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Library to begin Tuesday speaker series

Lincoln County residents now have a new opportunity to experience culture and develop personal interests through the Lincoln County Library’s new speaker series.

The library has partnered with the Mississippi Humanities Council to provide residents with the First Tuesday speaker series, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month from September to December. All programs will be free and open to the public.

The Mississippi Humanities Council approached libraries throughout the state with the opportunity to host the programs, Lincoln County Library assistant director Katrina Castilaw said.

“We were one of the libraries that expressed interest in the programs,” she said. “I don’t know what the Humanities Council process was to narrow down the libraries. Brookhaven is the hub in Southwest Mississippi for cultural type activities, so I assume that had something to do with us being chosen.”

The series includes the following programs:

• Sept. 6 — Diane Williams presents “The Historic Journey of African American Quilters”

Williams, a storyteller and fiber artist, discusses the 20th and 21st century work of quilter and fiber artists Faith Ringgold, Carolyn L. Mazloomi and Gwen Magee. She begins her presentation with a discussion of Kente cloth weaved fibers of West Africa and then ends up sharing about the utilitarian quilts made by African slaves in America. Williams uses her storytelling skills to teach how images and quilts can show tolerance, empathy and sensitivity.

• Oct. 4 — Dr. Ralph Didlake presents “Food from a Bioethics Perspective”

Didlake will share a bioethics perspective of food to help identify and illuminate the complex ethical issues the production and consumption of food causes in an affluent society.

• Nov. 1 — Jennifer Baughn presents “Mississippi’s New Capitol”

Baughn will explore the Mississippi’s new capitol’s architectural pedigree and highlight the fine details of the modern style building designed by Theodore Link, of St. Louis, Missouri, and built by a Chicago construction firm. The new building replaced the antebellum statehouse in a construction project that lasted 30 months.

• Dec. 6 — Dr. Daphne Chamberlain presents “The NACCP, Youth Activism and the Mississippi Freedom Movement”

Information about Chamberlain’s presentation has yet to be released by the Mississippi Humanities Council, Castilaw said.

Each program will come from the Mississippi Council’s speakers bureau.

“We are excited the series is coming to Lincoln County,” Castilaw said. “This will provide the community with  a new type of cultural outlet in the area. All the topics were picked based on the interests of the people in this area.”

Castilaw said this opportunity to present the programs are important to Lincoln County because it will expose people to new ideas.

“The library is about life-long learning and these programs will help in that endeavor,” Castilaw said. “This will expose people to new ideas, but will also allow people to expand their education on topics they are interested in. This allows people to share resources and grow.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Lincoln County Library for the First Tuesdays series,” Mississippi Humanities Council Director Stuart Rockoff said. “It gives us the opportunity to work with new partners and to tailor a program to fit the interests of the Brookhaven community.”

The Mississippi Humanities Council’s popular Speakers Bureau features nearly 200 pre-approved talks and lectures from more than 90 humanities scholars and cultural experts throughout the state. Topics available include history, ethnic heritage and cultural studies, music and theater, southern literature, philosophy, and political science. Any nonprofit group in Mississippi may apply to bring a speaker to their community, with all fees paid by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is a private nonprofit corporation funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.

For more information on the First Tuesday speaker series at the Lincoln County Library, contact Castilaw at 601-833-5038.