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Colleton Memorial Library Children’s Department Celebrates the Harlem Renaissance

The Colleton Memorial Library was a seen from the past, as the Children’s Department brought to life the Harlem Renaissance era. According to Shiela Martina Keaise, Children’s Librarian and Author, “The Children’s Department presented for the first time an interactive program to inform children and families about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance era. With Duke Ellington playing in the background, Carl Coffin, Director opened the program and welcomed everyone.” In the Children’s Department, nine stations were set up for guest to visit and hear a range of information about life, attire, and dance of the 1920’s. Guest could stay at each station for approximately 5 minutes and rotated until they were able to learn a little history about the Harlem Renaissance era. According to Miss Shelia, the stations were all “hosted by teachers, librarians, retired teachers, community leaders, and storytellers.” Miss Shelia gave an accurate description of how each station was broken down and the host behind it:

Station 1. Great Migration- Dana Salley told the story of My-Gray-Shun with the intend of sharing how migration unfolded
Station 2. Langston Hughes & Poetry -Dorothy Skoland gave a short bio on Langston, allowed us to listen to him read one of his poems on the laptop, then gave us the opportunity to write down our dream.
Station3. Zora Neal Hurston & Literature -Vicki Brown gave the history of Zora and her work with her poster board presentation
Station 4. Duke Ellington & The Cotton Club – Heather Tuten shared facts about the Cotton Club and taught us how to do “The Charleston”
Station 5. Thomas Dorsey & Gospel Music -Abraham Colleton told facts about of how gospel music was started and how many singers transitioned from gospel to secular music.
Station 6. Paul Robeson & Actors – Gloria Breland demonstrated two songs sung by Paul and gave facts about his life
Station 7. Jacob Lawrence & Other Visual Artists – Bob Carl talked about several artists of that era that showed remarkable talent and style.
Station 8. Science in the 1920s -Cherry Keaise taught fun facts of how science played an important part in the history of the 1920s like sound, food, and technology.
Station 9. Fashion of the 1920s -Edith Bright Washington showed pictures on poster and computer of different styles worn in the 1920s as she fashioned herself as an example.

A special 1920’s Costume Contest was held and the winner for the Adult contest was Edith Bright Washington, with Cherry Keaise winning second place, and the first-place winner for the children’s contest was Jace Brooks. Amanda Skoland was attributed by Miss Shelia for taking photos during the event. According to Miss Shelia, this program was made successful by the hard work of several individuals, “This program was successful for several reasons and all of which require acknowledgement: Dorothy Skoland created large replicas of pillars and “the bridge” from Tar Beach and offered timely and valuable suggestions; Sherelle Memminger decorated signs, doors and shelves; Heather Tuten brought in authentic dresses and props from the era; Timothy Grant (TJ) for helping Miss Shiela select her outfit for the evening; Dr. Harold Rhodes loan three of his paintings by one of his favorite artists; Belk and managers loan a half body dress form. Special thanks to the children’s service assistants Anthony Chapman and Sherelle Memminger and volunteer Miss Ashley.” Everyone is encouraged to stop by the Colleton Memorial Library’s Children Department anytime during the month of February to learn more about the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance. “Hopefully, the Colleton County Memorial Library will be a place that you will want to return to learn and grow,” Miss Shelia said. 


Christie Slocum (538 Posts)