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Queens Library hosts slate of Black History Month events

From its Central Library on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, to Queens Village, Flushing, Steinway, Hollis, Pomonok, Rosedale, Baisley Park, Far Rockaway, Arverne and Cambria Heights, the branches of the Queens Library will be alive with the art and culture of the black experience during the next month.All the programs are free and the full schedule of events can be obtained at www.queenslibrary.org.One artist who will bring her talents to Queens for Black History Month is filmmaker and activist Alexis Caputo, who said she will use the spoken word and movement to celebrate the experiences of Afro-Caribbean women.Caputo, whose biological father is an immigrant from the Bahamas, grew up there and in Florida, but has spent her last 23 years in New York. Her mother is an American woman who remarried an Italian American. Caputo also said she maintains strong ties to her family in the Bahamas. All of this gives Caputo a unique take on race relations and ideas of self-identity in modern American."Negotiating different cultures has given me a lot of insight into race relations in this country," Caputo said.Caputo will perform excerpts from her solo shows "Deconstruction and Deliverance" - which was performed at three off-Broadway theaters in 2002 - and "The Proud Pilgrim," which she recently completed.Asked what themes "Deconstruction and Deliverance" deals with, Caputo said: "Walls that have been erected and recycled truths. Things we believe have passed, but have not. Police brutality, racism, oppression, sexuality issues.""The Proud Pilgrim," the newer of the two pieces, is a discussion of Caputo's life during the last three years, the artist said."It's literally a collection of pieces that reflect the last three years of my life," Caputo said.Caputo's first performance is scheduled Feb. 10, during the Library's annual Langston Hughes Celebration, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, at the Langston Hughes Auditorium, 100-01 Northern Blvd. in Flushing. Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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