Treasures on the Shelves: Do you know what the library has?

Published 4:44 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

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Treasures on the ShelvesWhen most people think of the library, they think about books, magazines and newspapers but did you know your library also has a wide selection of DVD’s? In these days of entertainment streaming, the humble DVD may not be how most people see a movie or television show but they are popular checkout items for our patrons.

As we begin our celebration of Black History Month, I thought I’d shift from books and focus instead on some tv shows, documentaries and movies that speak to the Black experience.

One of the most popular shows on television right now is “Abbott Elementary”, about the students and teachers at the titular school in Philadelphia. A seriocomic exploration of a failing education system, the show has won numerous awards, including an Emmy for Sheryl Lee Ralph, and in its second season, remains a viewer favorite.

The late actor Chadwick Boseman starred in the phenomenally popular film “Black Panther” but prior to that he gave an amazing performance as James Brown in “Get on Up.” Doing most of his own singing and dancing, he explores all the complexity of the larger-than-life Brown in this exhilarating movie.

Two equally talented actors, Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, star in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” a drama based on the murder of Fred Hampton that occurred as the federal government was investigating the Black Panther movement in the 1970’s. Based on a James Baldwin novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a powerful film about a Black family in 1970’s Harlem. Exploring themes of love and forgiveness, it features an Oscar-winning performance by Regina King.

If you enjoy documentaries, “How it Feels to be Free” features in-depth profiles of six Black women, including Cicely Tyson, Lena Horne and Abbey Lincoln, and the ways they challenged how women of color were represented in the entertainment industry. The Motown record label founded by Berry Gordy is responsible for some of the most popular and enduring music of the modern age. “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is about the legendary Funk Brothers, one of the most successful groups of session musicians working during the Motown era. They played on countless songs but were never publicly given credit for their work. This documentary explores these musicians and their legacy.

Whether you are looking to be entertained, informed or a little of both, explore the DVD’s your library has to offer and join us in celebrating this historic month.

Holly Howze is the branch manager for the Ripberger Public Library located in Kenbridge. She can be reached at