By Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February is Black History Month. The Milton Public Library (MPL) is hosting a series of virtual events celebrating authors and culture with the theme: February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.”
The activities are highlighted February 10, at 10:30 a.m. with a visit from Lawrence Hill on his new novel, Beatrice and Croc Harry based on the bedtime stories he told his daughter Beatrice. “It’s about a young girl who has lost her identity, and who forms a tempestuous relationship with a 700-pound crocodile who, she hopes will help her rediscover her identity and find her way back home,” Hill described. The novel is for readers between 9-14 years of age, and those described as “young at heart.” Hill is best known as the author of The Book of Negroes and The Illegals.
The visit is presented on a virtual basis in partnership with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton and Halton Catholic District School Board. Local author Allison Manning visits February 12 to talk about her book Chocolate Explorers, exploring the origins, and history of chocolate. Throughout the month MPL also offers curated lists of suggested titles for adults, teens and children interested in learning more about Black History. The full list of recommended titles is available through their website. Patrons are also welcome to visit and a librarian will help them find a title based on their interests. The monthly entry in the Laurier Lecture Series takes place February 9, featuring Esther Hayford a PHD candidate in Social Work. Hayford is focusing on the black student resistance. She’s exploring the experiences of 20 black African high school girls as advocates and organizers in the wake of the Black Lives’ Matter protests.
MPL is also partnering with the Halton Black History Awareness Society to support an an Essay writing contest for students. The theme of the Black Experience in Halton. The contest runs until April 15, 2022. The partnership came about organically from community outreach, and conversations about how we can support local history. “I hope those participating in programs take away the opportunity to learn about these communities,” Deputy Chief Librarian Carly Anderson said in a phone interview. They would like to digitize some of the essays.
For more information, including curated lists, as well as to register for events visit the Library’s official website.