2004-02-06 / Community

Black History Month Comes to Far Rock Library

Contributing Editor
By Miriam Rosenberg
Black History Month Comes to Far Rock Library By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor


Armstrong told several stories to her young audience.Armstrong told several stories to her young audience.

Children at an after school program at the Far Rockaway Library celebrated Black History Month with music and story telling on February 2. April Armstrong, who is appearing with the Rhode Island Repertory Company in a one woman show about Billie Holiday, introduced the children to several types of African instruments during her performance.

One such instrument was the ‘talking drum’ which got its name from the fact that it sounds like the language of the people who used it. The drum, made in Ghana, West Africa was used as a method of communication be tween tribes.

The children had some hands-on time testing out the ‘Kalimba’ or ‘thumb piano’. Armstrong, whose Kalimba came from South Africa, gave them simple instructions (that included a piece of wood and bobbie pins) for building one of their own.

The afternoon finished with story telling that allowed verbal interaction with her young audience.


Armstrong demonstrates the ‘talking drum’ to the children. The two-sided, hourglass shaped drum changes the tone of its sounds when the user squeezes the strings that surround it. Questions were encouraged from the children. Here one youngster prepares to ask a question as Armstrong plays the ‘talking drum.”Armstrong demonstrates the ‘talking drum’ to the children. The two-sided, hourglass shaped drum changes the tone of its sounds when the user squeezes the strings that surround it. Questions were encouraged from the children. Here one youngster prepares to ask a question as Armstrong plays the ‘talking drum.”

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