Area Events, News

Celebrate Black History Month with the Library

Bessie Smith will be portrayed by Doris Fields of Beckley, in a West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive! program in Celebration of Black History Month in the Brooke County Public Library’s River Room on Feb. 9, at 5:30pm.
As the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s, Smith was the highest-paid Black performer of her day. Known as the “Empress of the Blues” by virtue of her forceful vocal delivery and command of the genre, her singing displayed a soulfully phrased, boldly delivered grasp of the blues. In addition, she was an all-around entertainer who danced, acted and performed comedy routines with her touring company. She was a staple of the “Chitlin’ Circuit” and throughout the Jim Crow South, and many of her tunes have been covered by various artists through the decades.
This program is also made possible from donations made to the library from the PEO Sisterhood Chapter N and the Brooke County AARP Chapter 3910.
Historical characterization is the vehicle for this program.Humanities scholars have carefully researched the writings, speeches and biographies of the characters they portray and whenever possible, use their original words.
The West Virginia Humanities Council is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing educational programs in the humanities for all West Virginians. For 40 years the Council has been providing educational programs in the humanities across the state.
This program is available to both non-profit and for-profit groups. For more information, call the West Virginia Humanities Council at 304.346.8500 or visit