Tagged African American

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…

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…

For the Greatest Number: The New Deal Revisited

It’s been ninety years since the crisis of the Great Depression inspired a New Deal of arts programs, infrastructure investment, and worker protections. The art and objects funded by New Deal programs show us how workers shaped…

For the Greatest Number: The New Deal Revisited

It’s been ninety years since the crisis of the Great Depression inspired a New Deal of arts programs, infrastructure investment, and worker protections. The art and objects funded by New Deal programs show us how workers shaped…

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

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

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

TICKETS   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…

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

REGISTER 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…

A Taste of African Heritage

"A Taste of African Heritage is a way of eating based on the healthy food traditions of people with African roots. This healthy way of eating is powerfully nutritious and delicious, and naturally meets the guidelines experts…

Kids’ Wellness Day featuring Stacey Woodson, MS, RD, LDN author of Delicious and Nutritious: The Princess of Picky Eating Tries New Foods

Kids' Wellness Day is a collaboration between the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central Children's Department, The Free Library Culinary Literacy Center's Nourishing Literacy team, and author Stacey…

Kids’ Wellness Day featuring Stacey Woodson, MS, RD, LDN author of Delicious and Nutritious: The Princess of Picky Eating Tries New Foods

Kids' Wellness Day is a collaboration between the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central Children's Department, The Free Library Culinary Literacy Center's Nourishing Literacy team, and author Stacey…

Art of the New Deal: Lunchtime Zoom

The Print and Picture Collection and Art Department will present and discuss library artifacts created by artists for multiple federal projects of the New Deal era. In conjunction with the library exhibition For The Greatest Number: The…

Art of the New Deal: Lunchtime Zoom

The Print and Picture Collection and Art Department will present and discuss library artifacts created by artists for multiple federal projects of the New Deal era. In conjunction with the library exhibition For The Greatest Number: The…

A Taste of African Heritage

"A Taste of African Heritage is a way of eating based on the healthy food traditions of people with African roots. This healthy way of eating is powerfully nutritious and delicious, and naturally meets the guidelines experts…

Auction Finds: A New Twist on Art Collecting, an author talk with Sherry L. Howard

Sherry L. Howard will present an Arts Talk and Book Signing for her new book ART WITH HEART: How I Built a Sweet Collection by Buying Cheap at Auction .  Sherry has been collecting art at auctions for years and writing about the…

IN-PERSON | Glory Edim | On Girlhood: 15 Stories from the Well-Read Black Girl Library

REGISTER REQUIRED IN ADVANCE In conversation with Christine Kendall, author of Riding Chance , nominated for a NAACP Image Award, and The True Definition of Neva Beane Glory Edim is the creator of Well-Read Black Girl, a book club,…

A Taste of African Heritage

"A Taste of African Heritage is a way of eating based on the healthy food traditions of people with African roots. This healthy way of eating is powerfully nutritious and delicious, and naturally meets the guidelines experts…

VIRTUAL - Wil Haygood | Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World

REGISTER In conversation with Cheryl Boone Isaacs, former head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Writing “with perspective, understanding and compassion to burn” ( Chicago Sun-Times ), Pulitzer…

A Taste of African Heritage

"A Taste of African Heritage is a way of eating based on the healthy food traditions of people with African roots. This healthy way of eating is powerfully nutritious and delicious, and naturally meets the guidelines experts…

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…

Asali Solomon | The Days of Afrekete

In conversation with Nicole Dennis-Benn Asali Solomon is the author of Disgruntled , “a smart, philosophical, coming-of-age” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) novel about the double-binds of race in late 1980s Philadelphia. Her other work…

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers | The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois with Kevin Young | Stones

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is the author of five poetry collections, including The Gospel of Barbecue , Red Clay Suite , and T he Age of Phillis , which was longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry and won a 2021 NAACP Image…

Keisha N. Blain | Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America

In conversation with Mitchell S. Jackson Keisha N. Blain ’s  Set the World on Fire , a history of some of the early 20th century’s leading Black nationalist women, won the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize and was…

Sheryll Cashin | White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality

In conversation with Richard Rothstein Sheryll Cashin’s NAACP Image Award–nominated books on racism and inequality include  The Failures of Integration ,  The Agitator’s Daughter , and  Place, Not Race . The Carmack Waterhouse Professor…

Christine Pride and Jo Piazza | We Are Not Like Them

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Publishing industry veteran  Christine Pride  has held a variety of editorial positions at Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, and Crown, among other publishing…

Jackie Kay | Bessie Smith: A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend

In conversation with Sapphire The National Poet Laureate of Scotland from 2016 to 2021, Jackie Kay is the author of the celebrated poetry collections  Life Mask ,  Off Colour , and  The Adoption Papers , winner of the Scottish Arts…

Joe Posnanski | The Baseball 100

In conversation with Tyler Kepner  “Arguably the best pure long-form sportswriter in the land” ( Chicago Sun-Times ), Joe Posnanski is the bestselling author of six books, including in-depth accounts of golf legends Tom Watson and Jack…

Randall Kennedy | Say It Loud!: On Race, Law, History, and Culture

Celebrated for “his courage and his convictions” in tackling sensitive issues, Randall Kennedy is “a member of that small coterie of our most lucid big thinkers about race” ( The Washington Post ). The Michael R. Klein Professor at…

Gabrielle Union | You Got Anything Stronger?

In conversation with Angie Martinez Over the years Gabrielle Union has been a tireless advocate for the marginalized and the victimized, and fans around the world have watched her both on and off screen stand up to and speak out against…

Christopher Emdin | Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success

Christopher Emdin is the author of The New York Times bestseller For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too , a combination of theory, research, and practical application that offers a helpful approach to…

Carole Hopson | A Pair of Wings: A Novel Inspired by Pioneer Aviatrix Bessie Coleman

In conversation with Lorene Cary, author of the memoirs  Ladysitting   and  Black Ice , three novels, and a book for young readers. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and has written a one-act opera of  Ladysitting  and a play, …

Rita Dove | Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems

In conversation Trapeta Mayson, Philadelphia Poet Laureate Former United States Poet Laureate Rita Dove won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Thomas and Beulah , a semi-fictional collection of verse that examined the lives of her…

Jessamyn Stanley | Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance

In conversation with adrienne maree brown Internationally sought-after wellness expert Jessamyn Stanley is the author of  Every Body Yoga , “a clever memoir of a millennial woman’s search for self-acceptance” ( Elle ) wrapped inside a…

Robin DiAngelo | Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm

In conversation with Resmaa Menakem, bestselling author of My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies Robin DiAngelo ’s New York Times bestseller White Fragility , a “methodical,…

Scott Ellsworth | The Ground Breaking: An American City's Search for Justice

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning journalist and broadcaster Scott Ellsworth is the author of Death in a Promised Land , an in-depth book about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of modern history’s most horrific…

Bobby Rush | I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya: My American Blues Story

In conversation with Jonny Meister, host of The Blues Show on WXPN In his five decades in blues music, Grammy-winner Bobby Rush has recorded hundreds of his own songs, collaborated with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and…

Elias Rodriques | All the Water I’ve Seen is Running

In conversation with Rachel Ossip Co-sponsored by n+1 and Blue Stoop Elias Rodriques currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and in the fall of 2021 will start as an assistant professor of African American literature at…

Elizabeth Hinton | America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

In conversation with Jill Lepore, historian and bestselling and award-winning author of These Truths: A History of the United States , The Secret History of Wonder Woman , and If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future…

Jason L. Riley | Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell

In conversation with Anthony B. Bradley, Professor and Chair of Religious and Theological Studies at The King's College (New York) and a Research Fellow at The Acton Institute Jason L. Riley ’s books include  Let Them In: The Case for…

Ursula M. Burns | Where You Are Is Not Who You Are

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist The first Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Ursula M. Burns headed Xerox from 2009 to 2016. She was the chair and CEO of VEON from 2017 to early 2020,…

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,…