For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, January 13, 2011—The Free Library of Philadelphia is celebrating Black History Month this February with special events highlighting important Africans and African Americans in history. See below for detailed event listings.

More Than A Pretty Face: An Introduction to the African Mask Tradition
Now through February 25 | Parkway Central Library
Exhibition of more than 100 unique African masks from 40 West and Central African peoples, including rare, colorful examples of Temne Ode-lay and Jolly Society headdress masks (Sierra Leone) and Ibibio Mami Wata face masks (Nigeria)

Black History Month Trivia Contest
Now through February 28 | Overbrook Park Branch
Come challenge yourself and see how much you already know! Throughout the month of February, children and teens can test their skills and answer the black history question of the day. You may use the Library’s resources to find the correct answers. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each age group at the end of the month!

African American Poetry Reading
February 1, 4:00 p.m. | Logan Branch
Celebrate African American poets at this lively reading.

Jessica B. Harris Author Event: High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
February 1, 7:30 p.m. | Parkway Central Library
From the accomplished food historian and cookbook author Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog is an engaging social history of African American cuisine that tracks the journey of the people and the food that define the culture.

African Head Wraps
February 2, 4:00 p.m. | Wynnefield Branch
Join Aitya Ole Malik’Khan as she demonstrates the art of tying African (Gele and Lappa dressing) head and body wraps.

African American Movie Marathon
Thursdays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24, 4:00 p.m. | Logan Branch
Enjoy screenings of African American, family-friendly movies! For information about the selected film titles, please call 215-685-9156.

Doll Making
February 7, 4:00 p.m. | Wynnefield Branch
Join Patty Greenspoon as she provides an interactive demonstration on how to create colorful beaded dolls based on the South African Ndebele culture using beads, clay, paint, and yarn.

Meet the Author Ron Alexander: Don’t Tell Me What to Do: A Spiritual Memoir
February 7, 5:00 p.m. | Charles L. Durham Branch
February 16, 4:00 p.m. | Wynnefield Branch
February 19, 2:00 p.m. | Kingsessing Branch
February 22, 1:00 p.m. | Cecil B. Moore Branch
Ron Alexander, a publishing industry journalist for more than thirty years, will discuss his most recent book, Don’t Tell Me What to Do, which chronicles his life from 1954 through 2005. During this period, Alexander experienced social change that shaped our country’s ideals.

African American Crafts for Children
February 8, 4:00 p.m. | Logan Branch
School-age children are invited to learn about African American culture and create a take-home craft.

Annette Gordon-Reed Author Event: Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869
February 8, 7:30 p.m. | Parkway Central Library
Ticket required: $15 adults/$7 students. To order, call 1-800-595-4TIX or order online at

In Andrew Johnson, Annette Gordon-Reed—the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello and a leading historian of slavery in the United States—illustrates the pivotal moments and missed opportunities of Abraham Lincoln’s successor in the wake of the Civil War.

Stories of Freedom
February 12, 2:00 p.m. | Parkway Central Library Children’s Department
The Margaret S. Halloran Family Literacy Programming Series presents Carla “Mom Read” Wiley and “Storytelling Irma” Gardner Hammond of Progeny’s Legacy Jamaa. They will tell stories about Minty, Sweet Clara, and the Freedom Quilt through poems and songs that were used to help people of color escape to freedom.

Black History Month Celebration in Stories
February 15, 4:00 p.m. | Logan Branch
All are invited to listen to stories about famous and influential African Americans.

Dambisa Moyo Author Event: How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly—and the Stark Choices Ahead
February 15, 7:30 p.m. | Parkway Central Library
Ticket required: $15 Adults/$7 Students. To order, call 1-800-595-4TIX or order online at
Economist Dambisa Moyo—author of the controversial bestseller Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa—examines how politically motivated policy decision about capital, labor, and technology unbalance the global economy. This event is the Barbara Gohn Day Memorial Lecture.

Storytelling with Carla Wiley
February 23, 4:00 p.m. | Roxborough Branch
Master storyteller Carla Wiley of Keepers of the Culture will perform entertaining and dramatic African American stories.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.



Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850