Oct. 1, 2018 – As part of Salina Public Library’s community-wide read, Salina Reads, local historian Marie D. Johnson will present “The Lives of African Americans in Salina, Kansas, During Segregation.” The free public presentation will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in the library’s Prescott Room.

Johnson will use first-hand accounts in detailing the endurance of racial discrimination and how the African American community responded during segregation. She will discuss life after the era faded away and how it has impacted the lives of today’s African Americans in the Salina community.

Johnson’s presentation reflects themes explored in this year’s Salina Reads selection, “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, on a local level. In his book, Noah writes about his childhood in South Africa and the effects of Apartheid, a strict system of racial segregation.

Johnson is a graduate of Bethany College in Lindsborg. She was the first place winner of the 2016 Kansas Association of Historians for the best scholarly paper for an undergraduate and third place winner for the 2016 Best of KWU for her thesis “The Election of Robert C. Caldwell, Salina’s first African American Mayor”. In addition, she is a United States Army Veteran, 1992-2000. She is currently a substitute teacher for USD 305 and the wife of Justin D. Johnson. They are the proud parents of Isabella R.J. Johnson.

Salina Reads is an annual community-wide read that takes place in September and October. This will be the sixth year for the program. The community is encouraged to read the selected books, start conversations and attend programs. For more information on Salina Reads, visit salinapubliclibrary.org/salinareads, contact Lori Berezovsky at [email protected] or (785) 825-4624, ext. 249, or visit the library at 301 W. Elm.