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February 2016

Before the Blues: A Musical Workshop with Reverend Robert Jones

February 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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It would probably be fair say that blues music was the dominant popular music style of the 20th Century, but what came before the blues? Even though the quilt of early authentic African American music is largely gone, there are still threads that can give us insight to the music that existed during American slavery and that gave rise to the popular music of the day. In this workshop we will explore such subjects as the “field holler”, work songs,…

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Taste of Soul Sunday

February 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at Taste of Soul Sunday. Sample African American art, music, literature, history, and food. Performances by Sweet Willie Singleton, Nola Ade, In the Tradition, Asamu Johnson and Fable the Poet. Free food samples provided by: Malamiah Juice Bar, Tadow! BBQ, Daddy Pete’s and LINC Up Soul Food Cafe.

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Our Contribution to the Civil War: Regiments and Camps of Grand Rapids

February 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Learn more about the various regiments formed and trained in Grand Rapids during the American Civil War such as the Old Third Michigan Infantry, Sixth Michigan Volunteer Cavalry and many others. Library Assistant Will Miner will discuss training camps and notable locals who contributed to these efforts. Explore the materials about the Civil War available in the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Department at the library.

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March 2016

Grace, Gert, and the Berkey & Gay Gals: Women, War and Work in 1910s Grand Rapids

March 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Kick off Women’s History Month by celebrating the working women of Grand Rapids 100 years ago. GRPL local history experts Julie Tabberer, Heather Edwards, and Drew Damron will highlight some of the city’s women employed outside their homes. The last decade of the heady Progressive Era opened doors both personal and professional for these 11,000 women, and the disruptions of wartime provided opportunities in a working world previously off limits. Learn about the women who worked at the Berkey &…

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We Bought a WWII Bomber: The Untold Story of a Michigan High School, a B-17 Bomber & the Blue Ridge Parkway

March 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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During WWII, to help fund the war effort, students at South High School in Grand Rapids took part in the “Buy the Bomber” program, raising over $375,000 selling War Bonds and Defense Loan Stamps and bought a B-17 Bomber. They christened the bomber, “The Spirit of South High,” after which it flew off never to be heard from again, until now. Author Sandra Warren will share the extraordinary tale of how students raised so much money and the incredible “spirit”…

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April 2016

Bridge Street Views

April 28 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Explore the evolution of Bridge Street through old photographs alongside present day images of structures, including commercial and residential buildings. GRPL Library Assistant Drew Damron will use the library’s archival collection to tell the story of this historic Grand Rapids road.

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Genealogy Lock-In

April 29 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Main Library,
111 Library St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
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Come to the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections department for a free after-hours program just for genealogists! Learn how to use the microfilm reader/scanner/printer, save images, and take advantage of free copying and printing during the event. Use the time to search databases—we will have plenty of computers available or bring your own laptop and use the library’s WiFi network. Bring your genealogy questions or Ancestry and Heritage Quest problems—volunteers will be on hand to assist. Network with other…

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