On the corner of 54th and Overbrook, children waited for a ride home. Having abandoned their coats, little boys and girls laughed and played outside the Wynnefield branch of the Free Library.
Inside the library, chairs were organized in neat rows in front of a projector screen. It was the first day of February, the first day of Black History Month and the first day of the library’s African American Film Series. Emily Ann Livingston, a library employee and event organizer, waited on the side for people to show up. The movie she had picked out for the first night was Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust. Livingston said the point of the film series is to celebrate Black History Month, but also to offer events to a broader demographic.
“So many of our programs [at the library] are for children. We wanted to do something for the adults in the area,” Livingston said.
The festival’s films have to do with African-American culture and history, including themes of slavery and the transitioning and mixing of African to American culture, as well as biopics about the civil rights movement.
“The movies are going to have violence in them, because that is something that is part of the history,” Livingston said.
The first day of February was uncharacteristically warm, reaching highs in the 60s, and the movie was wasted on an empty room. However, the film series will continue every Wednesday for the next three weeks. This week, the library will be showing a Spike Lee documentary called “4 Little Girls.”