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 4, 2018—The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to celebrate Black History Month throughout the month of February with extensive programming in many of its neighborhood libraries, including craft workshops, performances, film screenings, and discussions.

Many of these programs will be offered in tandem with the Library’s One Book, One Philadelphia program, which kicks off on January 17 and delves into such themes as urban living, gentrification, and racial identity. Programs inspired by the featured reading selection, Another Brooklyn by Jacquline Woodson, as well as the youth companion selections—Woodson’s memoir-in-verse Brown Girl Dreaming and her children’s book This Is the Rope: A Story of the Great Migration—will offer Philadelphians many pathways to connect to and discuss our country’s racial past and present.

Listed below are highlights of our system-wide Black History Month programming. For a complete up-to-date listing of all upcoming events, visit

Teen Poetry Slam
Friday, February 2 ¦4:00 p.m.

The Rare Book Department, in conjunction with the Philly Slam League and Parkway Central’s Teen Center, will host a poetry slam in its William B. Dietrich Gallery. Items from the Harlem Renaissance on display will serve as inspiration.
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street

Film Screening: Fences
This film, based on the play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, examines a working-class African American father trying to raise his family while coming to terms with the events of his life. This is a One Book, One Philadelphia program.
Saturday, February 3 ¦ 1:00 p.m. at Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Avenue 
Wednesday, February 28 ¦ 5:00 p.m. at Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Avenue 

Hip-Hop Jazz Musicology with Ali R. Richardson
Tuesday, February 6 | 4:30 p.m.

Listen to live music and learn the social, historical, and musical influences on hip-hop and how it relates to other genres.
Fumo Family Library, 2437 S. Broad Street

Black Lives on the Front Line
Wednesday, February 7  | 11:00 a.m.

The Senior Center’s Military History Club will discuss the legacy and experiences of African American veterans.
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street

Shoe-Box Lunches: Presented by the Culinary Literacy Center
Make shoe-box lunches—which for over a century have sustained African Americans by providing portable sustenance—and discuss their significant in shaping current approaches to food and social justice, with local chefs Ashbell McElveen and Chris Paul. This is a One Book, One Philadelphia program.
Wednesday, February 7 | 5:30 p.m. at Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Avenue 
Thursday, February 8 | 3:30 p.m. at Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd Street

Philly Bop Dance Class
Saturday, February 17 | 2:00 p.m.
Participants will learn about the history of the “Philly Bop,” dating back to the 1940s and ‘50s, and get a beginner lesson on how to “Bop,” in this first class of a five-class series.
Blanch A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway

I, Too, Sing America: African American Writers Then and Now
Tuesday, February 20 | 4:30 p.m.

LEAP children and teens will learn about African American writers and poets of the past and present, discussing their work.
Haddington Library, 446 North 65th Street

Marie Maynard Daly Chemistry Fun
Wednesday, February 21 | 4:30 p.m.

Learn about chemist and scientist Marie Maynard Daly. Learn some chemistry and have fun conducting various chemistry activities!
Eastwick Library, 2851 Island Avenue

Mental Health, Trauma, and the African American Community: Panel Discussion
Thursday, February 21 | 6:00 p.m.   

Scholars, therapists, and health-ethics advocates will discuss experiences of trauma, PTSD, and mental-health issues as they relate to underserved communities, with a focus on disparities in access to mental-health services in the African American community. This is a One Book, One Philadelphia program.
Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library, 125 S. 52nd Street                 


The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


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