by Liz Gibbons-Camp
Originally published in the Chillicothe Gazette, February 14, 2021
For many years now, Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library has held an annual Black History Month event. The event was first held in the Northside Branch, but quickly outgrew that location, and has since moved to the Main Library Annex.
Over the years, these events have featured numerous speakers, dancers, singers, and poets from the local community, all focused on celebrating black history, and looking to the future. Last year’s Black History Month program was one of the last in-person events the library held before the pandemic forced us to close. For that event, we partnered with the Ross County NAACP and the Chillicothe City School District for a celebration in music at Chillicothe Middle School/High School Auditorium. The Urban Jazz Coalition performed at that event, and it was an incredible night.
In mid-March 2020, we moved all library programming online. This year’s Black History Month event will be virtual, and I hope you’ll join us. The event will feature greetings from Ross County NAACP President Adrienne D’Souza, a vocal performance from Brianna Ramsey, and a presentation from Rick Smith Sr., President and CEO of the United Way of Ross County. His presentation is titled ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ Given the state of the world with Covid-19, and the political polarization, racism and injustice highlighted by the pandemic, this is a timely question. As always, we will be looking to learn from our past so we can envision the future. This program is presented in partnership with the Ross County NAACP, and will stream live to the library’s Facebook and YouTube pages on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:00pm.