Tagged African American

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…

Portraits of Heroes, Portraits of You: Black History Month at the Free Library

"This athlete is only nineteen years old, but he is six feet, two inches high, and weighs 210 pounds," noted the March 1918 issue of The Crisis , the NAACP’s flagship publication. Their "Man of the Month" is…

Kick-Off Black History Month with Philadelphia’s African American Children’s Book Fair

At a moment of growing awareness around the importance of representation and diversity in children’s books , the African American Children’s Book Fair continues the effort it has been devoted to for nearly three decades:…

MLK Day of Service | When the Youth Lead

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a strongly celebrated day in Philadelphia. People of all ages come together to support their communities and uplift the values of MLK’s civil rights leadership during this nationally recognized Day of…

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Generation to Generation | Digital Discussion

Join curators from regional institutions whose exhibitions look at the multi-generational women-led movement building around voter rights and enfranchisement leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment and beyond. This discussion…

Virtual Course | Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive

“Reading from Inside the Archive” is a unique opportunity offering an exploration of Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s life and work through her published writing and literary archive. Questions throughout center on how public…

Virtual Course | Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive

“Reading from Inside the Archive” is a unique opportunity offering an exploration of Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s life and work through her published writing and literary archive. Questions throughout center on how public…

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

REGISTER HERE 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 19th century laboratory for civil rights policy and justice. She is also the author…

Making Her Mark Spotlight: Black Sisterhood and Suffrage | Digital Discussion

Conversation about the significance of voting rights initiatives led by Black sororities, with featured speaker Dr. Thelma Thomas Daley. From the recent 'Stroll to the Polls' that mobilized voters for the 2020 presidential…

Virtual Course | Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive

“Reading from Inside the Archive” is a unique opportunity offering an exploration of Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s life and work through her published writing and literary archive. Questions throughout center on how public…

Black Writers, the Jazz Age, and the Harlem Renaissance at The Rosenbach | Virtual Behind the Bookcase Tour

The Harlem Renaissance is the fulcrum for this look “behind the bookcase” at great Black writers. Beginning with Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first acclaimed Black poet after Emancipation, we’ll spend the bulk of our time…

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

Register Here 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…

Collectors' Showcase: Philadelphians Collect Black Writers

The Rare Book Department is thrilled to host five local collectors who have spent years preserving and celebrating the work of Black writers and artists. Join Gloria Akers, Supreme Dow, Oliver St. Clair Franklin OBE, Bea Joyner, and…

Radical Self-care in an Era of Activism: A Virtual Salon

A shared space for self care inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and the life and legacy of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Join chef Jena Harris and Professor Pysche Williams-Forson for an evening of self care grounded in the salon-style…

Virtual Course | Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive

“Reading from Inside the Archive” is a unique opportunity offering an exploration of Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s life and work through her published writing and literary archive. Questions throughout center on how public…

The Long Arc of Survival: A Virtual Discussion Group on Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Join  Women In Transition  and The Rosenbach for a discussion about surviving and thriving after intimate partner violence, with a focus on the Philadelphia-area author and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson, who lived from…

Virtual Program | ENA ensemble presents: A Different Kind of Song

ENA ensemble , who brought us the  Serial Opera Project  and the Serial Musical Project are back! Join us for the online premiere of "A Different Kind of Song: Unsung Stories of Black Women in Classical Music"…

Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces

Join the authors of  Do Right by Me: Learning to Raise Black Children in White Spaces  for a conversation on their recent book, moderated by Tracey Matisak! In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, author of  How to Be an…

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

Register Here 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,…

Virtual Book Club

Join us for a virtual Book Club.  We'll be reading and talking about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano , an autobiography.  The program is hosted by Thomas Walker, Librarian at David Cohen Ogontz…

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

REGISTER HERE 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…

VIRTUAL - Sadeqa Johnson | Yellow Wife

Register Here 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…

Virtual Book Club

Join us for a virtual Book Club.  We'll be reading and talking about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano , an autobiography.  The program is hosted by Thomas Walker, Librarian at David Cohen Ogontz…

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

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE   “A nuanced analysis of White male America” that “deftly combines history and sociological study with personal narrative” ( Washington Post ), Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk…

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…

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 converation 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…

Barbara Kingsolver | How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons)

A “gifted magician of words” ( Time ), Barbara Kingsolver is the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist  The Poisonwood Bible , a postcolonial epic about an evangelical American family’s undoing in the Congo. She is the author of several…

Veronica Chambers | Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote

In conversation with:  Rachelle Baker, illustrator; Jennifer Harlan, writer; Steffi Walthall, illustrator Veronica Chambers is the editor for Narrative Projects at The New York Times and a co-author of "Finish the Fight!" She joined The…

Nikki Giovanni | Make Me Rain

One of America’s most celebrated poets, the “outspoken, prolific, energetic” ( New York Times ) Nikki Giovanni is the author of numerous collections of poetry including  Acolytes ;  Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment ; and …

Asha Lemmie | Fifty Words for Rain

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist  Asha Lemmie’s  New York Times  bestselling novel  Fifty Words for Rain  tells the decades and continents-spanning story of Nori, a child born to a married…

Stacey Abrams | Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Stacey Abrams  is the New York Times bestselling author of  Lead from the Outside , a serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO, and political leader. After serving…

Imani Perry In Conversation with Kiese Laymon: On the Uprising since George Floyd's Murder and Black Struggles for Freedom in the United States

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. She is the author of six books, most recently the…

Susan Choi | Trust Exercise with Jacqueline Woodson | Red at the Bone

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award for fiction, Trust Exercise follows a star-crossed suburban teen romance in a 1980s performing arts high school. Susan Choi ’s novels are known for excavating the hidden corners of the human heart…

Samantha Irby | Wow, No Thank You.

In conversation with New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion In her popular long-running blog,  bitches gotta eat , Samantha Irby offers raw, humorous takes on her sometimes difficult…

Frank B. Wilderson III | Afropessimism

Frank B. Wilderson III spent more than five years in South Africa, where he was one of two Americans elected to the African National Congress during the country’s transformation after apartheid. His books include  Incognegro: A Memoir of…

James McBride | Deacon King Kong

“Boisterous, highly entertaining,” and “altogether original” ( Washington Post ), James McBride is the author of the National Book Award–winning  The Good Lord Bird , in which a young boy born into slavery joins abolitionist John…

R. Eric Thomas | Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America

R. Eric Thomas is the creator of Elle ’s “Eric Reads the News,” a daily humor column that lambasts pop culture, celebrity, and politics that has been praised by Lin-Manuel Miranda as “Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny.” Also a renowned…

Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Justine Simmons | Old School Love: And Why it Works

Walk this way for an evening with Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, frontman for the mega-influential hip-hop trio Run-DMC. Regarded as the driving force behind ushering rap into the mainstream, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime…

Gretchen Sorin | Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

A curator with more than 30 years’ experience, Dr. Gretchen Sorin has consulted for more than 250 institutions, including the Smithsonian, the Jewish Museum, and the New York State Historical Association. She is the director of the…

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,…