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Alabama’s Antebellum period the focus of Lunch at the Library

Selma-Dallas County Public Library director Becky Nichols addresses the crowd at Thursday’s Lunch at the Library event.--Sarah Robinson

Selma-Dallas County Public Library director Becky Nichols addresses the crowd at Thursday’s Lunch at the Library event.–Sarah Robinson

About 40 people who made a trip to the Selma-Dallas County Public Library Thursday were surrounded by food, fellowship and historical information about Antebellum Alabama.

The residents were guests of the library’s monthly Lunch at the Library, which gives the public to enjoy a meal while learning about a book from the author’s perspective. September’s event featured Jim Lewis, the author of  “Clearing the Thickets: A History of Antebellum Alabama.”

“It’s our way of kind of reaching out into the world, and bringing authors in to hear their story,” said Selma-Dallas County Public Library director Becky Nichols. “Of course, libraries are about books and people. This brings books and people together.”

After guests had about 30 minutes to eat and mingle, Lewis gave a presentation discussing the basics of his book, which explains how the social, cultural and economic advances during the Antebellum period in Alabama affected and interrupted the Civil War. The English translation of Choctaw, which is clearers of the thickets, inspired the book title.

The presentation was followed by a questions and answer session.

Lewis sold autographed copies of his book after the program.

“I wanted to start writing about Alabama History, because I was so interested in it,” Lewis said. “I thought I could learn more about it if I actually researched, sat down and wrote a book about it. “

Nichols said she enjoyed watching the community explore their creative side more deeply.

“It gives folks a chance to find out more about books and writers and why they write what they do,” she said. “Maybe it will inspire writers within all of us.”

Nichols said it’s always good to see so many residents support a Lunch at the Library event, but her main focus is bettering the community with such great festivities.

“The important thing is that we keep people in Selma and Dallas County enjoying each other, learning from each other and growing from that experience,” Nichols said. “It’s all about fellowship and learning. I think that’s the part that makes us feel the best.”