At the library

Jun. 23, 2013 @ 12:22 AM

‘Pop-Up Museum’ to feature civil rights stories

The year 1963 was pivotal for the civil rights movement. Durham County Library will host Eddie Davis as he explores the history of Durham in 1963, a year in which many critically important events changed the local civil rights landscape. Davis will moderate a multiracial panel of citizens who played vital roles in the quest for the integration of some of Durham’s most cherished educational institutions, restaurants and theaters.

A community conversation about the broadening and the evolution of human and civil rights will follow the panel discussion.

Participants are encouraged to join the conversation by bringing an old photo or family treasure for the Durham Civil Rights "Pop-Up Museum" happening alongside the program. The event will take place at 3 p.m. today at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

Davis worked as a high school English teacher in North Carolina for more than 30 years and is a former president of the N.C. Association of Educators. He has worked with students and with the community to bring attention to Durham’s often-overlooked civil rights history and educational issues.

'SBF Seeking’ author to speak Monday

In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, Durham County Library will host LaToya Hankins for a reading from her book “SBF Seeking.”

This novel explores what happens when a woman decides to place a personal ad four months before her wedding day. Her small-town life in eastern North Carolina has left her unprepared for the personal journey she undertakes as she struggles to come to terms with her sexuality and to find her heart’s path. A book signing will follow the reading, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

A North Carolina native, Hankins graduated from Eastern Carolina University with a degree in journalism. Hankins serves as the co-chair of Shades of Pride, a nonprofit agency created to acknowledge and celebrate North Carolina’s African-American LBGTQ community, and is an active supporter of LBGTQ issues. She lives in Raleigh.

Learn history of Prohibition cocktails

Durham County Library will host Scott Richie, former co-owner of Whiskey and multiple winner of the Independent Weekly’s Best Bartender award, for a program on the cocktails of the Prohibition era.

Richie will take participants back to the roaring ’20s, the era of Al Capone and speakeasies and discuss drinks like the Mary Pickford, the sidecar and the French 75. During Prohibition, bartenders had to get creative because the alcohol was of varied quality and often in limited quantity. Richie will discuss some of the era’s notable concoctions, as well as modern cocktails that were influenced by them.

The program will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

Author to speak on disappearance of kingpin

Durham County Library will host award-winning true crime author Ron Chepesiuk as he discusses his latest investigative book, “Black Caesar: The Rise and Disappearance of Frank Matthews, Kingpin.” The program will take place July 1 at Stanford L. Warren Library, 1201 Fayetteville St., at 7 p.m.

On July 2, 1973, Matthews, a Durham native, jumped bail in New York City. He is now recognized as the longest missing fugitive in the history of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The conditions around his disappearance have remained a mystery.

Matthews was said to have dominated the 1970s heroin market. Based in New York City, his empire encompassed 21 states, and was reinforced with the support of high-ranking contacts across the globe. However, Matthews became most notorious when he challenged the Mafia, particularly La Cosa Nostra, for supremacy in the lucrative heroin and cocaine trade in predominantly African-American and Latino urban areas. As result, he became known as “Black Caesar.”

Although law enforcement considered Matthews a ruthless drug kingpin, many poor and marginalized people viewed him as an urban Robin Hood who readily employed former neighborhood friends in his illegal business enterprises.