Tagged African American

Celebrating Juneteenth!

The Free Library is celebrating Juneteenth! Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of enslavement in the United States and a time when we come together to celebrate this monumental occasion across the country, within our…

New Children's Books for Celebrating Juneteenth!

In 2020, the city of Philadelphia declared June 19th a city holiday in recognition of Juneteenth, an important day in the history of African Americans and our country. New children's books have been released in the last couple of…

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…

Chronicling Resistance: The Exhibition

The roots of activism in Philadelphia run deep, and local archives hold innumerable stories of resistance. But many of these stories — those that center historically marginalized peoples — have been diminished, erased,…

Kwanzaa Story & Craft!

Kwanzaa Celebration! Join us for a story and make your own paper plate kinara!

IN-PERSON - Misty Copeland | The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson

TICKETS In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6abc Action News morning edition The first African American principal dancer in the history of the elite American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is one of the world’s most…

IN-PERSON - Kerri K. Greenidge | The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family

TICKETS   In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition Historian Kerri K. Greenidge is the author of  Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter , a portrait of the…

IN-PERSON - Andrew K. Diemer | Vigilance: The Life of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad

TICKETS   Andrew K. Diemer is the author of  The Politics of Black Citizenship: Free African Americans in the Mid-Atlantic Borderland, 1817–1863 , an examination of the ways in which free Black Philadelphians and…

IN-PERSON - Kardea Brown | The Way Home: A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with over 100 Recipes

TICKETS   Charleston, South Carolina–based Kardea Brown hosts the Food Network’s Delicious Miss Brown and OWN’s The Great Soul Food Cookoff . She also is the creator of the pop-up New Gullah Supper Club, where her…

Grow and Walk Yoga

There's no mistaking a chill in the air that says autumn is here!   Black Girls With Green Thumbs is dedicating the month of October to children's health. As the seasons change, it can sometimes knock us off kilter, but…

IN-PERSON - Charlayne Hunter-Gault | My People: Five Decades of Writing about Black Lives

TICKETS   In conversation with Dorothy Roberts Referred to by Jelani Cobb as “a Dean of American journalism,” Charlayne Hunter-Gault has chronicled some of the past half-century’s most important moments in Black…

Grow and Walk Yoga

There's no mistaking a chill in the air that says autumn is here!   Black Girls With Green Thumbs is dedicating the month of October to children's health. As the seasons change, it can sometimes knock us off kilter, but…

Worlds of Color: W. E. B. Du Bois Reading Group

Join our W. E. B. Du Bois reading group for the third novel of Du Bois' Black Flame Trilogy: Worlds of Color It’s 1936 and Manuel Mansart, son of the lynched labor leader, Tom Mansart, is sixty years old. America is reeling…

Precious Paper Dolls: A Treasured Art Form

The Art and Literature Department is excited to present an exhibition of paper dolls curated and collected by Martha Raively. Paper dolls have evolved from an adult form of entertainment in the late 1700's to a joyous childhood…

Grow and Walk Yoga

There's no mistaking a chill in the air that says autumn is here!   Black Girls With Green Thumbs is dedicating the month of October to children's health. As the seasons change, it can sometimes knock us off kilter, but…

IN-PERSON - Saidiya Hartman and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor| Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America

TICKETS   One of academia’s leading authorities on African American literature, enslavement, gender studies, and the ways in which marginalized people are excluded in historical narratives, Saidiya Hartman is a University…

Author Talk: Writing About the Black Experience

Mr. Asar, who writes Urban Fiction, will be on hand to talk about his craft.  His most recent work is When The Streets Call You Home: An Urban Drama .  This event will take place in person, and on Zoom.  To register for…

Worlds of Color: W. E. B. Du Bois Reading Group

Join our W. E. B. Du Bois reading group for the third novel of Du Bois' Black Flame Trilogy: Worlds of Color It’s 1936 and Manuel Mansart, son of the lynched labor leader, Tom Mansart, is sixty years old. America is reeling…

Grow and Walk Yoga

There's no mistaking a chill in the air that says autumn is here!   Black Girls With Green Thumbs is dedicating the month of October to children's health. As the seasons change, it can sometimes knock us off kilter, but…

Worlds of Color: W. E. B. Du Bois Reading Group

Join our W. E. B. Du Bois reading group for the third novel of Du Bois' Black Flame Trilogy: Worlds of Color It’s 1936 and Manuel Mansart, son of the lynched labor leader, Tom Mansart, is sixty years old. America is reeling…

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…

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, Dawud Anyabwile | Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award winning broadcaster and journalist Tommie Smith and John Carlos made history at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics when they stood at the winners’ podium and raised their black-gloved fists to…

Ruth Wilson Gilmore | Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation

In conversation with Chenjerai Kumanyika Ruth Wilson Gilmore is largely credited with creating carceral geography, the study of how the interplay between space, institutions, and political economies shape modern incarceration. The…

Jenifer Lewis | Walking in My Joy: In these Streets

In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning journalist and interviewer Co-star of the ABC mega-hit show  Black-ish , Jenifer Lewis’ nearly 35-year career has featured roles in some of Hollywood’s most beloved films and television…

W. Kamau Bell with Kate Schatz | Do the Work!: An Antiracist Activity Book

In conversation with Marc Lamont Hill W. Kamau Bell is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award–winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell , and also directed and executive produced the recent four-part…

Patience Marime-Ball and Ruth Shaber | The XX Edge: Unlocking Higher Returns and Lower Risk

In conversation with Renée Chenault Fattah In  The XX Edge , Patience Marime-Ball and Ruth Shaber envision a new paradigm of gender-focused investing where more women are placed in decision-making roles and able to optimize their skills…

Chinelo Okparanta | Harry Sylvester Bird

In conversation with Asali Solomon Nigerian American author  Chinelo Okparanta ’s acclaimed debut novel  Under the Udala Trees  celebrates the act of loving fearlessly, even amidst the strife of prejudice and civil war. Selected…

Gene Andrew Jarrett | Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird

In conversation with Herman Beavers Gene Andrew Jarrett is the author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature and Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature . He is the…

Zakiya Dalila Harris | The Other Black Girl

In conversation with Liz Moore Zakiya Dalila Harris is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Other Black Girl , a thriller in which a young Black editorial assistant slowly realizes there are more sinister forces in…

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…

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,…