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
There are also exhibits related to Black History at Cargill Gallery at Minneapolis Central Library and Hennepin Gallery at Hennepin County Government Center.
Global Folk: West African Dance and Drum: - Let Christian Adeti and Titambe immerse you in the rhythms and culture of West Africa at Hosmer Library, Saturday, February 3, 2018, 2-3 p.m.
Author Talk: Davu Seru - Contemporary writer, artist and Minneapolis native Seru will discuss his latest book, "Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis." During the 1970s and '80s, photographer Chamblis captured the vibrant social and artistic life of the Twin Cities African American community. Seru will discuss these photos in the context of the day, as well as that of the Twin Cities community in the 21st century. Register online or Ask Us.
Woodson Lecture Series: Silent Covenants - Lissa Jones and Professor Mahmoud El-Kati will discuss the idea of race and the function of white supremacy as the foundation of America's racial problems. They will analyze the U.S. government's inability, over many generations, to address the Civil Rights Movement.
Hopkins Library Book Club will discuss "A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines, Tuesday, February 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Lending copies may be picked up at the service desk prior to meeting.
Stories of Wit and Wisdom - Listen to lively stories from African and African American folktales. Learn lessons for tricksters, join in with call and response, and take home little bits of wisdom. Collaborator: Black Storytellers Alliance. Brookdale Library, Wednesday, February 7, 10-10:45 a.m.
On Screen: Black History Month - Watch the film, and also celebrate the moments, memories and people in Black history that inspire you.
Twenty-Five African American Artists You Should Know - Learn about African American artists and their works that are widely collected by museums and art auction collectors. Discover how to recognize the style, the important characteristics of their art, and major influences on their work. Collaborator: Obsidian Arts. At Edina Library, Friday, February 9, 1-2:15 p.m. Register online or Ask Us.
Lady Days - Local jazz singer Thomasina Petrus will present a musical bio performance of some of America's first and finest female jazz vocalists including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. Petrus will channel these jazz greats of the past celebrating their talent and strength while honoring their struggle and determination.
"The Lost Negroes of North America," with filmmaker Ralph Crowder - Independent media journalist/filmmaker Ralph L. Crowder III will share an examination of northern Black family and community life with rare video footage captured circa 1945-1955 in South Minneapolis. At Hosmer Library, Saturday, February 10, 2018, 3-4:30 p.m.
Honoring Black History Month: Erica Armstrong Dunbar - the Bloomington Human Rights Commission invites you to hear the only detailed account of Ona Judge, an 18th century fugitive, as Erica Armstrong Dunbar tells it in her book, "Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge." Register online. 1800 West Old Shakopee Road,
Bloomington, MN 55431, Tuesday, February 13, 6-8 p.m. Hennepin County Library is a co-sponsor.
Minnesota Stories: 150 Years of African American Art - Take a look at the art practices and lives of professional African American artists that either lived and/or worked in Minnesota since the middle of the 19th century. At East Lake Library, Tuesday, February 13, 6:30-7:45 p.m.
The Golden Valley Library American History Discussion Club will discuss Jim Crow, 1877-1960 on Thursday, February 15, 10-11 a.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.
Celebrating Minnesota's Black Photographers - Celebrate Black History Month by honoring the achievements of Minnesota black photographer Olivia Crutchfield. At Minneapolis Central Library, Saturday, February 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Elma Gene’s Journey to Freedom - The story of Elma Gene's Journey to Freedom was written as a play based on the brave and courageous children who participated in the Children March in Birmingham, Alabama during 1963. It will be told through engaging storytelling and powerful monologues by presenter Michelle Perdue. For all ages. Register online or Ask Us. At Brooklyn Park Library, Saturday, February 17, 2-3 p.m.
African American Art and the Civil Rights Movement - Learn about the political protest in art by African American artists prior to the Black Arts Movement of 1968, how artists made comment on social conditions, and the role that period played on the art they produced and their personal lives. Collaborator: Obsidian Arts. At Golden Valley Library, Tuesday, February 20, 6-7:15 p.m.
African American Artists in Minnesota Museums - Discover the work of African American artists that can be seen in museums in Minnesota. Also learn the importance of the artwork in terms of the artist's career and a shared cultural legacy. Collaborator: Obsidian Arts. At Pierre Bottineau Library, Thursday, February 22, 6-7:15 p.m. Register online or Ask Us.
Book Launch: The Scott Collection - Minneapolis author and publisher Walter Scott wrote several books in the 1960s and 70s profiling hundreds of community and professional leaders in Minneapolis' and Minnesota's black community. These unique portraits have been compiled into a single volume now being republished as "The Scott Collection." Scott's children will discuss their late father and the significance of his work. At Minneapolis Central Library, Saturday, February 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.