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January 26, 2007

Concerts and a Keynote Address by Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald Headline African-American History Month Events

Launch of Web Site Leads List of Special Events Honoring Black Achievement

As the nation celebrates the history of African-Americans in February, teachers nationwide will be quizzing students on their knowledge of black history. For example, who is the first African-American woman in history to hold the position of chairwoman of the powerful Committee on House Administration?

The answer is Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, who is delivering the African American History Month keynote address at the Library of Congress on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 1:00 p.m. in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, D. C. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Birmingham, Ala., Millender-McDonald has garnered several "firsts" during her political career, including becoming the first African-American woman to serve on the Carson City Council. She has represented California’s 37th congressional district in Los Angeles since 1996. "There are no more important responsibilities in the Peoples House than ensuring that their ability to vote in free and fair elections is not compromised in any manner, and that their government operates effectively and efficiently," she commented.

Millender-McDonald also is the founder and executive director of the League of African-American Women and the founder of the Young Advocates, a political leadership-training program for African-Americans between the ages of 18 and 35.

The program also will feature remarks by John Fleming, national president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH’s 2007 theme, "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas," honors the work of black historian John Hope Franklin, who recently won the Library’s Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity.

In keeping with the celebration’s national theme, the Library is sponsoring several events, including a film screening, an exhibition, lectures and concerts. Visit www.loc.gov/today for a schedule of events.

One of the special concerts in February will feature "A Civil Rights Reader," a blend of funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music, by "classical experimentalist" Daniel Bernard Roumain, who will paint musical portraits of civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Maya Angelou.

The concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, in the Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., will be followed by the premiere of "Neo Soul Sonata" for violin and synthesizer, commissioned by the Library of Congress McKim Fund. The fund has commissioned a distinguished and diverse roster of more than 65 composers.

All concerts are presented free to the public but require tickets for admission. Tickets are distributed by Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com, (301) 808-6900, (410) 752-1200 or (800) 551-7328. Patrons may come to the Library by 6:30 p.m. on concert nights to wait in the standby line for no-show tickets.

The Library of Congress holds several million items of African-American history and culture. In celebrating the history of African-Americans, the Library has launched an online resource page (www.loc.gov/africanamericans) featuring its rich African-American collections, from slave narratives to veterans’ oral histories; stories on major historical figures; ready-to-use lesson plans for teachers; collection guides; and online exhibitions.

The multimedia Web site also offers easy access to a sampling of visual images, including photographs of notable black leaders and subjects. There are selections of audio and video presentations, such as Webcasts of lectures and performances, as well as musical recordings and unique sound artifacts. These resources are only a small portion of the 134 million items in the Library’s extensive holdings.

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PR 07-013
01/26/07
ISSN 0731-3527

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