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Colleton Memorial Library Presents “Black History Hall of Fame”

By Cokeitha Gaddist

On Saturday, March 4, The Colleton County Memorial Library Children’s Department presented “Black History Hall of Fame”. The Black History Hall of Fame was a 45-minute educational theater production that took the audience on a journey through stories about Black American heroes who greatly impacted American history. Taylor Finch and Brandon C. Smith “Wowed” the audience with stories about historical events of Black Americans who fought against slavery, took a stand for civil rights and broke down color barriers to accomplishing great things in American History.
Finch and Smith, a two-person production, kept the audience engaged and entertained with colorful costume changes, songs and historic stories including the Black American Buffalo Soldiers, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, The Tuskegee Airmen, Rosa Parks and many more. They also highlighted historical figures like Wilma Rudolph and Dr. Mae Jemison; Wilma Rudolph had polio, and was refused treatment because she was black and needed leg braces to walk most of her childhood. She overcame it all to become the very first American woman to win three gold medals in Track and Field in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome during a single Olympic Game which she ran with a sprained ankle. Dr. Mae Jemison was a dancer, physician and the first black woman to travel in space, as an astronaut on the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992. “These are two outstanding women who proved, that no matter the color of your skin or struggles you go through in life, with hard work, determination and if you believe in yourself like these women you can do anything from winning gold at the Olympics to traveling to space,” said Finch.
The Black History Hall of Fame productions were jointly sponsored by local Walterboro Sorority Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. “We are grateful to have the sororities sponsor our Black history program and support this outstanding program,” said Shiela Keaise, Children’s Librarian.
Taylor Finch and Brandon C. Smith are members of Bright Start Touring Theatre, a national professional touring theatre company based in Asheville, NC. Finch and Smith have performed for over 17 years and this is their first year touring The Black History Hall of Fame production on the road. “The tour began with our first show in Tacoma, Washington, along with over 40 locations and we are happy to end our tour with the last show here in Walterboro,” said Smith. Each year Bright Star Touring Theatre serves nearly 1,500 audiences in schools, theaters, libraries, museums and much more across the country. For more information about shows contact Heather Corn at 336-558-please (7360) or visit www.brightstartheatre.com.

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