The Northumberland Public Library’s second annual celebration of Black History month drew an overflow crowd Sunday. People of all ages wedged themselves into the library for two hours of music, poetry and dancing.
Garfield Parker opened the festivities by noting that “Black history didn’t start with slavery and it didn’t end with Barack Obama” before he introduced folk singers Frank Coleman, Glenn and Ellen Birch who sang “Wade in the Water” before Asa Smith recited Maya Angelou’s “Phenominal Woman.”
Parker noted in his opening that William Hudnall, the first black Supervisor in Northumberland County had died two days earlier at the age of 101. Many in the crowd had not known and the news was received with sadness. Pam D’Angelo, who had just recently done a video of Hudnall and his wife for public television, played the piece for the crowd.
Jonas Bryant of Shiloh Baptist Church read the Rev. William Holmes Borders’ sermon, “I am Somebody.” Then, storyteller Queen Jordan had the children in the crowd come to the front as she read Mary Hoffman’s “Amazing Grace.”
The reading over, it was time for the actual hymn “Amazing Grace” to be sung and Kerry Pinkard, who is a contestant on “The Voice” did it.
Joe Thompson and Nanette Smith recited “Honey I love.” Later, Thompson read Melvin B. Tolson’s “Dark Symphony.” Tolson was a great poet who hasn’t received the recognition he deserves, Thompson noted.
Michael Ransome, Terrell Milton and Jalen Dobyns provided a musical interlude before the Sharon Baptist Church “Praise Dancers” performed.
To read full story pick up a copy of the March 1 edition of the Northumberland Echo