Baton Rouge: In celebration of Black History Month, the State Library of Louisiana will hold a program focusing on the literary aspect of black history at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the State Library of Louisiana's seminar center, located at 701 N. Fourth St. in Baton Rouge. The program is free and open to the public.

University of Louisiana Professor Marcia Gaudet, director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, will present the special program about Louisiana writer Ernest Gaines. The presentation will focus on Gaines, his obsession with his native state and his commitment to the people who provided him with the roots of his artistic vision. It will feature the short documentary film ‘An Obsession of Mine:’ The Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines. As a bonus, Gaudet will distribute a limited number of free 2011 Gaines Center calendars to audience members as a gift from the Gaines Center.

"We are delighted to provide those in our area this unique opportunity to view this short documentary created for the Gaines Center,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Also, as we celebrate Black History Month, we have the added bonus of hearing the Center’s director expand upon the film’s theme of Gaines’ commitment to Louisiana and its people in his heart and in his work.”

Marcia Gaudet is the Doris Meriwether/Board of Regents Professor of English at UL. She has published widely on Louisiana folklore and literature, and her book Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America won the 2005 Chicago Folklore Prize. A colleague of Ernest Gaines at UL for more than 20 years, she is the co-editor of the books Porch Talk with Ernest Gaines and Mozart and Leadbelly: Stories and Essays by Ernest Gaines. Her latest book, ‘This Louisiana Thing That Drives Me’: The Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines, was co-authored with Reggie Young and Wiley Cash. In addition, she is co-producer of the short documentary ‘An Obsession of Mine’: The Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines.

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