Tagged African American

#ownvoices: Celebrating Black History Month and Picture Books

February is Black History Month – an annual commemoration that recognizes and celebrates the heritage, culture, contributions and achievements of African Americans to American history and life. Join us (and our younger readers!)…

Free Library Participating in 27th Annual African American Children's Book Fair

We are excited to share the news that the Free Library will be at the African American Children's Book Fair again this year! Founded and organized by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, the African American Children’s Book Fair is…

At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois Exhibition

Born in 1868, just shortly after the Union’s triumph in the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.) Du Bois died in 1963, just one year before Congress passed the Civil…

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…

At These Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois

Like others of their generations, and ours, Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. Du Bois found themselves at the crossroads of belonging and not, of loving their nation and feeling rejected by it, of being both black and American. This…

Lorene Cary | Ladysitting: My Year with Nana at the End of Her Century

“A powerful storyteller, frankly sensual [and] mortally funny" ( New York Times ), Lorene Cary is the author of the novels Pride , The Price of a Child , If Sons, Then Heirs , and the memoir Black Ice . A senior lecturer in…

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…

Kwame Onwuachi | Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

A former Top Chef star, the executive chef at Washington D.C.’s popular Kith and Kin, and a Forbes and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 honoree, Kwame Onwuachi  is one of America’s most acclaimed young culinary personalities.…

Valerie Jarrett | Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward

AUDITORIUM SOLD OUT. IN-HOUSE SIMULCAST TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE. Couples Ticket “The ultimate Obama insider” ( New York Times ), Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving advisor in the 44th President’s administration.…

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…

Albert Woodfox | Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope

In conversation with award-winning journalist Tracey Matisak. Falsely accused and convicted of a 1972 robbery in which a white guard was killed, Albert Woodfox served more than four decades in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s…

Through this Lens: African American Photographers

This exhibition of books and other materials from the collections of the Art Department offers a look at the camera work of African American artists from the earliest days of photography to today. In addition to photographers like…

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…

Darius James | Negrophobia: An Urban Parable

In conversation with Gene Seymour, contributor to The Nation and former film critic and jazz columnist for Newsday . He has written for Bookforum , CNN.com, and The Washington Post . Author and spoken-word artist Darius James’s…

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…

Brittney Cooper | Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower with Rebecca Traister | Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger

In converation with Rebecca Traister , author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger Examining the intersections of race, gender, and politics in a popular monthly Cosmo column, Brittney Cooper is also a…

Black History Month Quizzo

Join us for Black History Month Quizzo. Snacks and prizes provided!

Honoring Sculptor Kara Walker

School-age participants will make various sculptures using glue, hair conditioner, and shaving cream.      

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…

Gone but not forgotten: A celebration of four Grammy-award winning African American singers who left us in 2018

Facilitated by local DJ, producer, and music journalist John Morrison , we conclude this year’s celebration of Black History Month with a Listening Party and discussion of the artistry and impact of Dennis Edwards of The…

Sisters in Freedom : Screening and Panel Discussion

Sisters in Freedom is a new documentary from History Making Productions that tells the story of the brave black and white women who banded together to fight slavery before abolition. The filmmakers will bring the movie, discussion, and…

Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party at The Rosenbach: Oak & Ivy

For tickets:  https://rosenbach.org/events/yolanda-wishers-rent-party-2018-02-27/ About Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party at The Rosenbach Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party at The Rosenbach invokes the tradition of the rent party…

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,…

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,…