Celebrate Black History Month


Celebrate arts and culture this Black History Month with EPL

Activities honoring Black American contributions happening throughout February

Black History Month is a time to step back and more specifically acknowledge and celebrate the centuries of broad and vibrant contributions Black Americans have made to culture, the arts, politics and social justice movements. 

The Evanston Public Library is celebrating throughout the month with a special collection of programming that celebrates the contributions of Black Americans with special lectures and events, health and wellness programs, creative outlets for joy and expression, and book group selections lifting Black voices. Here’s a look at programs happening this month: 

Special Programs For Adults 

Programs for Kids, Teens and Families

  • Feb. 11: Matinee Movie @ Main Celebrating Black History: The Little Mermaid. (2023). Join us at 1 p.m. for a craft in the Children’s Art Garden, followed by the screening at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, 1-4:30 p.mMain Library. More info.
  • Feb. 20: Teen Snack & Paint. Embrace your inner royal as we make crowns and learn about crowns from different nations in Africa. Tuesday, Feb. 20, 4-6 p.mRobert Crown Branch. Register.
  • Feb 23: Black Family Game Night. Join us for an evening of great food, fun, trivia and games in celebration of Black History Month! Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Robert Crown Branch. Register.

Book Clubs & Author Visits

Several of our book clubs and author events this month will also be highlighting works by Black authors. Join us for:

  • Graphic Novel Book Club for Kids. Frizzy, by Claribel A. Ortega and Rose Bousamra. Stop by the children’s desk to pick up a copy to read beforehand. Grades 3-5. Sat. Feb. 3, 11am-12pm. Main Library. Register.
  • A Conversation with Jerry Craft: From Mama’s Boyz to New Kid and Beyond. Join author-illustrator of #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novels New Kid, and its companion books Class Act and School Trip. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7-8 p.m. Virtual. Sign up.
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Group. A Master of Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark. Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe for his fantasy novel debut, A Master of Djinn. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Virtual. Sign up.
  • Wider Net Book Group: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.  Angelou’s classic about the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Monday, Feb. 19, 6-7:30 p.mMain Library. Sign up.
  • I Hope They Understand Storytime with Juleya Woodson.  Local Evanston author Juleya Woodson will read her concept book I Hope They Understand and lead an interactive craft for ages 0-5. Grown-ups can learn more about Juleya’s work and get a preview of her I Hope They Understand Activity Book and Let’s Talk About Race Within a Box Art Kit. Juleya’s book can be found in all District 65 kindergarten classes. Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m., Robert Crown Branch. Learn more!
  • Better Off Read Book Club: The Three of Us, by Ore Agbaje-Williams. A triptych of domestic life that explores cultural truths, what it means to defy them, and the fine line between compromise and betrayal when it comes to ourselves and the people we’re meant to love. Monday, Feb. 26, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Main Library. Sign up.
  • Virtual True Crime Book Group: White Hot Hate, by Dick Lehr. The riveting true story of an averted case of domestic terrorism against the Somali community in one of the most remote towns in the US. Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. Virtual. Register.
  • Don’t Sweat the Technique with Author Melissa S. Foster. Join Northwestern professor and author Melissa S. Foster for a discussion of her book that equips aspiring performers with the tools and knowledge needed to become better rappers. Thursday, Feb. 29, 6:30-7:30 p.mRobert Crown Branch. Register.

The Evanston Public Library does not limit its work uplifting Black creators to just the month of February. Join EPL, Illinois Libraries Present, and two-time Academy Award winner Ruth E. Carter for her talk, Interweaving Tradition & Imagination Through Costume Design . Carter is the first Black person to win the Academy Awards Costume Design category for her work on Black Panther, and visits us virtually on March 20. Register.

For more programs and events offered by the Evanston Public Library, visit www.epl.org/events.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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