“We still have a long ways to go”: Jessamine County Public Library hosts Black History Month program

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky (WTVQ)- As Black History Month comes to a close, communities are continuing to celebrate and educate its’ importance.

In Jessamine County, the public library held its’ annual Black History Month celebration Saturday morning. The theme of this year’s program was “History is Home.”

“Each year, we host this event so that we can invite people from the community in to share their stories and get to know one another and an intimate, welcoming and friendly place,” said Kimber Gray, the marketing and public relations coordinator for the Jessamine County Public Library.

The event was coordinated by the The Office of Jessamine County Judge/Executive David K. West, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court, Jessamine County Public Library, and the CARE Council.

“I would like for people to understand that we’ve come a long ways, but we still have a long ways to go,” said Pastor Daniel Lee of Marble Creek Baptist Church. “It is so important to never forget our history and not try to hide our history.”

The celebration featured performances from Louisville’s StageOne Family Theatre.

“We really believe that story-telling is at the center of all community work,” said education director of StageOne Lina Chambers Lipkin. “So we’re just excited to tell stories from Black History from the children’s perspective. Also incorporating stories from history. So we really wanted to bring in kind of the whole emotional spectrum here.”

The event also had a presentation from the Camp Nelson National Monument staff, and songs from the Marble Creek Baptist Church.

“One of the cultures in black history is singing,” said Pastor Lee. “A lot of times back in those during slavery, songs were sung as a means to help them escape from being captive.”

The church was honored during the program for its deep roots in the community. It’s existence stretches 144 years.

“One of the things that some people don’t know is our church was actually started out of a white congregation,” said Lee. “And then being slaves, they didn’t have any ownership in the properties and actually wasn’t allowed to practice religion. From that, the church was formed and then separated into the church it is today.”

As Black History Month nears its’ end, organizers say it’s important to never forget the past as we look forward to a better future.

“Fom thinking about our future, and the future of young people, but also really being able to acknowledge our past in the difficult days and the trauma that we carry around, and how can we tell our stories, even today,” Lipkin said.

“The scars from yesterday still have an impact on people today,” said Pastor Lee. “And it doesn’t change the reality by trying to act as if it never happened.”

This was the sixth year the library has hosted a Black History Month event.

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