February is African American History Month. In celebration, the Hannibal Free Public Library will offer “Black History Through the Youthful Eyes of Puppetry,” a presentation by Marsha Mayfield and her troupe of puppeteers.
The program will be on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy puppetry, music, dance, Black history trivia and refreshments. All ages are welcome to attend this free program.
Mayfield is a songstress, community organizer, retired entrepreneur, volunteer extraordinaire, and board member of Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center. Her love for black history was cultivated in the 1970s while furthering her education and living in Des Moines, Iowa, at the time when the Black Power Movement had become very much an awareness. Marsha wanted to learn about black contributions that were never introduced. This made her continue on the adventure. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work, including the 2012 MLK Drum Major Award.
Currently a member of New London Second Christian Church, where she is a soloist and one of the Directors of the Music Ministry, Mayfield has lived a life dedicated to saving the youth and the underserved. She was a co-founder of the youth group, PYRFEECT, and a co-founder of Kids In Motion. She also was one of the creators of local Juneteenth Celebration, now in its twentieth year. She is the creator of the social media page called “Straight Outta Suga London.”
Ed and Marsha Mayfield are parents of Bianca (and Austin) Miller, Talya, Mariah and Messiah; and grandparents of Graceson and Canaan. Having been foster parents for 10 years, and being one of the youth directors at her church for many years, the youthful puppetry education program falls right into place.
African American History Month is a tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society began in 1926, according to an essay by Daryl Michael Scott of Howard University for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial.
The library promotes the study of black history all year. It offers a collection of books and other materials. Recent titles include: Official guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, Dream a World Anew edited by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, and The Bone and Sinew of the Land by Anna-Lisa Cox. Recent children’s books include: A Child's Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim, Heroes of Black History by the editors of Time for Kids Magazine, and The Story of Civil Rights by Wil Mara. The Library also provides copies of Corretta Scott King Award books in the Children’s Room. For more information, contact the library at 573-221-0222 or visit it at 200 S. Fifth St., Hannibal.