Tagged African American

Find Out How Slavery Made Our World with These Free Library Resources

Have you read the 1619 Project yet? It’s the award-winning special issue of the New York Times Magazine all about American Slavery that was published last month. The project’s creator, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones , writes…

Remembering Toni Morrison, 1931–2019

When I first read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison , at 15 years old, I knew it would haunt me. The story fed my soul—I was shocked at its lovely, yet stinging taste, but realized I had always been craving it. Never had my struggle…

Juneteenth is in the Air on 52nd Street and in the House at Blackwell Regional Library!

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery, on June 19, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced by Union soldiers and the last remaining slaves were freed in Galveston Texas. To honor the significance of this historical…

Celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month!

This month is African-American Music Appreciation Month , a commemoration first started by former President Jimmy Carter, on June 7, 1979. The national recognition began as Black Music Month, but President Barack Obama changed the name…

Conversations in Color: The Coretta Scott King Awards Celebrate 50 Years of Excellence

Parkway Central Library Senior Services will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards for excellence in African American children’s literature with a five-part discussion series called Conversations In…

Through This Lens: African American Photographers

Through This Lens , an exhibit of library materials that illustrates and discusses the camera work of African American photographers can be viewed on the 2nd floor landing of Parkway Central Library until mid-March. Some of the…

#ownvoices: Celebrating Black History Month and Picture Books

February is Black History Month – an annual commemoration that recognizes and celebrates the heritage, culture, contributions and achievements of African Americans to American history and life. Join us (and our younger readers!)…

Free Library Participating in 27th Annual African American Children's Book Fair

We are excited to share the news that the Free Library will be at the African American Children's Book Fair again this year! Founded and organized by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, the African American Children’s Book Fair is…

At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois Exhibition

Update: The Free Library’s At These Crossroads exhibition was honored as an Adobe Government Creativity Awards finalist in the ‘Multichannel Campaign – Museum of Park Exhibit’ category! Come see this exhibition…

Brought To You In Living Color

For Baby Boomers, the words “Land Shark”, “Samurai Delicatessen”, “Coneheads”, and “The Blues Brothers” conjures up adventures on the wild frontier of comedy, when Saturday Night Live…

Art, Gardens, and Stories: Making Philadelphia Home

[ Editor's note: We librarians offer literally thousands of programs every year. It's a special thrill to get formal feedback from our audiences. We can't publish every review we get, but we're overjoyed to have gotten…

Culinary Literacy Center Presenters Win Big at "The Oscars of the Food World"

One of the biggest nights in the food world, The James Beard Foundation Media Awards , took place April 27 at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Hailed as “the Oscars of the food world,” this prestigious ceremony shines a light…

Embrace the Sacred and Interstellar Through the Art and Poetry of Stellar Masses

Yolanda Wisher is back! She left us in 2017 as the first Poet Laureate since the Free Library assumed responsibility for nurturing our city's chief word smith. On May 9, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., she's returning as curator with…

Black Artists from the Stacks: The Libraries Are Appreciated

Take a deep dive into the Free Library’s resources on African American artists at The Libraries Are Appreciated , an exhibition from the Parkway Central’s Art Department . Borrowing its name from the 1943 painting by Jacob…

#OneBookWednesday: Brooklyn, Black Girlhood, and the Great Migration

Gladys Jamison couldn’t know this, but she was a girl coming of age in an exodus. Thirteen years old when her father moved her and her siblings to Brooklyn, she’d lost her mother five years before, in 1932. She was still…

5 African American Romance Authors to Keep Your Eye On

A few weeks ago The Ripped Bodice, a romance bookstore in Los Angeles, released the inaugural report on the State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing and it exposes some hard truths about the lack of diversity in traditionally…

The Philadelphia Colored Directory of 1910 Recently Scanned and Available for Download in Our Digital Collections

The Philadelphia Colored Directory , a handbook of religious, social, political, professional, business activities of the Negroes of Philadelphia, was compiled by R. (Richard) R. (Robert) Wright, Jr.; assisted by Ernest Smith. This…

Following Octavius V. Catto’s Footsteps

It has been more than 150 years since Octavius Catto may have slipped on a sack overcoat that hung by his front door, pushed a well-worn felt pocket hat over his parted hair, stepped out into the fall chill, and walked a few blocks down…

A History Minute: Octavius V. Catto - Philadelphia's Forgotten Freedom Fighter

On Sept. 26, 2017, the fence will come down and a new statue will be unveiled: the first new City Hall statue since 1923 and the first of an African American on any city-owned public property. It’s a lot of fuss over a man…

African-American Music Appreciation Month: 3 New Albums to Check Out

On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter designated the month of June to honor the musical contributions of African Americans, known as Black Music Month. In 2016, President Barack Obama gave a presidential proclamation and formally…

“Giants of the 1950’s: Nat King Cole”

“Giants of 1950's” is a four part lecture series convened around journalism, politics, and entertainment in the Golden Age In part three we consider the musicality and influence of the legendary Nat King Cole . A…

Saeed Jones | How We Fight for Our Lives with Clifford Thompson | What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues

Saeed Jones is the author of the “hard and glaring and brilliant” ( NPR Book Review ) poetry collection Prelude to Bruise , winner of the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. He is also the co-host of…

Colorful Stories Presents: Colorful Conversations

Join us for two interactive read alouds, followed by activities that are guaranteed to spark conversations around race, with young children and their families. Our presenter, Lisa Browne, is an Early Childhood Educator, Trainer, and the…

Erica Armstrong Dunbar | She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman

In conversation with Lorene Cary , author of Black Ice , The Price of a Child , Ladysitting and the forthcoming Arden Theatre production of My General Tubman Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the author of the National Book Award finalist Never…

Chat-n-Chew Book Club

Do you love to read?  Do you like to talk?  If you do, please consider joining the West Oak Lane Library's book group. We will meet approximately every five weeks.  Today, we'll be talking about "Where the…

Monday Poets | Reginald Dwayne Betts and Daisy Fried

Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of a memoir and three books of poetry. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Avery/Penguin, 2009), was awarded the 2010 NAACP Image…

Panel Discussion: A Case for Reparations

Come to listen, come to learn.  Why is there a need for reparations and what might they look like when proposed. In acknowledgement of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ship, we will host a panel discussion,…

Susan Rice | Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 and President Obama’s national security advisor from 2013 to 2017, Susan Rice has been at the…

Remembering Amiri Baraka on His 85th Birthday

Amiri Baraka is the author of numerous books of poetry over a career that spans nearly 50 years.  His themes range from black liberation to racism. Baraka's plays, poetry and essays continue to be defining texts for African…

Imani Perry | Breathe: A Letter to My Sons

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist Dr. Imani Perry is the author of Looking for Lorraine , a work of “masterly syntheses of research and analysis” ( New York Times Book Review ) of…

At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois

Like others of their generations, and ours, Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois found themselves at the crossroads of belonging and not, of loving their nation and feeling rejected by it, of being both black and American. This…

Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Water Dancer

In conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom ( Two seats + one book option ) Ta-Nehisi Coates won the 2015 National Book Award for  Between the World and Me ,…

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,…

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…

Edwidge Danticat | Everything Inside

In conversation with Glory Edim, author and founder of Well-Read Black Girl In “fiercely beautiful” novels, memoirs, and essay collections brimming with “enchantments and surprises” ( Los Angeles Times ), Edwidge Danticat bears witness…

Elaine Welteroth | More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)

In conversation with Rakia Reynolds , founder and CEO of Skai Blue Media The firebrand former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue and the first African American ever to hold the post of beauty and health director in Condé Nast’s 107-year…

Jason Baumann | The Stonewall Reader with Mark Segal, Karla Jay and Joel Hall

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the riots that started the fight for American LGBTQ+ rights, The Stonewall Reader highlights some of the movement’s most iconic moments and figures in the years before and after those tumultuous…

Esi Edugyan | Washington Black

Esi Edugyan’s novel Half-Blood Blues , the story of a World War II–era mixed-race jazz band’s abducted star trumpeter, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, among other honors. She is also the author of another novel, The Second…

Mark Kram Jr. | Smokin’ Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier

In conversation with longtime radio host Steve Ross Mark Kram Jr. won the 2013 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing for Like Any Normal Day , the tragic story of two brothers bonded but separated by a devastating sports injury. He…

Lorene Cary | Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

“A powerful storyteller, frankly sensual [and] mortally funny" ( New York Times ), Lorene Cary is the author of the novels Pride , The Price of a Child , If Sons, Then Heirs , and the memoir Black Ice . A senior lecturer in creative…

Nicole Weisensee Egan | Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Dad

In conversation with Annette John-Hall, cohost and producer of The Why on WHYY A 14-year veteran crime reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News , Nicole Weisensee Egan was the first journalist to delve into Andrea Constand’s 2005 sexual…

Kwame Onwuachi | Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

In conversation with Chef Elijah Milligan A former Top Chef star, the executive chef at Washington D.C.’s popular Kith and Kin, and a Forbes and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 honoree, Kwame Onwuachi  is one of America’s most acclaimed young…

Valerie Jarrett | Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition “The ultimate Obama insider” ( New York Times ), Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving advisor in the 44th President’s administration. Born in Iran and…

Darius James | Negrophobia: An Urban Parable

In conversation with Gene Seymour, contributor to The Nation and former film critic and jazz columnist for Newsday . He has written for Bookforum , CNN.com, and The Washington Post . Author and spoken-word artist Darius James’s 1992…

Brittney Cooper | Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower with Rebecca Traister | Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger

In converation with Rebecca Traister , author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger Examining the intersections of race, gender, and politics in a popular monthly Cosmo column, Brittney Cooper is also a professor of…

Steve Luxenberg | Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation

A 30-year writer and senior editor at The Washington Post , Steve Luxenberg has overseen reportage that has won a host of awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory journalism. He is the author of Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey in…

Victor LaValle with Justina Ireland, Sam J. Miller, and Alice Sola Kim | A People's Future of the United States: Twenty-five Visionary Stories

Amidst a climate of division, tumult, and fear, what will the United States look like tomorrow? In A People’s Future of the United States , 25 diverse writers synthesize hopeful, cynical, prescient visions of a country shaped by…

Chris Wilson | The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose

In conversation with State Representative Jordan A. Harris Convicted of murder at 18 and sentenced to life in prison with no hope of release, Chris Wilson began to improve himself through study, physical fitness, and even started a…

Feminista Jones | Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets with DaMaris B. Hill | A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing

Social worker, public speaker, community activist, and blogger Feminista Jones is the author of the novel Push the Button and the poetry collection The Secret of Sugar Water . She was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in…

Bridgett M. Davis | The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers

Bridgett M. Davis is the author of Into the Go-Slow , the acclaimed story of a young woman traveling from Detroit to Nigeria as she mourns the death of her sister, and Shifting Through Neutral , a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy…

One Book, One Philadelphia Kickoff Event | Featuring Jesmyn Ward

One Book, One Philadelphia 2019   kicks off with a reading and conversation between Jesmyn Ward, author of the  One Book  featured selection Sing, Unburied, Sing,  and WURD President/CEO Sara Lomax-Reese. Their talk will be followed by…

In Conversation With The Rosenbach: The Legacy of the Thirteenth Amendment with Michele Norris

Michele Norris is a Peabody Award-winning journalist, founder of The Race Card Project and Executive Director of The Bridge, The Aspen Institute’s new program on race, identity, connectivity and inclusion. For more than a decade Norris…

Mary Schmidt Campbell | An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden

President of Spelman College since 2015, and dean emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts, Mary Schmidt Campbell served as the vice chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities during the Obama administration. She has…

Andrew Delbanco | The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

“America’s best social critic” ( Time ), Andrew Delbanco is the author of numerous books that explore American history, character, and ideals, including The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope , The Puritan Ordeal , and Required…

African American History

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,…