Learning the past to see the future

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library is working to make sure Region 8 residents are aware of their past.

Assistant Professor of History at ASU, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, spoke to the public throughout the day on Monday.

As a part of black history month, representatives of the library asked Branch to discuss to pertinent topics in celebration of the month.

"I'm going to be talking about Civil Rights activism in the 1940s," Branch said. "I picked this topic because it's a personal interest of mine and also because I think it's important for the people to understand that the Civil Rights activism that we associate with the 50s and 60s actually started in earlier decades before then."

Branch spoke to the public during the library's "Lunch and Learn" program through the noon hour.

Attendees were able to ask Branch specific questions during and after her presentation.

Branch says there's evidence of how our country's past affects the present.

"I think it's important to talk about the 1940s because we have the impact of World War II, which in my estimation is tremendous historical war shed. The democratic rhetoric of the war wasn't necessarily practiced here in the United States, but we do see movement toward my end from the federal level down to the local level."

Branch believes in order to understand where we're going, you need to know where you've been.

"The past is always relevant," Branch said. "This is our history. As Americans I think it's really important that we understand where we've come from and also understand how much of what happened in the past can affect our present and will affect our future. And this is something many Americans don't know anything about."

Branch gave an additional lecture Monday evening at seven to a whole new audience, as well.

For additional information about the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, log onto this website.

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