- By Jo Anne Embleton
RUSK – Arts, crafts and delicious cuisines from the African and African-American culture are the focal point of “A Taste of Africa Arts and Culture” exhibit, slated from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Rusk Public Library, 207 E 6th St.
Palestine pediatrician Oluyemisi Akintunde and businesswoman Queen Zojolaky Brown.
Rusk library director Amy Walley said when she was visiting Palestine last year, she discovered their display, and was determined to invite them to Rusk for the 2020 observance of Black History Month.
“It was a really great job, with a taste of Africa, and the store there put on a fashion show, and they also sang the African national anthem,” Walley said.
According to Akintunde, Saturday’s presentation will feature arts and crafts from Ghana, Nigerian traditional clothing, artifacts and food.
“There also be a display of a quilt with faces of great African Americans (who) will be introduced to us by a great lady whose vision is to bring to light these great men and women,” Akintunde said, adding that the Black national anthem also will be sung. “We hope what we bring with us are things that will interest the public.”
“This is a chance for us to reunite as people and also to share the love of the culture to others,” she said, noting that this is only the second year the duo has presented the program.
“I hope that our visitors will learn the richness and beauty of our culture overall … I feel that music and food and dance will move the nations in a positive light!” Brown said. “We have so many similarities from the African American culture to the native African culture in reality we are all the same people.”
The idea to host the inaugural event at the Palestine Mall resulted when the women realized they “we wanted to show case great things from Africa and also to increase awareness for the (upcoming) Black History month,” Atinkunde said. “We hope visitors will take away with them a realization that there is more to Africa than is on TV – that African is vibrant, is fluid and dynamic, and has many faces.”
Wallace said the program is part of the library’s ongoing effort “to offer more for the community’s involvement, so I try to bring whatever we can through the library so that others can enjoy it, too.
“You never know when you’re going to spark an interest or common ground with someone with the programs we do,” she added
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