Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

Jumping the Broom at Powell

On February 24th, kids from the Boys and Girls Club, and other families, joined us at the Alma Powell Branch for a Jumping the Broom ceremony.

Jumping the Broom was a marriage practice used by couples during slavery. Many times the slaves’ owners would not give permission for couples to wed. Jumping the Broom became a practice that allowed couples to unite without their owners’ knowledge. Today, this tradition has become popular as a cultural heritage ceremony.

During our event the kids took turns reading from the book Jumping the Broom written by Courtni Wright. This story is about a young slave girl, Lettie, whose sister, Tillie, is planning a Jumping the Broom ceremony. Courtni Wright tells how slave families worked together to prepare for the ceremony. The women spent their days working on a quilt to keep the young couple warm. They prepared food for the ceremony. The men built furniture and caught fish to salt for the winter. Everyone pitched in.

 

At our event Erika and Hari dressed the part of a couple in a pretend ceremony; we decorated miniature brooms, ate homemade wedding cake and drank homemade Jamaican-style ginger soda. We talked about other ceremonies and the quilt making custom.

Thanks to the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo we had a fantastic quilt display exhibited in the Barnabee Gallery!  These quilts were done by a group of African American women of Southwest Michigan. It brought the Barnabee Gallery alive with African American heritage and history.

Harriette Cole’s book Jumping the broom: The African-American Wedding Planner is not only historical but is a modern-day guide for couples wanting to tie the knot. Ms. Cole offers anecdotes, traditions and choices for blending today’s culture with elements of the past.

Book

Jumping the Broom
0823410420
JudiR

Capoeira: Cordão De Ouro (West Michigan)

On February 22 the Alma Powell Branch had a fantastic fun-filled Capoeira demonstration. The presentation was done by Capoeira: Cordão De Ouro (West Michigan).

What is Capoeira? Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines dance, music and acrobatics all in one.

With February being Black History Month we wanted to learn some of the history behind the fine art of this Afro-Brazilian defense technique.

Capoeira was first developed between the 16th and 19th centuries by African slaves brought to Brazil during the slave trade. It was illegal for slaves to learn or practice self-defense. So they camouflaged their martial arts practice with music, acrobatics and games.

Their program included:

  • African Dance
  • Maculelê
  • Bimba’s 8 Secuencias and Game
  • Capoeira
  • Capoeira Song
  • Samba de Roda

With more than 80 people in attendance we learned about their instruments, songs and how to participate with the Cordão di Ouro: West Michigan. The kids loved it! They tumbled, flipped and danced along with the performers. Fun was had by all.

Book

Capoeira
capoeira-013-160
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamazoopubliclibrary/sets/72157623382533479/
JudiR

Fun with Mr. Steve and Friends!

Because of my move into a new job at the library, last night was the final Storytime with Mr. Steve & Friends.

We had a great time reading books, singing songs about a man made out of food, and playing with the parachute.

The adrenaline of the evening helped me hold up well last night, but now I am feeling the effects of closing a very happy chapter in my life.

I would like to thank all the families in the community for your wonderful support during my years as a children’s librarian and for allowing me to be a part of your children’s lives.

Book

Storytime with Mr. Steve and Friends
mr-steve-2010-009-160
http://www.kpl.gov/kids/storytime/mr-steve.aspx
Steve S

Vancouver 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics begin this Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia and I for one can’t wait. Although the summer games include my favorite sport by far, there is just something about the winter Olympics that feels somehow more pure and true to the spirit of the Olympics (not too many Skeleton racers are being offered million dollar sponsorship deals).

KPL wishes to help keep the Olympic flame stoked with a display of Olympics related books in the rotunda at the central library, along with links to all things sports (including the Olympics) in our Sports Topic Guide. Citius, Altius, Fortius!

Book

Topic Guide: Sports
olympic-skiier-56830187-160
/guides/sports/
mykyl
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