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

The Free Library Celebrates Black History Month

PHILADELPHIA, February 1, 2022—The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to celebrate Black History Month throughout February with extensive virtual and in-person programming that examines and illuminates the vast achievements of Black Americans and the systemic barriers that have been placed in their way throughout history.

“The depth of Black history and culture in Philadelphia and across the country gives us so much to celebrate and amplify during Black History Month. The Free Library staff has curated dozens of events and programs for all ages to celebrate that culture and to examine the great accomplishments African Americans contributed to the building of our country,” said Kelly Richards, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Programs invite attendees to listen, learn, and share their thoughts about African American culture and experiences. Listed below are highlights of our virtual Black History Month programming. For a complete up-to-date listing of all upcoming events, visit

(Quilt) Pieces of Black History
Philadelphia City Institute, 1905 Locust Street and Nicetown-Tioga Library, 3720 North Broad Street
Ongoing, Monday-Thursday | 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.; Fridays |1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Stop by the library anytime this month to create a piece of history: a unique paper quilt square featuring your favorite Black authors, books written by Black authors, or quotes by Black historical (and current) figures—feel free to get creative! At the end of the month, we will piece together each of our squares to debut a beautiful quilt, uniquely made by you to commemorate Black history month. We invite all children, teens, and adults to participate.

Black History DIY Film Discussion Kit
Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
While supplies last

Come check out everything you need to host your own film discussion with your pod! Each kit comes with a film about Black history and/or by a Black filmmaker, snacks, discussion questions to talk about after you watch the film, and a themed book list. Just return the DVD! Movie selections available for adults, teens and kids. 

Author Event: Brendan Slocumb | The Violin Conspiracy
Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
Thursday, February 3 | 7:30 p.m.

A public and private school music educator for more than 20 years, Brendan Slocumb has performed on violin with the Washington Metropolitan Symphony, the Prince George’s Philharmonic, and the Alexandria Symphony. The Violin Conspiracy, Slocumb’s debut novel, follows a Black musician as he confronts the injustices of U.S. history, racism in the profession of classical music, and the theft of his great-great-grandfather’s priceless Stradivarius violin.

The History of Soul Food by the Frazier Family Coalition
Saturday, February 5 | 10:00 a.m.

Join Chef Yuhnis Sydnor from Sugga Mamas Diabetes Prevention and Management as he explores the humble history of soul food and creates a few traditional favorites with a healthy twist. Register for the free, virtual event through Eventbrite. This class is supported by the Frazier Family Coalition and Jefferson Health at the Culinary Literacy Center

Virtual Black History Month Celebration
Wednesday, February 16 | 11:00 a.m.

During this Virtual Event, participants will engage in conversations regarding local Philadelphia pioneers and historical locations, inspiring young adult African American poets, as well as share information regarding genealogy and ancestry projects. To register, please contact Wynnefield Library at (215) 685-0298. All registered attendees will receive Zoom details prior to the date.

In addition to the schedule of programs for Black History Month, the Free Library is highlighting resources including access to The HistoryMakers oral history database, the largest video collection of African American Oral history in the nation. This access is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation. Free Library cardholders can access The HistoryMakers Digital Archive at A library card number and PIN is required to login.

The Free Library also provides free access to the Black Newspapers collection from ProQuest, which includes remote full-text access to The Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), The Chicago Defender (1910-1975), The Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002), The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), The Atlanta Daily Word (1931-2003), The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), The Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), The Michigan Chronicle (1936-2010), The Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2013), and The Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991).


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