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Boston Public Library celebrates Black History Month

Boston Public Library will observe Black History Month in February with a series of activities and events for all age groups. Highlights from the month’s programming include a variety of music programming, crafting, and themed talks:

  • Celebrating Black History with Music. For children ages 6-12, Boston musician Bill Lowe connects audiences with Black History Month through music at thirteen branch locations throughout February:
  • The Skin on My Chin: Diversity Workshop for Children. Michelle Chalmers reads from her rhyming picture book The Skin on My Chin, which explores diversity, ancestry, and conversation about skin. Children ages 6 and up learn about the sun and the diverse beauty of humanity, followed by a craft at eleven locations:
  • Express Yourself. Teens ages 12-18 discuss what Black History means with their friends, local activists, and writers in lively conversation or share their stories in poetry or prose to read aloud at seventeen locations on weekday afternoons:
  • Family Movie Nights. The Mattapan Branch hosts a Tuesday night film series at 5:30 p.m. honoring Black History Month. Movie titles include The Wiz, Ruby Bridges, Princess & the Frog, and Akeelah and the Bee. The Mattapan Branch is located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • Sidney Poitier Film Series. The Lower Mills Branch hosts a Friday film series at 1 p.m. featuring Sidney Poitier films. Movie titles include To Sir, with Love, A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night. The Lower Mills Branch is located at 27 Richmond Street in Dorchester.
  • Epic TV & the Epic Black Experience. John De Vito, BPL staff member and author of Epic Television Miniseries explains the important role of African Americans in TV films and miniseries on Thursday, February 13, at 6 p.m. at the Uphams Corner Branch, located at 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester.
  • Hubert Harrison Talk. Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry gives a talk on Hubert Harrison, the voice of Harlem radicalism. Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) was the foremost organizer of the Socialist Party of New York, and the principal radical influence on the Garvey movement. Saturday, February 15, at 2 p.m. at the Dudley Branch, located at 65 Warren Street in Roxbury.
  • Creating Textile with Adinkra Symbols. A program for all ages, create your own craft using adinkra visual symbols, which represent proverbs or concepts on Saturday, February 15, at 2:30 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • Children’s Music Concert. Award-winning storyteller and singer Valerie Stephens performs stories and songs for children of all ages on Tuesday, February 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Connolly Branch, located at 433 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.
  • West African Dance Workshop. Joh Camara teaches children ages 6 and up the art of West African dancing on Tuesday, February 18, at 4:30 p.m. at the East Boston Branch, located at 365 Bremen Street.

The complete schedule of upcoming events at Boston Public Library locations, for Black History Month and beyond, is available at

Also in February, Boston Public Library publishes its annual Black is booklist, a staff compilation of recent books by and about African Americans for adult readers. The 2014 list includes a variety of genres and works by authors such as Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Sidney Poitier.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

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