Published February 7, 2024
The Dodge City Community College (DC3) Library is celebrating Black History Month with Read and CONQuer committee events during the month of February.
Up first, at 4 p.m., on Feb. 8, is a Humanities Kansas presentation by Prisca Barnes titled “The Dockum Drugstore Sit-in,” which will focus on the African American students who fought to end segregation in Wichita, and around the country, by organizing a peaceful protest over a three-week period at the Dockum Drugstore in 1958.
Long denied entry into Wichita’s movie theaters and restaurants, these students decided to exercise their rights to peacefully protest the segregation policy of the popular lunch counter, which did not allow them to eat in the diner, but instead only order take-out food.
“The Dockum Sit-in was one of the first student-led lunch counter protests of the Civil Rights era, and it happened here in Kansas,” Barnes said. “It important to revisit its circumstances.”
Barnes, who is the founder of a Wichita-based nonprofit organization called Storytime Village Inc., which promotes reading among low-income children and families, is a passionate advocate for equity in education and literacy.
Up next at 3:30 p.m., on Feb. 20, the Library will host an afternoon trivia event in lieu of its usual book discussion, which is related to the February Read and CONQuer book “March: Book One” by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.
With a total of three titles, the “March” trilogy is a series of autobiographical black-and-white graphic novels by U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020.
According to Madison Miller, DC3 Instructor of History, “March: Book One” was chosen due to its graphic novel format, which she said is a great way to share stories and educate readers about historical events. Miller, who is also serving as the February Read and CONQuer leader, said the format helps to create an “engaging and immersive world” that makes readers feel like they are actually a part of Lewis’s firsthand experiences during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Additionally, the book highlights sit-in movements that occurred in the United States, a topic that Prisca Barnes will explore further during her Feb. 8 presentation on the Dockum Drugstore Sit-in,” Miller said. “Hopefully, the book will interest people and encourage them to pick up the remaining books in the trilogy!”
In addition to the above events, a collaborative Black History Month mural will be displayed on the library windows throughout the month of February.
“Read and CONQuer is excited about February’s activities,” Miller said. “The lineup offers something for everyone!”
By Lance ZieschDC3 Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations