Missouri storytelling series kicks off with Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues

 Retelling Missouri’s stories

Missouri celebrated is 199th birthday on August 10 this year, and already the state’s bicentennial countdown has begun.

The Mid-Continent Public Library has partnered with the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program to launch “State of Stories,” a series of free public programs commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial.

Kicking off the series will be the program Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues on Friday, August 28, at 6:30 p.m., which will be held via Facebook Live on The Story Center’s page (facebook.com/mystorycenter). Led by Emmy Award-winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk, the program will take viewers on a journey through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, a time when the country was segregated by Jim Crow laws, and America’s “National Pastime” wore two faces, the whites-only Major Leagues and the upstart Negro National League. Historical slides and period music will enhance an emotional performance, illustrating the clash of race, sports and culture.

The next morning at 10:30 a.m., Norfolk will lead a workshop via Zoom about the basics of historical storytelling.

State of Stories will explore Missouri history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, book conversations, lectures, a publication, and other activities.

Programs will be held either in-person or virtually based on the recommendations of public health officials. More information about State of Stories, including how to access virtual programs, is available at mymcpl.org/StateOfStories.

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