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The Black Panthers – A Personal & Historical Perspective

two photos of Black Panther free breakfast program activities

Join us for a presentation and conversation about the Black Panthers with a woman who worked for them in the 1970’s.  You may be surprised to learn about the many positive things the Black Panthers were a part of.  The talk will be on Thursday, Nov. 7 @ 6:30 PM upstairs in the Library.


photo of Christine FlavinThe talk will be presented by Christine Flavin.  She will talk about how she became involved in the civil rights movement when she was in high school. She later went on to attend the University of California, Berkeley in 1971.  She was very involved with both the anti-Vietnam war efforts and the civil rights movements at that time.  One of the aspects of her involvement was to work for the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA (where she lived while attending Berkeley).

She will give a bit of history of the Panther movement and its residual effects on social justice.  She will also try to explain and diffuse the negative stereotypes that exist to this day about the purpose and the mission of the Black Panther political party.

Questions, call Kate Rose at 319.651.7326.

Hometown Teams Special Events This Weekend

This Saturday, April 14th 2018, we will be have two very special presentations in our Uptown Theatre as a part of the Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams traveling exhibit.

NOTE: The Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit is on display free to the public and fills our gymnasium.


“A Wrestling Life,” Talk and Book Signing by Dan Gable – April 14 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Wrestling legend Dan Gable will talk about the sport and his life, followed by a book-signing. His latest book, “A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable,” will be available for purchase.

Gable is a retired Olympic wrestler and coach best known for his tenure as head coach at the University of Iowa where he won 15 NCAA team titles between 1976-1997.


Playing to Win – Kids and Sports – April 14 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Cornell College professors of kinesiology Steve DeVries and Kristi Meyer will discuss origins and social factors that have influenced the growth of youth sports in the USA, how we have gotten to where we are now, and some current trends and issues.

Hometown Teams – More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa

The African American Museum of Iowa will be presenting “More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa” Saturday, March 24th at 10:30 – 11:30 am in the Uptown Theatre as a part of a series of Hometown Teams events.

The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will be in Mount Vernon, Iowa from March 18 to April 28, 2018.  It is one of ten related events that is scheduled while the exhibit is in Mount Vernon.

From the African American Museum of Iowa:

Since the late nineteenth century, African Americans have participated in a variety of sports and contributed in profound ways to Iowa’s sporting culture. African Americans experienced severe discrimination in sports as in other activities, but fought long and hard to overcome racism. In Iowa, they frequently used achievement in sports as a way to come together as a community. These countless narratives both on and off the court, field, and ring, remind us of the broader struggle for civil rights in America.

This presentation coincides with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” exhibit, on view at the First Street Community Center March 18 to April 29, 2018. “How Sports Shaped America” is a Smithsonian traveling exhibit that allows visitors to put sports in the context of American culture and gain a better understanding of the role that sport plays in its interactions with families, schools, government, business, and other social institutions. The African American Museum of Iowa will feature local sports figures Art Pennington and Jack Trice.

RSVP on Facebook.

  • This event is presented by the African American Museum of Iowa.
  • Attendance is free and open to the public.

Complete Schedule of Hometown Teams Events: