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Libraries Honor Black History Month with Performances by Rhythmically Speaking

Rhythmically SpeakingAmericans began celebrating black history in 1926, and now Black History Month is one of the largest annual recognitions of African American culture and heritage.

Throughout the month of February, the Metropolitan Library System celebrates the contributions of African Americans by presenting performances by Oklahoma City’s outstanding theatrical company, Rhythmically Speaking, of a new play by Dwe Williams.

The production, “A Hidden Soldier: I Just Need a J*O*B!”, tells the story of Cathay Williams, an African American woman born into slavery in 1842.  After being liberated by the Union Army during the Civil War, she became a cook with the military, but when the conflict ended in 1865, she was left without a job.

Her solution to the problem was a remarkable one.  She reversed the order of her names, became “William Cathay” and, passing herself off as a man, enlisted in the very army with which she’d been traveling.  She was the one and only documented female Buffalo Soldier to serve in the United States Army.

 “We are so excited that the Friends of the Metropolitan Library System and the Oklahoma Arts Council are co-sponsoring this terrific program for all ages,” said MLS Director of Outreach Services, Dana Morrow.  “This is one you just have to see!”

The schedule for performances of “A Hidden Soldier: I Just Need a J*O*B!” is:

Saturday, February 2 – Belle Isle Library – 2:00pm

Monday, February 4 – Ralph Ellison Library – 5:30pm

Tuesday, February 5 – Choctaw Library – 3:30pm

Wednesday, February 6 – Luther Library – 3:15pm

Friday, February 8 – Southern Oaks Library - 2:00pm

Saturday, February 9 – Downtown Library – 10:30am

Tuesday, February 12 – Village Library – 10:00am

Tuesday, February 12 – Del City Library – 6:30pm

Thursday, February 14 – Capitol Hill Library – 1:00pm

Saturday, February 16 – Bethany Library – 2:00pm

Tuesday, February 19 – Edmond Library – 7:00pm

Wednesday, February 20 – Midwest City Library – 10:00am

Saturday, February 23 – Warr Acres Library – 2:00pm

Performances are suitable for all ages and are free of charge.  Seating is limited and doors open 15 minutes before each presentation.

“A Hidden Soldier: I Just Need a J*O*B!” is co-produced by The Metropolitan Library System, the Friends of the Metropolitan Library System, and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries.  Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres.  Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City.  You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.