Contact: Kristen Corrado
616.988.5402, ext. 5438

Grand Rapids Public Library’s Events Celebrate African American History and Culture

GRAND RAPIDS (February 2, 2017) The Grand Rapids Public Library presents a series of
events focused on African American heritage and culture February 19-23, 2017. These events,
including the popular Taste of Soul Sunday, celebrate and explore the lives of African
Americans in Grand Rapids and beyond.

Taste of Soul Sunday, the library's annual celebration of African American culture will take
place on February 19, 2017 from 1-4:30 pm at the Main Library – 111 Library St NE. The event
is free and sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation, with additional support
from DGRI and Meijer.

Taste of Soul Sunday is an annual event that featuring food sampling from local
restaurants, lectures by local authors, historians, and artists, live music and children’s activities.
Musical performances will include Glenda Williams, Sound Proof, Kathy Lamar, and Young Men
4 Christ (YM4C). Dr. Benjamin Wilson will present on the lives of “ordinary Blacks Folks” who
lived in West Michigan between 1919-1950. David L. Head will share the story of Granville T.
Woods, the first African American mechanical and electrical engineer. Master Wrapper Zarinah
El-Amin Maeen will teach participants how to tie their own headwraps and share the unique
history of wrapping across the globe.

Activities for children include creating an African tribal mask and other fun crafts.
Free food samplings will be provided by local restaurants Daddy Pete's BBQ, Big Ed's
BBQ, Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant, and Malamiah Juice Bar. For a complete schedule of
events, visit

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Reverend Robert Jones will discuss the history of
blues music at 6:30 pm at the Main Library. Jones is a singer, storyteller and musician from
Detroit who uses folk, blues, spirituals, and other American Roots music to share musical
history. He will discuss the seminal figures in blues music and demonstrate the nuances for
various regional styles of blues including Piedmont, Delta, Texas and early urban styles.

Local rapper Wu Zee will perform at the Main Library on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00
pm as part on the Music in the Stacks series. As a founding member of The Almighty Foot Clan, Wu Zee
has gained a reputation as one of the most entertaining performers in West Michigan. A nimble lyricist
with an upbeat style and choice samples, Wu Zee draws his influence from hip hop titans such as MF
Doom and Wu-Tang Clan.

Taste of Soul Sunday will take place at the Main Library – 111 Library St NE from 1-4:40 pm on
Sunday, February 19, 2017. Free parking is available in the Library’s lot. All GRPL programs are free and
open to the public. For more information, call 616-988-5400 or visit The Grand
Rapids Public Library connects people to the transforming power of knowledge.


Images available. Contact Kristen Corrado at 616-988-5402 x 5438