Humanities Happenings 2/26-2/27

sb_connections to vice pres

(L to R) Vice President Richard M. Johnson and homesteaders in Nicodemus. Both images via Library of Congress.

Engage your mind with cultural opportunities this weekend. From Nicodemus’ connection to a vice president, early Latino American immigrants to the U.S., Title IX legislation and Kansas’ female athletes, the Kansas City Monarchs, and exhibitions exploring race and civil rights, the last weekend in February has a lot of humanities experiences to offer.

Coffeyville: The Nicodemus Connection to a Vice President

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. Angela O. Bates’ Speakers Bureau presentation follows Tom and Johns’ journey from enslavement in Kentucky to freedom experienced in an all-Black town. February 27 at 2:00 PM at Coffeyville Public Library. Details here

Dodge City: Empire of Dreams (1880-1942)

The Dodge City Public Library presents the second screening and discussion in the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History film series. “Empire of Dreams (1880-1942)” explores the beginning of widespread immigration to the United States from Latin American countries — first with a small group from Cuba, then a larger one from Mexico. Valerie Mendoza includes local history in the post-film discussion with the story of the Mexican laborers who arrived in Dodge City with the railroad. February 27 at 4:00 PM. Details here.

Park City Public Library: Title IX and Female Athletes in Kansas

Although the wording of the Title IX education amendment in brief, its impact revolutionized sports by demanding equal sports opportunities for female student athletes. With fair access to facilities, coaches, equipment, and practice time, many Kansas athletes were able to overcome gender stereotypes and excel in track and field, basketball, target shooting, and other sports, sometimes even reaching Olympic heights. Laura Hartley’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the history of Title IX and highlights remarkable female athletes from Kansas. February 27 at 7:00 PM at Park City Public Library. Details here.

Leavenworth: The Kansas City Monarchs in Our Hometown

Formed in 1920, the Kansas City Monarchs revolutionized baseball: not only were they charter members of the Negro National League and the first professional team to use outdoor lighting, the Monarchs also sent more players to the major leagues than any other Negro League franchise. Phil S. Dixon’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the exciting early barnstorming days of the Monarchs, highlights great players such as Wilber “Bullet” Rogan, Satchel Paige, and Jackie Robinson who wore the uniform, and connects the spirit of the Monarchs to the many Kansas communities in which they played. February 28 at 2:00 PM at Leavenworth Public Library. Details here.

Colby: Sorting Out Race

The “Sorting Out Race” exhibition continues its look at race and racial identity through thrift store objects at the Prairie Museum of Art and History through March 31. Details here. A companion exhibition at the Pioneer Memorial Library explores the topic through objects from local antique and thrift stores through March 16. Details here. Supported by a KHC Humanities grant.

Wichita: Freedom to Expand

Two exhibitions at the Wichita Art Museum, “Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott” and “Freedom Now: Photographs of the Civil Rights Struggle,” feature the work of Kansas-native Gordon Parks, one of the most celebrated artists of his time. Supported by a KHC Humanities grant. Through May 8. Details here.

Find more cultural events in Kansas on KHC’s Calendar of Events.