Madison Lenoir, 8, shows off her woven paper art at the West Chicago Avenue library on Saturday, Feb. 18. | Shanel Romain

On Feb. 18, the West Chicago Avenue Branch Library, 4856 W. Chicago Ave., held a craft event called African American Craft: Embrace Your Uniqueness. The event was for young people ages six to 13.

“Today’s event is being done by Annie Chu who has been a perfect partner with the West Chicago library,” said Shirley Wallace, the branch library’s manager. “This is a voluntary program that she’s doing for the library and she’s doing woven history art. This is great for our children to know this history.” 

Annie Chu, a kids craft designer by trade shares her craft ideas for Black history month at the West Chicago library on Saturday, Feb. 18. | Shanel Romain

During the hour-long workshop, participants were taught to weave construction paper of various brown shades representing the various Black skin tones. After the weaving process, they pasted it onto a border with quotes from well-known African Americans.

“Some of the kids are weaving for the first time,” said Chu. “To me this project reminded me of a lot of inspiring quotes from people of color who either passed or are living like Serena Williams and [Barack] Obama. I wanted to keep it current.”

Qiana Lenoir and her 8-year-old daughter, Madison Lenoir, are regular attendees of the library whenever events are happening.

Qiana Lenoir and her 8 year old daughter, Madison Lenoir along with Annie Chu creating their woven art at the west Chicago library on Saturday, Feb. 18. | Shanel Romain

“What she has to say about the weaving workshop is good,” said Lenoir, referring to Chu. “It helps us use our imagination, one of those forgotten skills. We can always sit down on a device but using our imagination and going back to our hands, just taking a moment one on one with my baby I enjoy that. I look for those things. We do a lot of reading at home so these are more quotes we’re gonna add to our repertoire. Black history is 365 days in our house.”

“It was very fun to [weave],” said Madison. “We were cutting the papers and also taping and weaving it. It was a little difficult.”

Luz Pineda and her son Yuniel Pineda show off their woven paper art at the Chicago West library on Saturday, Feb. 18. | Shanel Romain

“I like this project because it teaches us about all the different skin tones and gives us the quotes and we’re gonna hang these up in our rooms,” said Luz Pineda, who attended the event with her son, Yuniel Pineda.