Civil Rights: Finding a voice


We live in a time where news reports regularly remind us of tragedy and discord, often seeming to do more to separate than unite us. It can be easy to think that, no matter what we do, we will not be able to make a difference for good. As we look at the problems and conflicts around us, often we cannot see how the stories of the past influence the stories of the present—or, worse yet, we do not know the stories of the past and so cannot see how they are connected to the stories of today. That is the reason for the Civil Rights: Finding a Voice program, an interactive presentation of stories and songs of the Civil Rights Movement. Through this program, we connect the stories of the past with issues of today in an effort to help to begin building bridges between people. We hope you’ll join us.

We are Sheila Arnold Jones and Sarah Brady, storytellers and teaching artists who present programs both together and individually. Nearly two years ago we were at a school preparing for a program when we overheard the music teacher singing civil rights songs with her students. After the class was over, this teacher mentioned that she did not know of any programming that she could bring into her school about the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. We looked at each other and immediately said that we would create a program. The idea for our Civil Rights Movement programming was born. As we prepared for these programs in the coming months, we were confronted over and over again with how issues of the past are pertinent to events that are playing out on the national and world stages today. We firmly believe that learning the stories of the past can strengthen our knowledge of the present. Thus, our aim for this program is to build understanding and community through visiting the stories of the Civil Rights Movement and seeing how they impact today.

Please join us Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Culpeper County Library.

Sheila Arnold

Sarah Brady