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…

Book Talk with Marquis Bey

Marquis Bay will discuss his new book " Them Goon Rules:  Essays on Radical Black Feminism" (due out February 2019), which reads like a critical memoir and queries the function and implications of politicizing Blackness,…

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…

Bluesy Style Sounds for All

Mississippi, particularly the Delta, lays claim to being the land where the Blues began.  Join Weez the Peeples Collective Duo, featuring Ali Richardson on vocals, guitar, and more, along with Artistic Director and lead…

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…

African American Interest Book Discussion

The African American Interest Book Discussion Group will hold its next meeting on January 14, 2019 in Room 405 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. We will discuss the One Book One Philadelphia selection Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesamyn Ward.…

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…

Kwanzaa Celebration at the Library

Join us for a Kwanzaa program that includes an explanation of the cultural holiday, a Kwanzaa story, lighting the candles, and trying out a recipe.  We'll also watch "Black Candle:  A Kwanzaa Celebration", a film…

Kwanzaa Celebration at the Library

Celebrate Kwanzaa at the library!  Mama Carla will share stories of Kwanzaa.  For all ages.

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

Come and learn about our city’s exciting, dynamic, and often forgotten history with a guided tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City exhibition. The tour will be led by an exhibition curator in the Dietrich Gallery in the Rare…

It's LIT for Little Brown Girls

Join us for an interactive book club for young girls of color.  We'll focus on books with characters that look like us!  For girls, ages 7 to 11.

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

Come and learn about our city’s exciting, dynamic, and often forgotten history with a guided tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City exhibition. The tour will be led by an exhibition curator in the Dietrich Gallery in the Rare…

It's LIT for Little Brown Girls

Join us for an interactive book club for young girls of color.  We'll focus on books with characters that look like us!  For girls, ages 7 to 11.

A Free Tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City Exhibition

Come and learn about our city’s exciting, dynamic, and often forgotten history with a guided tour of Philadelphia: The Changing City exhibition. The tour will be led by an exhibition curator in the Dietrich Gallery in the Rare…

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,…