Don’t let February’s dreary weather drag you down! Expand your horizons with one of this weekend’s Humanities Happenings events.
Olathe: All That Jazz
Kansas City jazz thrived on diversity: just as it melded and reshaped African and European musical traditions, it also gained energy and vitality from the talents of musicians of all races. KC’s jazz visionaries crossed social barriers and championed racial integration. Kevin Rabas, Speakers Bureau, explores how musicians such as Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young drew national attention to the need for racial harmony by integrating KC’s black musicians union, touring with integrated bands, and writing songs that advocated equal rights in the early years of the Civil Rights movement. February 20th at 7:00pm at Olathe Public Library. Click here for details.
Wichita: The Politics of Race
Before homesteading as free men in the African American settlement of Nicodemus, Kansas, Tom Johnson and John Samuels were enslaved by U.S. Vice President Richard M. Johnson (1837-1841) and his daughter Imogene Pence. Johnson became a controversial figure when he married Julia Chinn, a biracial woman and mother of his two daughters. Angela O. Bates, Speakers Bureau, follows Tom and John’s journey from enslavement in Kentucky to freedom experienced in an all-Black town. Learn about their lives on the Johnson plantation, the tragic split of their families, and their migration and settlement at historic Nicodemus. February 21st at 7:00pm at Wichita Public Library, Alford Branch. Click here for details.
Topeka: A Doll’s House
The heroine of this famous play experiences a crisis of self-knowledge when she realizes that she must break free of a marriage that has made her her husband’s child. 232 pp. Sara Tucker leads the TALK book discussion February 22nd at 3:00pm at Aldersgate Village. Click here for details.
Ellinwood: What’s in a Mascot?
They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and are some of the most recognizable characters of our state: the mascots of Kansas! From the most recognizable, like the KU Jayhawk and the K-State Wildcat, to the more obscure Fowler High School Goldbugs and the Hill City Ringnecks, Jordan Poland, Speakers Bureau, features the history and pageantry of Kansas mascots. Explore with us the unique, historical ties that many sports mascots have to their communities before playing the state’s newest and greatest trivia game, “Name that Kansas Mascot!” February 22nd at 1:30pm at Ellinwood School and Community Library. Click here for details.
Lawrence: “KPR Presents”
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the historic desegregation decision in Brown v. the Topeka Board of Education. To celebrate the anniversary, the Kansas Humanities Council, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, and Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site joined with NPR’s StoryCorps project to interview area residents about growing up in the town whose name became part of the landmark case. February 22nd at 8:00pm on Kansas Public Radio (91.5FM). Click here for details.
The oral history project is a collaboration between the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, and the Kansas Humanities Council.
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.
For more information about KHC-sponsored events later this month and later this year, click here.