The achievements of African Americans in the United States will be highlighted in a Feb. 15 program for school-age children at Willard Library in Battle Creek.

“Young & Gifted: A Tribute to Black Heroes Past and Present” will be presented at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Willard Library, 7 W. Van Buren St.

“Participants will learn about the achievements of African Americans in society. Past and present heroes will be highlighted in the areas of space, inventions and business,” said Angela Maddox-Bonner, who works in Willard’s Youth Services Department.

The program, which is geared to children in kindergarten through fifth grade and their families, will feature heroes Mae Jemison, Garrett Morgan and Madam CJ Walker.

Jemison is an American engineerphysician and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Morgan was an inventor and businessman as well as an influential political leader. His most notable inventions were the three-position traffic signal and smoke hood.

Walker was an entrepreneurphilanthropist, and a political and social activist. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair-care products for black women through the business she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co.

“I chose these three people because we hear about others such as President Barak Obama, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and tennis player Serena Williams, so I decided to highlight people who are not spoken of often,” Maddox-Bonner said.

Activity stations will spotlight each person’s contributions:

  • For Walker, children will be able to style hair.
  • For Morgan, children will make a traffic light with graham crackers, frosting and M&Ms.
  • For Jemison, children can play with space toys.

Willard Library programs are free and open to the public.


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