Tagged African American

African American Art Collecting and Research with Philadelphia Author Sherry Howard

Updated Tuesday, December 7, 2021 Sherry L. Howard is a Philadelphia-based art collector and researcher who primarily focuses on local African American art and artists. She writes about her experience in the world of art auctions…

We Have a New Federal Holiday — Juneteenth!

Two months ago was the first official celebration of Juneteenth as a national holiday. On Thursday, June 17, 2021, Congress passed and presented the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act to President Joe Biden, who signed the bill…

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom and Cuisine

African American Independence Day, widely referred to as Juneteenth, originated in Galveston, Texas in 1865. Though the Emancipation Proclamation, issued in 1863, freed millions of slaves in confederate states, African Americans in…

The Commemoration of Juneteenth

The oldest known celebration of the end of enslavement in U.S. history, Juneteenth is a day that recognizes freedom and liberation. Juneteenth, a combination of the words "June" and "nineteenth, centers Black lived…

Re-Creating Our World: Join Us for the One Book, One Philadelphia Finale

Eight weeks of programs diving into The Tradition , Jericho Brown’s collection of poetry and the One Book, One Philadelphia 2021 title , have gone by in the blink of an eye. We read, we wrote, we danced, we made music and art, and…

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…

Storytime and Craft with Black Soul Vintage

Join us for a three-week series of learning and creating for grades K-5.  Black Soul Vintage will lead these learning experiences centering on African-descendent history and literature for children.  Book readings will be…

In The Path of Islam: Exhibition at Masjid Mujahideen

In the Path of Islam  is a place to share the stories of Islam and celebrate Philadelphia's Muslim communities, with special emphasis on the voices of indigenous African-American Muslims, born and raised in the city. The…

In The Path of Islam: Exhibition and Project Ending July 31, 2022

In the Path of Islam  is a place to share the stories of Islam and celebrate Philadelphia's Muslim communities, with special emphasis on the voices of indigenous African-American Muslims, born and raised in the city. The…

Listening to the Elders

Tell your story of Mt. Airy during the Civil Rights Era.  Let us know where we have been and how we got to where we are now.  Interviews will be submitted through the StoryCorps app, and archived at the Library of Congress.…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

Getting to Know Me: Raghad

Please join us in learning about Raghad, a Palestinian born in Jordan and raised in Philadelphia. She will talk about the objects she selected for her traveling trunk that reflect her life, culture and heritage.…

Art on the Road

Join us for a fun and exciting art program!  Professional Artists Mr. Abdul Karim and Mr. Ali Salman engage budding artists as they work together to create a one of a kind…

Listening to the Elders

Tell your story of Mt. Airy during the Civil Rights Era.  Let us know where we have been and how we got to where we are now.  Interviews will be submitted through the StoryCorps app, and archived at the Library of Congress.…

Getting to Know Me: Raghad

Please join us in learning about Raghad, a Palestinian born in Jordan and raised in Philadelphia. She will talk about the objects she selected for her traveling trunk that reflect her life, culture and heritage.…

Getting to Know Me: Ayesha

Please join us in exploring Ayesha’s Trunk. Ayesha is a fictional indigenous Muslim, born and raised in West Philadelphia, and she has a trunk filled with items that are part of her life and culture. Shahadah…

Listening to the Elders

Tell your story of Mt. Airy during the Civil Rights Era.  Let us know where we have been and how we got to where we are now.  Interviews will be submitted through the StoryCorps app, and archived at the Library of Congress.…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

Handmade Dolls with Sistah Aisamah Muhummad-Muneer

Join Sistah Aisamah Muhammad-Muneer and explore the different flavors of the Islamic culture of dress embraced by Muslim Women born in America of African descent. These styles are represented in her one-of-a-kind, handmade dolls on…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

Listening to the Elders

Tell your story of Mt. Airy during the Civil Rights Era.  Let us know where we have been and how we got to where we are now.  Interviews will be submitted through the StoryCorps app, and archived at the Library of Congress.…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

No More Boring Dates! Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Dates.

Whether you are going on a date, or a eating the fruit, dates brings people together. In Islam, the date is sacred. It is mentioned in the Quran more than any other fruit-bearing plant. Muslims often eat this nutritious fruit to break…

Storytime and Craft with Black Soul Vintage

Join us for a three-week series of learning and creating for grades K-5.  Black Soul Vintage will lead these learning experiences centering on African-descendent history and literature for children.  Book readings will be…

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…

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa | His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

In conversation with Benjamin Todd Jealous A political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post since 2011, Robert Samuels has chronicled the impact of national policies and controversies from across the United…

Eric Holder | Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote—A History, a Crisis, a Plan

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award winning broadcaster and journalist The United States attorney general from 2009 to 2015, Eric Holder is the first African American to hold that position. In his 30-year career in government he…

Margo Jefferson | Constructing A Nervous System: A Memoir

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition “A national treasure” ( Vanity Fair ), Margo Jefferson won the National Book Critics Circle Award for her memoir Negroland , an examination of her upbringing…

Lawrence Jackson | Shelter: A Black Tale of Homeland, Baltimore

In conversation with Solomon Jones. Lawrence Jackson ’s award-winning books include The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics , biographies of Chester Himes and Ralph Ellison, and a memoir…

Marc Lamont Hill and Todd Brewster | Seen and Unseen: Technology, Social Media, and the Fight for Racial Justice

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award winning broadcaster and journalist The host of BET News , Black News Tonight , and UpFront , Marc Lamont Hill is the Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University.…

Dorothy Roberts | Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World

In conversation with Marc Lamont Hill Addressing social justice issues of policing, state surveillance of families, and science, Dorothy Roberts ’s books include Killing the Black Body , Shattered Bonds , and Fatal Invention . She has…

Dolen Perkins-Valdez | Take My Hand

In conversation with Asali Solomon, author of the novels  Disgruntled and Days of Afrekete Using “gorgeous, compassionate prose” to continue “our national conversation about people working together to heal our communities” ( The…

Bryant Terry | Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

In conversation with Jamila Robinson Chef and educator Bryant Terry is the author of four vegan cookbooks, including  Grub ,  Afro-Vegan , and  Vegetable Kingdom , winner of an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. In 2015 he…

Elie Mystal | Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution

In conversation with Danielle M. Conway The Nation ’s legal analyst and justice correspondent, Elie Mystal is an Alfred Knobler fellow at the Type Media Center and is the legal editor of  More Perfect , Radiolab’s podcast about the U.S.…

Erika M. Kitzmiller | The Roots of Educational Inequality: Philadelphia's Germantown High School, 1907–2014

Education historian Erika M. Kitzmiller has conducted research in the city of Philadelphia, its public schools, and the Free Library for nearly two decades. The result of her investigation is  The Roots of Educational Inequality , a…

Jabari Asim | Yonder

In conversation with Lise Funderburg The director of the M.F.A. Creative Writing program at Emerson College, Jabari Asim is the author of the novel  Only the Strong , the story collection  A Taste of Honey , and several works of…

Barbara Chase-Riboud | The Great Mrs. Elias: A Novel Based on a True Story

In conversation with Nell Irvin Painter Barbara Chase-Riboud’s watershed 1979 novel  Sally Hemings  told a fictionalized story based on the true account of the life of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman with whom Thomas Jefferson had…

Brendan Slocumb | The Violin Conspiracy

In conversation with Stanford Thompson, founder and executive director of Play On Philly A public and private school music educator for more than 20 years, Brendan Slocumb has performed on violin with the Washington Metropolitan…

Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts | Black Joy: Stories of Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration

In conversation with Bernice McFadden The author and co-author of 15 books that explore topics such as faith, race, social justice, and motherhood,  Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts  is a professor of English and Black Studies at the…

Solomon Jones | Ten Lives, Ten Demands: Life and Death Stories, and a Black Activist’s Blueprint for Racial Justice

An award-winning  Philadelphia Daily News  columnist and morning host for 900 am WURD radio in Philadelphia,  Solomon Jones  is the author of the  Essence  bestselling novel  The Bridge , as well as the critically acclaimed books  Pipe…

Larry Miller and Laila Lacy | Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom

In conversation with Fat Joe , rapper, producer, platinum recording artist, and host of the Fat Joe Show Named the first chairman of the Jordan Brand Advisory Board in January 2019, Larry Miller led Michael Jordan’s $200-million…

Mike Sielski | The Rise: Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality

In conversation with Michael Days A sports columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer since 2013, Mike Sielski is the author of Fading Echoes , the true story of two Pennsylvania high school football rivals who later found brotherhood while…

Nikole Hannah-Jones | The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition, and Dr. Anthea Butler, Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought and Chair of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania Introduced by…

Tracy K. Smith | Lucille Clifton’s Generations: A Memoir

In conversation with Trapeta B. Mayson Chronicling African American family life and women through 14 celebrated poetry collections, Lucille Clifton won the National Book Award and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and is the only author ever…

Kristin Henning | The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth

In conversation with Marsha Levick, cofounder, deputy director, and chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center The Blume Professor of Law and director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at the Georgetown University Law Center,…

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,…