Tagged African American

#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…

Art Department Celebrates Black History Month with African American Artists from Philadelphia

The Art Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia maintains a collection of artist files going back to the 19th century. Our artist files are folders that include article clippings, gallery announcements, artist statements,…

African American Philanthropists in Early Philadelphia

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and other tech billionaire/philanthropists may have set new standards in giving, but philanthropy is an old Philadelphia tradition with two of our earliest millionaire/philanthropists being African…

How Will You Celebrate Black History Month?

Our libraries have a full lineup of programs and activities this February to celebrate the rich intellectual and cultural contributions made by the African American community. We have everything from performances and special guests to…

Graphic Novel Memoirs

I love a graphic novel—and even better I love a graphic novel memoir . There is something so much more intimate about reading the words AND pictures when someone shares her story. Or maybe I’m just a slower reader when it…

Jerry Pinkney Day

Jerry Pinkney is a rock star. His fans tend to be of the toddler-variety, but he has legions of older die-hard devotees of his work as well—mostly parents, nannies, and a lot of librarians. This week, a new fan is…

#OneBookWednesday: Storytelling Inspired by One Book

One Book, One Philadelphia is known for inspiring great conversations across the Philadelphia region. Last week, it also inspired some new stories altogether—as a panel of professional storytellers shared stories inspired by the…

Cook This Now: Oldways Jollof Rice

This recipe is from the  A Taste of African Heritage series, a free six-lesson nutrition and cooking program presented by Oldways that we host at the Culinary Literacy Center. The series brings the savory tradition of eating a…

Caldecott, Newbery, Belpre, Oh My!

Last weekend in Chicago, a room full of children's and teen librarians erupted in cheers, gasps, and wild applause for the newest batch of books chosen for the Youth Media Awards, administered by the American Library…

Sundays on Stage Winter/Spring Calendar of events!

Get ready to rock, roll, dance, and dream this summer as our Sundays on Stage FREE performance series returns this weekend! This series of free performances for children, families, and adults is made possible by funding from the…

Streaming Philadelphia History - Introducing Input with Marion Stokes & John S. Stokes, Jr

Input  was a Philadelphia panel discussion program hosted by John S. Stokes, Jr. that aired Sunday mornings on WCAU-TV10 from 1968 through early 1971. The program is a window in to the people and ideas that shaped that tumultuous…

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka: A great introduction to African American history for the youngest readers

Looking for some great books for your children? Our children's librarians are excited to share their expert reviews with you. For this month, we focus on African American history for children. Ever heard of Charlie Parker? Read…

12 Years A Slave and Slave Narratives

Earlier this year I read the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup and was blown away. While reading the book I often thought about what I learned about slavery in school and the various films I've seen on the…

Summer in the City

"Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise."   So reads the memorable inscription above the door of Shakespeare & Company , one of my favorite bookstores. This quaint Parisian bookstore…

LEAP's DREAM@50 Contest Winners

Today marks what would have been the 84th birthday of Nobel Prize winning activist and Civil Rights Leader Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. The DREAM@50 is a tribute series that was held throughout 2012 and continues into 2013, commemorating…

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 and have books scheduled up through September.  Stop…

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 and have books scheduled up through September.  Stop…

Jen Sincero | You Are a Badass at Making Money

Jen Sincero is the no. 1 New York Times bestselling author of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life , a sass-filled self-help book for people who want better lives but don’t want to…

Gregory Pardlo | Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America with Kevin Young | Brown: Poems

“Intensely personal … funny and poignant” ( New York Times) , Gregory Pardlo’s poetry collection Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. An out-of-nowhere coup for the relatively unknown Columbia University MFA…

Monday Poets | Olga Dugan & Amy Barone

Room 108, 1st Floor, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Olga Dugan is a Cave Canem poet and Lindback Professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia. Her award-winning poems appear or are forthcoming in Typehouse Literary Magazine , Kweli , The…

Mitch Landrieu | In the Shadows of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made waves in 2017 with a “stunningly eloquent” speech about race in America (CNN) in which he explained his decision to remove four Confederate statues from his city, arguing that…

Book Discussion: Another Brooklyn

Join us to discuss Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson.  

Senior Book Club, Another Brooklyn

Join us to discuss Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson.  

Ian Buruma | A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir

“One of those rare historian-humanists who bridge East and West” ( Wall Street Journal ), Ian Buruma is the author of  The Missionary and the Libertine; Murder in Amsterdam ;  Year Zero: A History of 1945 ;…

Lamont “U-God” Hawkins | Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang

Lamont “U-God” Hawkins is one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, “the most significant posse in hip-hop” ( Rolling Stone ). He and fellow members RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Ghostface…

Walter Mosley | Down the River Unto the Sea

Walter Mosley is best known for the Easy Rawlins mystery series featuring the hard-boiled detective and World War II vet living in L.A.’s Watts neighborhood. His diverse body of work includes science fiction, story…

Movie Screening | Fences

A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family while coming to terms with the events of his life. 2017. Rated PG-13. 2 hours and 19 minutes.  

Follow Along the Great Migration

Learn about the Great Migration through an interactive program in which participants move through different spaces in the library, each representing a city and each offering a unique activity and facts about different points in history.…

The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Share Your Creativity

Enjoy a reading of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe and Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat.  After the reading, join us in adding your…

Black History Month Challenge

Participants will use their visual skills and historical knowledge to identify images of famous African American individuals from Philadelphia. The first participant to correctly identify all the images displayed will take home a…

Old-school Motown Dance Party

Central Senior Services concludes its observance of Black History Month with an Old-school Motown Dance Party featuring music by leading African American Artists of the 60’s and 70’s.

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 and have books scheduled up through September.  Stop…

Falls Book Group

For our February selection we will be discussing Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson.  

Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century

Interactive workshop for the whole family featuring hands-on activities, examination of primary sources, and a screening of History Making Productions' Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century followed by a…

Family Reading Group: Another Brooklyn

To spark multigenerational conversations, we'll hear selected passages from the featured book - Another Brooklyn, companion books and other stories.  Be prepared to share your thoughts with the group.  This is a multi-age…

Award-Winning African American Authors

Books by prize-winning writers.

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,…