Author Talk: A Conversation with Dr. Maxine Smith-Every Thursday starting April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Maxine Smith on her book The Midnight Mayor of Charleston (The Henry Smith Story). Like the book and told in six chapters, this discussion series will take place at six different branches with each location mirroring a different chapter and featuring appearances from leaders and members of the community. Space will be limited. Call your branch to register for this event today!

Celebrate Black History Month with the CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH TIYA MILES’S AWARD-WINNING BOOK AND RELIVE HER SESSION AT CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL 2021

In 1850s Charleston, Rose, an enslaved woman, was facing an impossible situation. Her nine-year-old daughter Ashley was to be separated from her through forcible sale in South Carolina’s slave market. In a gesture of motherly love, she packed a small sack containing basic provisions for Ashley to carry with her.

Harvard historian Tiya Miles’s National Book Award-winning work, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake evokes the story behind this sack and its legacy. This artifact is not just a story of forced separation, loss, and generational love; it also tells us about enslaved black women’s methods of survival.

In conversation with Kameelah Martin at the Charleston Literary Festival 2021, Tiya Miles says, “Ashley’s sack shows us that black women’s history is real, it is rich, and we can access it if only we listen to black women’s stories.”

This Black History Month, you can view this powerful conversation between Tiya Miles and Kameelah Martin, Dean of the Graduate School at the College of Charleston on YouTube, HERE.

You can also purchase a copy of All That She Carried from Buxton Books or via Bookshop.

March 13, 2021 Branch Meeting and Discussion Black Parents Matter: Triumphs and Challenges

Program Title

Black Parents Matter: Triumphs and Challenges

Date and Time

March 13, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location

Zoom Meeting

Charleston Area Branch of ASALH and Charleston Freedom School

Description

A candid conversation on the challenges, successes, and lessons learned from the lived experiences of three parents. By sharing their stories our presenters will lead us into an exploration of old and new approaches that can help the Black family and community navigate today’s environment.

Speakers

Bill Davis, retired educator and author of Baba and the Crew

Jane Dunhamn, Founder and Director of National Black Disabilities Coalition and author of The Way of Freedom and Life (Summer 2021)

Kevin Smith, Principal, C.E. Williams Middle School, Charleston, SC

Moderator

Dena Davis, Director of Charleston County Head Start and Branch Historian

Register

Mayor John Tecklenburg to Launch Mayor’s Book Club for Kids

Charleston, S.C.—The Mayor’s Book Club, a fun new initiative for kids, will launch today as Mayor John Tecklenburg records a virtual reading of the inaugural book selection, “The Freedom Ship of Robert Smalls,” by Louise Meriwether, which was selected in coordination with a MOJA Festival exhibit currently on display at the City Gallery featuring the book’s illustrations by local artist Jonathan Green.

The initiative, which is available to 4-year-old children throughout the city of Charleston, aims to improve early literacy skills by encouraging reading and helping to prepare children for kindergarten.

Why it matters: With the rise of at-home learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Book Club seeks to encourage and challenge young children as they begin to read, while providing a fun and safe virtual activity.

Through monthly virtual readings led by Mayor Tecklenburg, the Mayor’s Book Club aims to help build children’s vocabularies, reading comprehension abilities and overall success with early reading.

How it works: Each month, a new book selection will be announced and a virtual reading with Mayor Tecklenburg will become available on the Book Club website, http://www.mayorsbookclub.net. The Gibbes Museum of Art will also provide a monthly art activity in coordination with the selected book’s themes and illustrations.

Parents or legal guardians may register their four-year-old children for a free membership at Buxton Books, located at 160 King Street, where each monthly book will be available for purchase.

Official membership cards will be distributed to each enrolled child, and certificates of completion will be distributed to participants at the end of the year.

Additional details: In conjunction with this program, The Lowcountry Rice Culture Project, Jonathan Green Studios and Organizational Concepts will sponsor books for children enrolled in early education programs at the Sanders-Clyde Elementary School. Additional sponsorships are being sought to expand the book club to include more children in Head Start and Title 1 Pre-K programs throughout the city.

Support for the Mayor’s Book Club for Kids comes from the Lowcountry Rice Culture Project, Jonathan Green Studios and Organizational Concepts. Other partners include Buxton Books, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Charleston County Public Library and the Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival.

Learn more: For more information on the Mayor’s Book Club, please visit www.mayorsbookclub.net.