library.
Epps and Green have created opportunities to celebrate Africans and African-Americans. They have received rave reviews for presentations in the series made by vocalist Linda Cole and lecturers the Rev. Gillard S. Glover and Robert Whiting.
The library location is at 30 South Beach St., Ormond Beach. Free admission to all events is in effect. And, plenty of time has been spent curating the events.
Teen guitarist/singer Eric Dangerfield is next up to perform Feb. 19, 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Dangerfield, 15, has appeared in venues at church, school, and the Palm Coast and Flagler Beach restaurants. He started singing in church as early as age 7.
He relocated in 2006 with grandparents Tina and John Pearson from New York.
Dangerfield’s elementary school ran a talent show, and he won so many times that the teacher asked him to perform rather than compete so the other kids could have a chance at winning. There was no controversy because Dangerfield wanted only to perform.
He joined the guitar club in elementary school and soon discovered a gift for playing guitar and singing. He has taught himself to play not only the guitar but other instruments, including keyboards, drums, bass guitar, harmonica, and a little bit of the trombone.
He now attends Palm Coast’s Matanzas High School.
He loves most types of music, but his true love is music from the ‘50s and ‘60s. He merges the present with the past being inspired by the Beatles, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys and Little Richard. These groups inspire him when he writes his original music.
Storytelling on Feb. 21
Next up is Clara Bivens of the National Association of Black Storytellers. She will bring adventure to narratives Feb. 21, 2 to 3 p.m.
“As a middle child of seven, I was an avid reader,” Bivens said in a press release. “I read any and everything I could get my hands on. As a result, I have a vivid imagination.”
The retired teacher of 30-plus years attended Wilberforce University, earning an M.S. in administration from Buffalo State College. She relocated to Florida six years ago from upstate New York.
“When I read that the group Spin-A-Story was telling stories at a nearby church, I went and immediately fell in love with storytelling,” she said.
She attended her first conference of the National Association of Black Storytellers in 1997 and was introduced as a member of Tradition Keepers of the Black Storytellers of Western New York.
Besides Juneteenth and Kwanzaa, the folklorists involve themselves telling stories at the library, presenting free workshops for children and adults, and narrating stories for other community activities.
Kinshasa on Feb. 25
We caught up with the last presenter in the series – Kwando Mbiassi Kinshasa, Ph.D. He is a professor emeritus of sociology in the Africana Studies Department of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the City University of New York.
Dr. Kinshasa will make his appearance Feb. 25, 2 to 5 p.m., discussing the movie, “Rules of Engagement.”
He spent 10 years in the United States Marine Corps, and, during the ensuing years, traveled throughout the states, becoming involved in a number of African-American human rights groups.
He entered the City University of New York in 1971 and gave himself 12 years to acquire a Ph.D. in social psychology, which he attained in 1983 at New York University.
African Diaspora expert
By 1985, he became a professor at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. In 1990, he transferred to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where eventually he became chairman of the African-American Studies Department, director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program and assistant director of the New York Police College Certification Program.
Dr. Kinshasa is a chronicler of the African Diaspora experiences vis a vis “migration and social conflict.’’
His first book, an expansion of his Ph.D. dissertation titled “Emigration vs. Assimilation: The Debate in the African-American Press: 1827-1861” (McFarland, 1988, 2011), examined those motivations and political rationales that pushed editors of the early African-American antebellum newspapers to support or reject the concept of emigration by Africans to Canada, the Caribbean, or West Africa. The work, still having relevance, was republished in 2011.
Among the other books that Dr. Kinshasa has authored involves “The Man from Scottsboro: Clarence Norris and the Infamous 1931 Alabama Rape Trial, in His Own Words” (McFarland, 1998, 2003). In this instance, the last living defendant in the infamous 1931 Scottsboro, Ala., rape case – Clarence Norris – agreed to discuss his experiences growing up in the South and his subsequent involvement in this historical criminal justice case.
Dr. Kinshasa, a member of a five-person film advisory board in 2000, received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, which helped produce the award-winning documentary, “Scottsboro: An American Tragedy.”
At the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, “Scottsboro” was selected as one of the year’s top five documentaries. It was nominated for an Academy Award and was a finalist in the top two documentary films for the year 2000.
Dr. Kinshasa’s latest book, “The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950” (McFarland, 2014), must be interjected since it challenges the reader’s possible stereotyped impressions of what it means to be incarcerated, as well as it examines the fears and thoughts of the supporters.
Requested by Greenwood Press, Dr. Kinshasa organized an “African-American Chronology: Chronologies of the American Mosaic” (Greenwood Press, 2008), encompassing the 15th century to the beginning of the 20th century, and utilizing both a yearly bimonthly descriptive format.
Designed to reach middle school students, his work is scheduled to be updated by the year 2020.
And so, let this discourse serve as a link to see this expert in action.
A fundraiser for The Sheltering Tree
Carla Traister says, “We are holding ‘A Heart for the Homeless’ to reinforce our financial underpinnings so we can continue to help the people who so desperately need us…” The Sheltering Tree co-founder says, “There are significant pockets of the homeless in Flagler County who have lost their homes for a myriad of reasons.”
A 501(c) (3) charity, The Sheltering Tree has provided the homeless with food and extreme-weather shelter since 2008 at Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church, in addition to providing tents, sleeping bags and clothing.
It is staffed solely by volunteers, and financial donations are also needed to operate the shelter with rent, insurance, food, cots, linens, toiletries, etc.
The fundraiser takes place Feb. 26, 5 to 8 p.m., at the Santa Maria Del Mar Catholic Church, 915 North Central Avenue, Flagler Beach.
The ticket price is $15, which includes food and beverages, music and other entertainment. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For reservations, call the shelter at 386-437-3258, ext. 105.
Free tax preparation help available
Dr. Chau T. Phan of the Christian Unity Ministry of Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church shared that the AARP Tax-Aid has offered free tax preparation and e-filing by certified IRS volunteers.
The service kicked started Feb. 1 and will run through April 15 for area residents. AARP membership is not required.
The service operates Mondays at the VFW on Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast; Tuesdays, United Methodist Church, Flagler Beach, and the Government Services Building, Bunnell; Wednesdays, the VFW on Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast, and the Government Services Building, Bunnell; Thursdays, the Flagler County Library, Palm Coast; Fridays, Realty Exchange at Island Walk, Palm Coast; and Saturdays, Realty Exchange at Island Walk, Palm Coast.
Since appointments are necessary, call 386-313-4048, or log on at www.taxprepfree.net.
Tairu to speak at NAACP meeting
The Flagler County NAACP will hold its monthly meeting Feb. 28, 6 p.m., at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 North U.S. 1, Palm Coast.
Mikyal “Myke” Tairu, Daytona Beach community activist, has been successful at removing the convicted felon box from job applications in certain municipalities. The guest speaker has pushed for banning the box in Daytona Beach, and the policy was approved in 2015.
For further details of the meeting, contact the NAACP at 386-446-7822.
Books sought for Easter baskets
Community activist Donna Gray-Banks has requested that every child be given a new book in their Easter basket. She is requesting everyone – including sororities and fraternities – to make this a literary project for the year.
The request is part of the Annual Derbyshire Easter Egg Hunt taking place April 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Derbyshire Park, 849 Derbyshire Road, Daytona Beach. A book and basket will be provided for every child that makes such a request.
The kids will be all smiles playing games, enjoying food, rollicking in a bounce house, and having their faces painted. All ages are welcome.
The Annual Derbyshire Easter Egg Hunt is a collaboration of the Daytona Beach International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, the Order of Eastern Stars, B and B, Books and Baskets for Easter, The City of Daytona Beach, Mahogany Reads, and Shelley’s Adventures.
If you desire to have your books picked up, inbox Gray-Banks at email@example.com.
As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.
Birthday wishes to “BJ” Jones, Lilieth Vaz, Feb. 18; Mamie Cauley, Feb. 19; and the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, Feb. 20.
Happy anniversary to Jim and Ruby Sims, Feb. 20.