Tagged African American

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…

Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Visit to Philadelphia: A Personal Account

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  stands with one arm stretched high above his head, waving to the crowd, with a broad smile on his face, as the legendary Philadelphia civil rights attorney and firebrand Cecil B. Moore stands to one…

A History Minute | Who was Mae Reeves and Why is She in the Smithsonian?

For over 50 years, Mae’s Millinery (definition: "the art of hat-making") was a fixture in Philadelphia, a destination for women from up and down the East Coast in search of the perfect hat. Now Mae’s is once more a…

Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Book Award’s 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Award , honoring African American authors and illustrators in children’s and young adult literature. Noted by their familiar emblem, the Coretta Scott King Award…

Bringing Families Together: A Booklist About Adopted Children and Their Families

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a celebrated tradition that began in 1976 . This year, the monthly focus is on the adoption of children who are currently in foster care. The stories below portray multidimensional and…

A History Minute | Father Divine and the Behind the Scenes History of The Divine Lorraine Hotel

The Divine Lorraine's story is not just that of a dilapidated building brought back to glory before the wrecking ball's kiss, but a much more complicated, dramatic, and sometimes scandalous history than most Philadelphian's…

Virtual Performance: Jazzy Ash

A special video performance entitled "Fly Through My Window" by celebrated children's performer Jazzy Ash, who specializes in bringing New Orleans-style jazz to children and families! This concert, featuring African…

Dear Carol Anderson event attendees,

Dear Carol Anderson event attendees,  Our August 4th event with Carol Anderson has been cancelled. Read the Open Letter from Concerned Black Workers  at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Dear Eddie Glaude, Jr. event attendees,

Dear Eddie Glaude, Jr. event attendees,  Our July 16 event with Eddie Glaude, Jr. has been cancelled. In the interim, please read Mr. Glaude's statement on  Twitter  regarding this cancelled appearance, along with…

Dear Colson Whitehead ticket buyers,

Dear Colson Whitehead ticket buyers, Our July 8 event with Colson Whitehead has been cancelled. All tickets will be refunded in the coming week. In the interim, please read Mr. Whitehead's statement on  Twitter  regarding…

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…

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…

David Zucchino | Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

In conversation with Mark Bowden, most recently author of The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation David Zucchino is a contributing writer for The New York Times . He has covered wars and civil conflicts in more than…

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 BuzzFeed’s…

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…

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…

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 the life of…

Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Water Dancer

SPOILER ALERT. A number of critical plot points are exposed during the discussion. In conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom Ta-Nehisi Coates won the 2015…

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…

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,…