An afternoon of storytelling, show-stopping performances and educational exhibits awaits visitors to the Gail Borden Public Library during the Fifth Annual Black History Family Festival on Saturday, Feb. 6. The free event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the library, located at 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin.
The festival, which had over 4,800 in attendance last year, celebrates the contribution of African-Americans to the history of music—from the freedom songs sung by enslaved Africans more than 300 years ago, to today’s R&B and hip-hop. Each year the festival utilizes education and the cultural arts to promote literacy and unite the community.
“We hope this festival strikes a chord within each individual as they learn about the rich musical historical contributions of African-Americans,” said festival committee chairperson Dr. Phyllis Folarin.
Dr. Folarin, also a member of the Elgin Community College District 509 Board of Trustees, hopes this festival will educate people about the African-American culture and encourage them to embrace other cultures along with the unique attributes of their own. This celebration of diversity will help strengthen families and unite the greater community.
Festival activities include:
•Children’s activities and entertainment from KidWorks.
•An African drumming workshop for students in fifth grade and above.
•A hip-hop dancing workshop for middle and high school students.
•Performances by the Second Baptist Church of Elgin’s male chorus with a finale by The Moods.
•Soul food prepared by Elgin Community College Food Services.
•Prizes, giveaways and a commemorative booklet including a brief historical overview of African-American music compiled by Dr. Folarin, Dr. Rise’ Jones and Lisa Summerour.
In addition, Elgin Mayor Ed Schock will read a proclamation declaring the first Saturday of February as Black History Family Festival Day. Staff from the U.S. Census Bureau also will be available to answer questions and provide information about the 2010 Census.
Event sponsors include ECC, the Gail Borden Public Library District, the Florence B. & Cornelia A. Palmer Trust, the City of Elgin, the Grand Victoria Foundation, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For additional information about the festival or parking, contact the Gail Borden Public Library at 847-429-4680 or visit the following websites at www.gailborden.info or www.elgin.edu.