Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sojourner Truth Story Performed at APL

On Monday, November 26 at 7:00 pm at the Main Library, Rashid Hamzah will stage a play based on his book I’ll Have My Child Back: The Sojourner Truth Story. The book and the play celebrate the life of this inspirational woman and shows her struggles and victory over tremendous odds. Sojourner Truth used the American system of justice and challenged the fairness of the American privileged class. It is the story of how she won freedom for her son from a state where slavery was still legal.

When his son chose to research Sojourner Truth for a Black History Month assignment, Rashid became so fascinated with the life of this courageous abolitionist that he wrote a book about her. I’ll Have My Child Back: The Sojourner Truth Story was published in 2003. In the preface of the book Rashid thanks APL Librarians Mary Coon and Scott Jarzombek for their valuable help. “The Albany Public Library is a wonderful place to write and do research. I learned word processing at the library. Their computer classes are great. My book wouldn’t have been done without the library,” he said.

Growing up in Arbor Hill, Rashid, now 57, remembers his first library experiences at the Pruyn Branch of the Albany Public Library. He remembers the wonderful time he had reading The Lord of the Rings as part of the library’s after school reading club. He went on to study television production and is in the process of writing a screenplay on Sojourner Truth. His goal is to someday bring this story to the big screen.

Rashid is an Elder of the Masjid As Salaam Mosque, located near the Main Library. He says the children that attend the Mosque are great users of the library. About his lifelong dedication to the library, Rashid had one final thought, “The first word of the Koran is Iqra, which means Read.”

To find out more information on The Sojourner Truth Story performance call John Cirrin, Public Information Officer, at 427-4344.

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