‘P is for power to the people’: Black History Month story time at the library

Feb 24, 2023

MARION — Attendees learned more than just their ABCs at the Taber Library’s Black History Month Storytime.

Kate and John Excellent, Tri-Town Against Racism volunteers, read stories about civil rights issues on Friday, Feb. 24.

They read titles including “A is for Activist” by Innosanto Nagara, “This is the Dream” by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander, and “Goin’ Someplace Special” by Pat McKissack.

According to Kate, her family celebrates Black History Month in their home and were looking for more ways to get the community involved.

“Parents are looking for ways to talk to their children and books are a great way to talk to your children,” said Kate. “For us, books are a learning tool and a great way to talk about things in a non-threatening way.”

Bobby Meehan, 6, said his favorite story was “Goin’ Someplace Special.”

“I really liked the city and the cool pictures in it,” said Meehan.

“Goin’ Someplace Special” tells the story of Tricia Ann, her  journey to the public library and her experiences with Jim Crow Laws and discrimination along the way.

Although Tricia Ann is unable to enjoy the local park and gets kicked out of The Southland Hotel because she is Black, she finds that she is welcomed in the public library — or “Someplace Special.”

“We learned that everybody can go anywhere,” said Meehan. 

Owen Excellent, 6, excitedly jumped up and down as his mom pulled out one of his favorite books, “A is for Activism.”

The book teaches the alphabet along with tidbits of information on racial activism explained with each corresponding letter.

Owen searched frantically for the hidden image on the “O” page. 

“O is for Owen,” he said. “Yes, but O is also for open minds,” replied Kate.

The Excellents said that they teach Owen stories of racial injustice even if some subjects seem “heavy.”

“I think children are much stronger than we give them credit for,” said John Excellent.