African dance

The crowd participated in an African dance at a previous Black History Month event at the Mansfield Richland County Public Library.

MANSFIELD -- The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library will be hosting its annual Black History Celebration at the Main Library on Saturday, Feb. 1 with festivities running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This celebratory event, emceed by local celebrity Bridgette Coles, features live music and entertainment by local favorites, food, and activities for all ages.

All food and entertainment are free and open to the public.

A sweet potato pie contest launches the event with entries being received by 10:30 a.m in the Community Room with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes being awarded at noon. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., attendees can feast in the Community Room “Soul Food Cafe” with food prepared by local-favorite Ms. Lil’s Fish Catering.

The following is a schedule of Black History Celebration events:

11 a.m.: Welcome speech delivered by Tiffany Mitchell, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at OSU-Mansfield.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: The Marketplace opens, presenting arts and crafts for sale by local artisans, and displays by local agencies.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Crafts and activities for all ages available in the Children’s and Teen Departments.

11:15 a.m.: Thiossane West African Dance Institute performs professional African dance.

12 p.m.: A Pilgrim/Akawg delivers a spoken word performance.

12:15 p.m.: Hometown favorite, Garlan and Friends, delights with a “gospel according to jazz.”

1 p.m.: Kid Kulture entertains with their soulful combination of jazz, electronic and Hip Hop music.

1:45 p.m.: Mansfield’s own Jody Odom, Jr. “brings the house down” with his hometown blues and rock ’n roll.

Join us in celebration of the achievements by African Americans and as we recognize their central role in U.S. history. Sweet potato pie contest entry forms can be found at any MRCPL library. A full schedule of the day’s events can be found at or call 419-521-3145 for more information.

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