February is Black History Month

Black History Month, or African American History Month, is celebrated nationally each year during February. It is a time to highlight the contributions and achievements of African American individuals, as well as their struggles for freedom and equality in the United States.

Hennepin County libraries will honor Black History Month this February with public programs, displays and activities in libraries, and recommended online book lists.

You are also welcome to visit our unique collections at Sumner Library and Minneapolis Central Library to dig deeper into the rich history of African Americans:

Sudduth Collection at Sumner Library

Huttner Abolition and Anti-Slavery Collection at Minneapolis Central Library's Special Collections.

 

Programs and events During Black History Month 2017

History Comes Alive: Emily O. Goodridge Grey
African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. Their history comes alive in this series of interactive dramatic reenactments. Emily O. Goodridge Grey was an African American social activist, pioneer and abolitionist in Minnesota during the 19th century. Collaborator: The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Sumner Library: Thursday, Feb. 2, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

History Comes Alive: Emily O. Goodridge Grey
African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. Their history comes alive in this series of interactive dramatic reenactments. Emily O. Goodridge Grey was an African American social activist, pioneer and abolitionist in Minnesota during the 19th century. Collaborator: The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Rockford Road Library: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2-3 p.m.

History Comes Alive: Frederick McKinley Jones
African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. Their history comes alive in this series of interactive dramatic reenactments. Meet Frederick McKinley Jones, a prolific black inventor with more than 60 inventions. Collaborator: The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Brookdale Library: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2-3 p.m.

Friends of the Maple Grove Library Book Club reading “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson
At Maple Grove Library: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

History Comes Alive: Jackie Robinson
African American men and women shaped not just Minnesota, but the entire nation. Their history comes alive in this series of interactive dramatic reenactments. Learn the story of Jackie Robinson along with Minnesota's Black 'n Brown players and their many surprising contributions to baseball's rich history. Collaborator: The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Minneapolis Central Library: Saturday, Feb. 11, 1-2 p.m.

Global Folk: A Rhythmic Journey Through Africa
Let Siama's Afrobilly take you on a musical trip through DR Congo, East Africa and beyond, and learn about traditional singing styles and rhythms along the way! Collaborator: COMPAS. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Nokomis Library, Saturday: Feb. 11, 2-3 p.m.

Black Lens: Magnificent Seven
Black Lens celebrates the work of black directors. In this remake of the classic 1960 western movie of the same name (itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "The Seven Samurai"), seven gunslingers join forces in order to protect a small town from a mining tycoon and his goons, who plan to seize the residents' land by force. PG-13. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, 2016. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Minneapolis Central Library, Sunday, Feb. 12, 11:30 a.m.

Author Talk: Terry Kerber
Kerber will discuss his book "Major Taylor," the inspiring story of a turn-of-the 20th-century African American bicycle racing champion and the men who helped him achieve worldwide fame. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
At Brooklyn Park Library: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2-4 p.m.

Black Lens: Creed
Black Lens celebrates the work of black directors. Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, attempts to follow in his father's footsteps and become a boxing legend in his own right. The young man travels to Philadelphia to find his late father's nemesis-turned-best friend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in order to recruit him as a trainer. PG-13. Directed by Ryan Coogler, 2016. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Minneapolis Central Library, Friday, Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m.

Celebrating Minnesota’s Black Medical Community Past and Present
Celebrate Black History Month by honoring the achievements of Minnesota's Black Medical Community from the 1940s to the present. Medical doctors from the esteemed Crutchfield family will also lead a panel discussion sharing their experiences of being practicing Black physicians in Minnesota for more than five decades. A Q&A period will follow and entertainment will be provided. Sponsor: Minnesota's Black Community Project.
At Minneapolis Central Library: Saturday, Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota
A century before Kirby Puckett led the Minnesota Twins to World Series championships, Minnesota was home to countless talented African American baseball players. Hear the stories of unsung heroes and forgotten stars who battled discrimination and other hardships to play the game they loved from Frank M. White, author of "They Played for the Love of the Game" and son of a Minnesota black baseball legend. Sponsor: Friends of the Augsburg Park Library. Partner: Richfield Human Rights Commission.
At Augsburg Park Library, Saturday: Feb. 18, 2-3 p.m.

The Woodson Lectures: The Origins and Purpose of Black History Month
The Woodson Lectures series honors the continued legacy of African American achievement and contributions to American history. Educator, author, historian and journalist Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926, which has grown into what we now recognize as Black History Month. Professor Mahmoud El-Kati will kick off the series with "The Origins and Purpose of Black History Month."
At North Regional Library, Thursday, Feb. 23, 6-7:30 p.m.

Laughing in the Library with Shed-G .
Popular comedian, actor and KMOJ radio personality Shed-G will be sure to tickle your funny bone. Sponsor: Friends of the Sumner Library.
At Sumner Library: Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30-7:45 p.m.

Black Lens: Cadillac Records
Black Lens celebrates the work of black directors. Directed by TV veteran Darnell Martin, this musical drama documents the compelling true-life story of the Chicago record label that helped the world discover such legendary artists as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Chuck Berry. Rated R. Directed by Darnell Martin, 2008. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Minneapolis Central Library, Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:45 p.m.

Hosmer World Music Concert Series: Siama
Enjoy the live music of Central African guitarist Siama. Sponsor: Friends of the Hosmer Library. Collaborator: This program is made possible by a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council in collaboration with the Lyndale Neighborhood Association and KFAI Radio.
At Hosmer Library: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2-4 p.m.

Black History on Film: February One
Join us for a viewing of "February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four" (2004) - the inspiring story surrounding the 1960 Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins that revitalized the Civil Rights Movement. Part of the PBS Independent Lens series.
At East Lake Library, Sunday, Feb. 26, 1:30 p.m.

Housing Discrimination and Integration in South Minneapolis
Kirsten Delegard and Kevin Ehrman-Solberg of Historyapolis will share their Mapping Prejudice study of racial covenants and housing segregation in 20th-century Minneapolis. Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commissioner Ian Stade will give an introduction to the legacy of housing discrimination and the heroes of housing integration in South Minneapolis. He will talk about Arthur and Edith Lee and the 1931 race riot that occurred outside their home when they moved into a segregated neighborhood, and pioneers of housing integration Archie Givens Sr. and Edward Tilsen. Residents of the Tilsenbilt housing development will be invited to reminisce and share their experiences.
At Hosmer Library: Sunday, Feb. 26, 3-5 p.m.

Black Lens: Shaft
Black Lens celebrates the work of black directors. Richard Roundtree cuts a startlingly powerful heroic figure as John Shaft, "the cat who won't cop out, when there's danger all about" in this seminal action film. Rated R. Directed by Gordon Parks, 1971. Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
At Minneapolis Central Library, Monday, Feb. 27, 6:45 p.m.

 

Recommended Book Lists

Picture books to celebrate Black History

Coretta Scott King Award

Black History: Inventors and Scientists for kids

African American fiction for kids

African American nonfiction for kids

African American fiction for teens

Black History for teens

Black Women's History for adults

Black History in Minnesota for adults

Black History Month 2017 National Theme: Crisis In Education for adults

African American nonfiction for adults

African American fiction adults

If you like August Wilson’s plays

 

Online Resources

Biography in Context

Glanton Collection of photographs at Minneapolis Central Library’s Special Collections

Social Explorer

U.S. History in Context

Umbra Search from Minitex