Posted by: palmettoislandgirl | February 2, 2011

St. Helena Branch Library Celebrates Black History Month

 Visit the St. Helena Branch Library each Saturday in February to watch  movies and participate in a book talk…

This week, Feb. 5th, 11:00 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

Hallelujah-The first all-black film       produced by a major studio, HALLELUJAH represented the culmination of King Vidor’s long-standing desire to do a project dealing with the lives of African-Americans, strongly influenced by his childhood experience in Galveston, Texas. The film stars Daniel Hayes as Zeke Johnson, an impoverished young sharecropper living in South Carolina. When he and his brother Spunk (Everett McGarritty) go north to sell their cotton crop, Daniel falls for the seductive Chick (Nina Mae McKinney) without realizing she’s a shill for the rigged crap game of her lover, Hot Shot (William Fountaine). Finally grasping the scam, Daniel fights with Hot Shot, but his brother is fatally shot during the struggle. The grief-stricken Zeke is reborn as a preacher, traveling the country, spreading the word of the Lord. The cynical Chick appears among the congregation at one of his revival meetings and finds herself moved by his sermonizing.

  After Daniel baptizes her in the river, the couple elopes, and he finds work in a sawmill. But Chick’s innate restlessness will again create problems for her new husband. Although now somewhat dated, the film was probably the closest approximation of African-American life put onscreen up to that time. The film’s outstanding, meticulously researched soundtrack, ranging from jazz to spirituals, derives from the director’s lifelong affinity for such music.

Saturday,  Feb. 12th, 11:00 a.m.-1:05 p.m.

In Imitation of Life, we see the lives of four women and their attempts to make their lives more than mere imitations of life. Lora Meredith and her daughter Susie have struggled along after the death of Lora’s husband, but are having a very rough time of it. Annie Johnson, abandoned by her daughter Sarah Jane’s father even before Sarah Jane was born, has had trouble finding work as a domestic because, as she tells Lora, “nobody wants a maid who has a child.” A chance meeting between the two women brings their lives together, and together they struggle to survive in New York City. Lora, an aspiring actress, comes to depend on Annie, who moves into Lora’s apartment and becomes her maid. Annie makes a domestic haven for Lora, Susie, and her own daughter, but struggles as Sarah Jane rejects her racial identity and attempts to pass for white.

Come back soon to see the offerings for the remainder of the month.  For more information about the library programs call (843) 255-6486

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