Palm Beach County Library System celebrates Black History Month

Posted 1/29/21

The Palm Beach County Library System will be offering events during Black History Month that honor the heritage, contributions and achievements of...

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Palm Beach County Library System celebrates Black History Month


The Palm Beach County Library System will be offering events during Black History Month that honor the heritage, contributions and achievements of the African-American community.

This national celebration, initiated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History,” has its roots in a weeklong observation in 1926. Although we are not able to offer the events in person this year, participants are invited to enjoy a wide variety of events accessible online via Zoom. Preregister and join these free live events, or view the recordings on our digital activities page at

To learn more about Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), visit

Adult Activities

• Tuesday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. — Writers LIVE! Presents: Dr. Aisha Johnson — Distinguished professor and researcher, Dr. Aisha Johnson discusses, “The African American Struggle for Library Equality: The Untold Story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund Library Program.”

• Saturday, Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m. — Celebrate Black History Month: Bessie Coleman - The Bronze Aviatrix — Storyteller and Chautauqua scholar, Ilene Evans offers a historical depiction of Bessie Coleman, a pioneer of aviation. (60 min.)

• Tuesday, Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m. — Trivia: Black History Month — Think you know everything about … Black History Month? Test your knowledge in a few rounds of trivia fun, virtually! Participants will be sent a link and instructions before the game. Winner gets library swag! (60 min.)

• Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. — Black History Month Discussion: “The 1619 Project,” by New York Times Magazine. — Ronald Glass will lead a discussion of the articles “The Wealth Gap,” by Trymaine Lee, “Traffic,” by Kevin M. Kruse and “The Barbaric History of Sugar in America,” by Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Learn how information in these articles has impacted Palm Beach County. Articles can be accessed at (45 min.)

• Saturday, Feb. 13, 2 p.m. — Celebrate Black History Month: Spiritual Songs, a Musical Legacy of the History of the Negro Spiritual — Using the art of storytelling and music, this program covers the development of the negro spiritual and its impact on all musical genres. Dr. Naima Johnston-Bush will perform and discuss the song’s significance as a historical American art. (45 min.)

• Tuesday, Feb. 16, 6 p.m. — Black History Month Discussion: Point of View (POV) Film Screening – “Whose Streets?” — ©PBS. (90 min.) Damon Davis’ and Sabaah Folayan’s acclaimed documentary is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Return for a discussion of the film on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2:30 p.m. This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent nonfiction film series on PBS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m. — Book Discussion: “Passing,” by Nella Larsen — A book described as “a powerful, thrilling, and tragic tale about the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today.”

• Thursday, Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m. — Book Discussion: “A Kind of Freedom,” by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton — Debut novelist Sexton delivers a multigenerational story based in New Orleans. Join in a lively discussion of this 2017 National Book Award contender. Print, e-book and audio copies available through the library.

• Friday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m. — Book Discussion: “The Known World,” by Edward P. Jones — Pick up a copy of the book at the West Boca Branch or your local library. E-books and e-audiobooks are available through cloudLibrary.

• Saturday, Feb. 20, 2:30 p.m. — Celebrate Black History Month: Meet Artist Kianga Jinaki & Create an African Textile Portrait — Kianga Jinaki will share her experience as an artist and demonstrate how to create a beautiful African textile portrait. Pick up materials from Feb. 1-19 at the Main Library’s research desk, while supplies last. No sewing required.

• Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2 p.m. — Celebrate Black History Month: Poetry Reading of Well-Known African American Poets — Celebrate the poems of Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni in different languages accompanied with background music.

• Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. — Informed & Engaged Discussion: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson — This Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s latest book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Hosted in partnership with the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission and Converge & Associates. Copies of the book are available in the library catalog. (60 min.)

• Thursday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m. — African American Genealogy: Leaving No Stone Unturned — Dr. Deborah Abbot will teach basic genealogy tools needed to successfully begin to trace family histories. The importance of completing genealogy forms such as pedigree charts, gathering home sources, recording oral histories, researching census records and vital records, and staying organized will be emphasized. Using libraries and archives along with internet databases will be explored. Attendees will learn tips and strategies on how to move their family research from the present back to slavery, as well as how to find the records that will make this process successful.

• Saturday, Feb. 27, 2:30 p.m. — POV Film Discussion: “Whose Streets?” — Dr. Tameka Hobbs, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of History for Florida Memorial University, leads a discussion on Damon Davis’ and Sabaah Folayan’s acclaimed documentary which examines the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent nonfiction film series on PBS:

Children & Teen Activities

• Tuesday, Feb. 2, 3 p.m. — Black History Month: Let’s Do the Harlem Shake! — Explore the cultural movement of the Harlem Renaissance through art, music and poetry. Create your own inspired art! PDF available with suggested materials. Ages 6 & up.

• Friday, Feb. 5, 4 p.m. — Black Excellence in Cooking — Make no-bake snowballs, a sweet treat, using a few ingredients with a recipe from African-American cookbook author Patty Pinner and learn about Florida-born Edouardo Jordan, the first Black chef to win a James Beard Award in 2018 for Best New Restaurant. Ages 8-12.

• Monday, Feb. 8, 1 p.m. — Homeschool Meetup: Black History Month — Read “Two Friends,” by Dean Robbins. Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. Learn more about the Library of Congress collection in his name. Grades K-6.

• Friday, Feb. 12, 4 p.m. — Black Excellence in Books — See how easy it is to make a book or zine to tell your story or a story with a hero you can look up to. Chat about Jerry Craft, author of “New Kid,” a Sunshine State Young Readers Award-winning comic, and Marley Dias who started her super successful 1,000 Black Girl Books Initiative for more diverse stories when she was in elementary school. Ages 8-12.

• Tuesday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. — Teen Trivia: Blackout — Compete for prizes with your knowledge of Wakanda, Birmingham and beyond. Fun trivia about Black history, pop stars, places and icons: from athletes and actors, to superheroes and scientists. Ages 12 & up.

• Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m. — Living in Color — Celebrate Black stories and the authors that bring them to life. Ages 4 & up.

• Wednesday, Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m. — Strolling Back in Time — Take a look at pictures and facts about famous African Americans, while listening to some classic Motown music. Ages 6 & up.

• Friday, Feb. 19, 4 p.m. — Black Excellence in Art — Get your paints ready to make a colorful masterpiece while we chat about artist Alma Thomas, known for her bright joyful art, and discover the bright geometric patterns of Faith Ringgold, artist and picture book author and illustrator. Ages 8-12.

• Friday, Feb. 26, 4 p.m. — Black Excellence in Science — Make models of DNA and RNA with candy and learn about science as we chat about Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, immunologist and lead researcher who made the COVID-19 vaccine possible, and learn about an earlier African-American pioneer, Dr. Mae Jemison, an engineer and medical doctor who became the first Black woman to travel into space! Ages 8-12.

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