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    Black History in Owensboro: Dracin Williams Recommends

    During Black History Month each February, we celebrate the joy and honor the struggle of Black Americans. This month, DCPL has been recognizing the Black experience with displays and programming for all ages.

    To round out this month with a local connection, we asked local community activist and advocate Dracin Williams for his recommendations of books that have shaped him and give insight into the local African American community. Williams was born and raised on the Westside of Owensboro, in the Mechanicsville and Baptist Town neighborhoods. He believes public libraries are “one of the most important local institutions for all Americans, including African Americans.”

    We also asked Williams how DCPL can serve the local African American community more effectively. He believes outreach is important—more extensive programming, like building small libraries in communities with high concentrations of African Americans—H.L. Neblett and Dugan Best, for example. Stepping up our commitment would show that we work and exist for all the people of Owensboro and Daviess County.

    Below, you’ll see some of his recommendations that touch on the Black experience, in Owensboro and beyond.

    History of Daviess County, Kentucky. Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons, Biographies of Representative Citizens. And an Outline History of Kentucky

    “This book is important for Owensboroans to understand their own history, including the plights and investments of diverse groups in the development of our city. After reading this book, I developed a sense of pride in being from and a part of Owensboro.”

    Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    “Martin Luther King Jr’s final book prior to his assassination. The book, written in 1967, is relevant more than ever given the current political and social climate in the United States. King presents thoughtful plans and analysis on ways the United States can address important issues around racism, poverty and education.”

    The Last Public Execution in America
    Perry T. Ryan

    “The hanging of Rainey Bethea is one of the more important events in the history of Owensboro and impacted the nation’s view on legalized public executions. As Owensboroans, this book provides an insight into the Owensboro community as it pertains to race. From the book, I got a sense on how vulnerable African Americans were to being targeted by the white community and ways the judicial system was used unfairly.”

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