Putney hosts reading series for Black History Month

PUTNEY — This February, celebrate Black History Month by taking part in Putney's VT Reads programs, focusing on the themes of this year's community read: March: Book One by John Lewis.

March is a graphic novel autobiography of John Lewis. Lewis was chairman of the Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was considered one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement. He has served in the U.S. Congress since 1987 and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2011.

Book One tells of Lewis's childhood in rural Alabama, his desire as a young man to be a preacher, his life-changing interactions with Martin Luther King Jr., and the nonviolent sit-ins he joined at lunch counters in Nashville as a means of undermining segregation.

The narrative continues in subsequent books to tell of the 1963 March on Washington (Book Two) and the march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 (Book Three). All three volumes illustrate the story of Lewis's commitment to nonviolent protest in the pursuit of social justice.

Vermont Reads brings communities together around stories, ideas, and activities that are important to the life of towns of all sizes. In this spirit, Putney Public Library is circulating copies March: Book One to encourage as many people in the Putney community to read on the same topic.

Putney Public Library has partnered with Putney Central School and The Putney School for this year's Vermont Reads project. Stop by the library to pick up a copy.

Putney Public Library and The Putney School will host a series of public events on the history of the civil rights era in celebration of Black History Month.

• Thursday, Feb. 14, at 6:30 p.m.: Civil Rights Sing at The Putney School's Currier Center, Calder Hall, 418 Houghton Brook Rd. Community members and local schools are invited to participate in The Putney School's long tradition of singing civil rights era songs together, led by Putney School music director Cailin Manson.

• Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m.: All-ages book discussion of March: Book One at Putney Public Library, facilitated by Kristen Dawley of The Putney School. Snacks provided. Pick up a copy at the library.

• Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.: Screening of the film Selma at Putney Public Library. The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Martin Luther King Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. Snacks will be served.

The Putney Public Library is located at 55 Main St. All events are all free and open to the public.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates