Tagged African American

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Poetry and Movement Building

by Suzanna Urminska and Sam Perduta Our words carry power—whether as balm or as burnish, our words have the power to come together to form poetry that recalls and reconnects a range of human experiences both personal and…

Memories of the Golden Age of Hip Hop

I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses Can’t define how I be dropping these mockeries Lyrically perform armed robbery - "Triumph (feat. Cappadonna)" by Wu-Tang Clan, 1997 I am a rap fan.…

Picture Book Highlights | Black History Month

This February, commemorate Black History Month with books that celebrate the history, culture, and beauty of Black Americans. Written and illustrated by #OwnVoices creators, these books are the perfect way to honor this important month.…

Picture Book Highlights | Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

On Monday, January 18, celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with us! These books honor Dr. King’s work and the impact of his amazing life during the Civil Rights Movement . A renowned speaker and activist, Dr. King’s words…

The History of Kwanzaa

Unlike many of the other holidays and traditions that we celebrate, Kwanzaa is one of the newest, at only 54 years old. It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way for African American families to reconnect to their roots and…

A Taste of African Heritage for Kwanzaa

Healthy Communities just wrapped a fall series of A Taste of African Heritage with instructor Paul O. Mims, who recently spoke with Oldways about Cooking, Culture, and Community During Covid .  A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH)…

Black History. Black News. Black Voices.

The Free Library is pleased to announce a new digital resource that provides access to the most distinguished African American Newspapers in the United States. Cardholders now have access to 10 historic Black newspapers that help piece…

Picture ebooks Highlights | The Old Truck

We are back with another Picture ebook Highlight , a series where we put the spotlight on an ebook that you can read at home, using the Free Library's Digital Media portal. This time we are going to talk about a book published back…

George Washington Carver: Inventor, Environmentalist, Mentor, and Role Model

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of…

In Appreciation of Octavia Butler

That’s all anybody can do right now. Live. Hold out. Survive. I don’t know whether good times are coming back again. But I know that won’t matter if we don’t survive these times. ― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of…

Juneteenth Matters

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and he had an announcement to make. More than two years before, President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The Civil…

Picture ebook Highlights | Celebrating Juneteenth!

Philadelphia's Mayor Kenney has declared Friday, June 19, 2020 a City holiday in recognition of Juneteenth! Juneteenth is the most popular annual celebration of Emancipation, and commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when Union…

A History Minute: The Many Firsts of Sadie T. M. Alexander

Women today often talk about the difficulty of "having it all", but Sadie T.M. Alexander was more concerned with "doing it all." She not only raised two children and worked to advance her husband’s political…

Visions of Black Future Month During Black History Month

I know its Black History Month, and we have a ton of programs  and resources  to share and celebrate, but February always makes me think of the title of N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning collection of stories, How Long…

Black History Month | A Boys Booklist for Toddlers!

Have you been on the lookout for children’s books with little faces like the ones you love? This booklist offers ten of our favorite children’s books, from Coretta Scot King Book Award winners to magnificently illustrated…

Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap and Building Up Black Generational Wealth

During Black History Month, the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement (OBME) is hosting a series on Black Generational Wealth , in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Office of Economic Opportunity…

Picture Book Highlights | Brown: A Deep and Varied Joy

Magnificence sometimes appears in the most commonplace observations. In the poetic celebration of self and nature,  Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration is a series of young brown girls admiring the many different browns…

Celebrating Everyday Experiences of Black Children and Families

Back in 2018, Denene Milner, children’s book writer and publisher, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times lamenting the scarcity of children’s books that "celebrate the humanity and everyday experiences of black…

Explore Black History with Your Family at the Free Library!

The Free Library is proud to honor Black History Month ! We’ll be celebrating, learning, and reflecting together, with a multitude of programs for the whole family at neighborhood libraries across the city. Explore local history…

Come Out for Sundays on Stage this Winter Season!

If you have yet to experience an afternoon with Sundays on Stage , you’re really missing out! One of the Free Library’s longest-running programs, this free-to-the-public event series features talented performers from all…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Making Her Mark: Philadelphia Women Fight for the Vote: Self-Guided Tour

The Making Her Mark exhibition, open by appointment weekday afternoons in the West Gallery of the Parkway Central Library, offers a look at the stories of Philadelphia women who built and sustained movements dedicated to voting rights.…

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Free Library resources in support of the Rosenbach's Digital Exhibition: "I Am an American!" The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Award-Winning African American Authors

Books by prize-winning writers.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture, and Law

This HeinOnline collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the U.S. and the English-speaking world. It includes nearly 2,000 titles, with every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery,…

Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)

Full access to the oldest continuously published daily Black newspaper in the United States.

HistoryMakers Digital Archive

The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is the nation's largest African American video oral history collection. It provides high-quality primary source content, with fully searchable transcripts, from thousands of people from a broad range of…

Historical Newspapers - Black Newspapers

Primary source material from ten historic Black newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, The Baltimore Afro-American, New York Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Los Angeles Sentinel, Atlanta Daily World, and the Cleveland Call and Post

America's Historical Imprints

Explore the nation’s past in unprecedented ways. Includes books, pamphlets, broadsides and other scarce printed material, centuries of American history, literature, culture, and daily life, and extensive indexing and full bibliographic…

American State Papers, 1789-1838

A rich source of primary material on many aspects of early American history, American State Papers, 1789-1838, features not only new bibliographic records for every one of its 6,354 publications, but also superior images created by…

Sonia Sanchez | Collected Poems

In conversation with M. Nzadi Keita, Poet-in-Residence, Associate Professor; co-coordinator, African-American/Africana Studies at Ursinus College, and author of Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass…

Deborah Willis | The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship

Deborah Willis, Ph.D. , is the author of  Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present ; Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present ; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in…

Kate Masur | Until Justice Be Done: America's First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction

Ellis Wachs Endowed Lecture In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist Kate Masur is the author of  An Example for All the Land , a Lincoln Prize finalist that examined Washington, D.C.’s role as a…

Don Lemon | This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition America’s sole Black primetime news anchor, Don Lemon has hosted  CNN Tonight  since 2014. Before joining the respected cable network in 2006, he worked for…

Yaba Blay | One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race

In conversation with Imani Perry Referred to by Michael Eric Dyson as “one of the most brilliant and committed critics and advocates writing and thinking and working on behalf of Black people today,” Dr. Yaba Blay is a scholar,…

Brontez Purnell | 100 Boyfriends

In conversation with Kaitlyn Greenidge Brontez Purnell is the author of Since I Laid My Burden Down , a debut novel about growing up gay in 1980s Alabama that “not only holds its own as queer literature, but also expands upon it” ( San…

Michael Eric Dyson | Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America

In conversation with Jon Meacham Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture Michael Eric Dyson is the author of Tears We Cannot Stop , an “eloquent, righteous, and inspired” ( Philadelphia Inquirer ) call for racial change that was named one of the…

Victor Wooten | The Spirit of Music: The Lesson Continues

In conversation with novelist and musician Wesley Stace A founding member of jazz fusion super group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, bass guitarist Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner and has been called “the Michael Jordan of the…

Nadia Owusu | Aftershocks: A Memoir

In conversation with writer and librarian Maisy Card, author of These Ghosts Are Family Nadia Owusu won a 2019 Whiting Award for her work on  Aftershocks . “A memoir that broods on lost identity and statelessness” ( Elle ), this debut…

James Oakes | The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution

In conversation with Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery  and Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution , winner of the Bancroft, Parkman, and Los Angeles Times Book…

Salamishah Tillet | In Search of The Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece

In conversation with Errin Haines, founding member and editor at large at The 19th, a new, nonprofit newsroom focused on the intersection of women, politics and policy. Salamishah Tillet is the author of Sites of Slavery , an…

VIRTUAL - Sadeqa Johnson | Yellow Wife

In conversation with Jennifer Weiner, bestselling author of numerous books including In Her Shoes and most recently Big Summer Yellow Wife tells the harrowing story of an enslaved woman forced to barter love and freedom while living in…

Ijeoma Oluo | Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A nuanced analysis of White male America” that “deftly combines history and sociological study with personal narrative” ( Washington Post ), Ijeoma Oluo’s So…

Jerald Walker | How to Make a Slave and Other Essays

In conversation with author, essayist, and radio host Solomon Jones. Jerald Walker ’s recent How to Make a Slave and Other Essays was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award. A “restless, brilliant” collection that “can alight on a…

Catherine Coleman Flowers | Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret

In conversation with Khaliah Ali Wertheimer Dubbed the “Erin Brockovich of Sewage,” Catherine Coleman Flowers is a hero of the environmental justice movement. She is the rural development manager at the Race and Poverty Initiative of…

Eddie Glaude, Jr. | Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition The chair of the Department of African American Studies and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University, Eddie S. Glaude…

Antonio M. Johnson | You Next: Reflections in Black Barber Shops

The nephew of a beloved neighborhood barber, West Philadelphian Antonio M. Johnson is the creator of  You Next , a pictorial dive into one of African American men’s most valued institutions. Part sanctuary, part cultural space, barber…

Tamara Payne | The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

In conversation with Sarah Glover, veteran journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists.   In 1990, Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist Les Payne set out on a nearly 30-year crusade to write the most…

Issac J. Bailey | Why Didn't We Riot: A Black Man in Trumpland

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A painful indictment of American inhumanity woven with threads of grace and love” ( Guardian ) Issac J. Bailey ’s memoir My Brother Moochie offered a raw,…

H. W. Brands | The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

“A terrific writer who commands” his historical subject matter with “authority and panache” ( New York Times ), H. W. Brands was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin ( The First American…

Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month and African American History as a whole, explore our resources on African American history and culture including famous African Americans From Philadelphia, Poets and Poetry, Speculative Fiction,…