Tagged African American

Brought To You In Living Color

For Baby Boomers, the words “Land Shark”, “Samurai Delicatessen”, “Coneheads”, and “The Blues Brothers” conjures up adventures on the wild frontier of comedy, when Saturday Night Live…

Art, Gardens, and Stories: Making Philadelphia Home

[ Editor's note: We librarians offer literally thousands of programs every year. It's a special thrill to get formal feedback from our audiences. We can't publish every review we get, but we're overjoyed to have gotten…

Culinary Literacy Center Presenters Win Big at "The Oscars of the Food World"

One of the biggest nights in the food world, The James Beard Foundation Media Awards , took place April 27 at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Hailed as “the Oscars of the food world,” this prestigious ceremony shines a light…

Embrace the Sacred and Interstellar Through the Art and Poetry of Stellar Masses

Yolanda Wisher is back! She left us in 2017 as the first Poet Laureate since the Free Library assumed responsibility for nurturing our city's chief word smith. On May 9, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., she's returning as curator with…

Black Artists from the Stacks: The Libraries Are Appreciated

Take a deep dive into the Free Library’s resources on African American artists at The Libraries Are Appreciated , an exhibition from the Parkway Central’s Art Department . Borrowing its name from the 1943 painting by Jacob…

#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…

Sundays on Stage: The Brave Little Tailor

With expressive masks, life-size puppets, original music and imaginative scenic effects, Enchantment Theatre Company brings this beloved story to life in its uniquely magical way! Montgomery Auditorium Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Free…

Monday Poets| Vernita Hall

VERNITA HALL is the author of Where William Walked (Willow Books), winner of the Willow Books Grand Prize for Poetry, and of the Robert Creeley Prize from Marsh Hawk Press. Her book   The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About…

Philadelphia Reads W.E.B. Du Bois

Discover the power of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas and their significance in our time.  This reading group focuses on the “The Souls of Black Folk,” his seminal study of African-American civilization at the turn of the…

Philadelphia Reads W.E.B. Du Bois

Discover the power of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas and their significance in our time.  This reading group focuses on the “The Souls of Black Folk,” his seminal study of African-American civilization at the turn of the…

Sundays on Stage: Eda Ne Kakati (From the Past to the Present)

Ssuuna is a dancer, drummer, singer, songwriter, and reggae artist from Uganda with a wide range of performance experience. In this interactive show, you will learn a song in Luganda, the language of Uganda! Montgomery Auditorium Doors…

Philadelphia Reads W.E.B. Du Bois----Today's reading and discussion: The Sorrow Songs

Discover the power of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas and their significance in our time.  This reading group focuses on the “The Souls of Black Folk,” his seminal study of African-American civilization at the turn of the…

Mary Schmidt Campbell | An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden

Tickets on sale September 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. President of Spelman College since 2015, and dean emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts, Mary Schmidt Campbell served as the vice chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and…

Monday Poets| Raquel Salas Rivera & Wes Matthews

WES MATTHEWS was born in Detroit and began writing poetry at age 10. He is a two-time Brave New Voices competitor, a 2016 TEDx speaker, and winner of the 2018 Philly Slam League All-Star Poetry Slam. His work can be found in Detroit…

Sundays on Stage: The Nutcracker

Presented by Pages to Pirouettes, bring the whole family to hear the story of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince and their journey to the Land of the Sweets,  then see it come to life to the enchanting music of Tchaikovsky. This…

Andrew Delbanco | The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War

“America’s best social critic” ( Time ), Andrew Delbanco is the author of numerous books that explore American history, character, and ideals, including The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope , The Puritan…

Philadelphia Reads W.E.B. Du Bois----Today's reading and discussion: The Sorrow Songs

Discover the power of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas and their significance in our time.  This reading group focuses on the “The Souls of Black Folk,” his seminal study of African-American civilization at the turn of the…

Jabari Asim | We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival

Editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine, the NAACP’s flagship periodical, and a former editor and syndicated columnist at the The Washington Post , Jabari Asim is a professor of creative writing at Emerson College. His  many…

Town Hall Meeting: Bethel Burying Ground

Join us to hear about the history of the site - a forgotten burying ground underneath Weccacoe playground in South Philadelphia - and offer suggestions and ideas about how to memorialize this location, and remember the individuals…

David W. Blight | Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

David W. Blight’s many books of history include American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era ,  Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory , and two annotated editions of Frederick Douglass’s first two…

African American Interest Book Discussion

The African American Interest Book Discussion Group will hold its next meeting on November 19, 2018 in Room 405 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. We will discuss Swing Time by Zadie Smith. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to…

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Join representatives from the African American Museum in Philadelphia to learn more about the volunteer docent program as well as the new exhibit, Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia 1776-1876. Questions? Contact…

A Conversation with the Honorable W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

On the eve of the 2018 midterm election, join a conversation with former Philadelphia mayor Wilson Goode about his new book Black Voters Mattered: A Philadelphia Story and the importance of voting. Dr. Goode will be in conversation with…

Sundays on Stage: Yogapalooza! with Bari Koral

Learn yoga with a dancing bear, pop like popcorn, “sleep” like a pony in the barn, fly like rocket ships, run with a gingerbread  man, relax in the garden and much more as we dance, stretch, sing and play to…

Philadelphia Reads W.E.B. Du Bois----Today's reading and discussion: Of Alexander Crummell

Discover the power of W.E.B. Du Bois’ ideas and their significance in our time.  This reading group focuses on the “The Souls of Black Folk,” his seminal study of African-American civilization at the turn of the…

Leslie Umberger | Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor

Born a slave on an Alabama plantation and 12 years old at the end of the Civil War, Bill Traylor worked as a farm laborer for more than 60 years. Alone in retirement in segregated Montgomery, he discovered art and his creative voice…

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,…