Boston Public Library Commemorates Black History Month
Music, discussions, story times, and films celebrate African Americans
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For Immediate Release
January 27, 2012
Released By:
Library
For More Information Contact:
BPL Communications Office
news@bpl.org

The Boston Public Library (BPL) will observe Black History Month in February with a series of music, films, and activities for all age groups. In addition, the BPL has published its annual “Black Is” booklist, a compilation of recent works by and about African Americans.

The 2012 booklist contains dozens of fiction and nonfiction works, including biographies of Governor Deval Patrick, Malcolm X, and the slave who became the first African American poet, Phillis Wheatley. The published list will be available in every Boston Public Library location in February.

The Boston Public Library will also offer programs at locations across the city to entertain and educate for Black History Month. To see story times, concerts, and films planned at BPL locations, visit the Boston Public Library’s online calendar at www.bpl.org/calendar.

A selection of Boston Public Library programs for Black History Month includes:

  • The films of Sidney Poitier will be shown at 6 p.m. on Thursday evenings at the South Boston Branch, 646 East Broadway, 617.268.0180. The schedule is: February 2, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!; February 9, For Love of Ivy; February 16, The Wilby Conspiracy; and February 23, Duel at Diablo.

  • Kantigi Camara, librarian at the John D. O'Bryant African American Institute at Northeastern University, will present the talk “Black Americans on Postage Stamps” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, at the Jamaica Plain Branch, 12 Sedgwick Street, 617.524.2053.

  • Throughout February, the Grove Hall Branch, located at 41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester, 617.427.3337, will host a series of lectures and talks:
    • Carolyn Roberts, doctoral candidate in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, will lead a discussion after a showing of the Oscar nominee for best picture, The Help. The screening is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 4.
    • Funlayo Wood, PhD student in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and initiated priestess in the Yoruba Ifá-Òrìsà tradition, will discuss African and African-derived religious practices in the talk “‘Other’ Spaces of Black Spirituality” on Saturday, February 11, at 12 p.m.
    • Lisanne Norman, PhD student at Harvard University, explores how Marcus Garvey’s contributions to the early 20th-century African American struggle for freedom and equality movement is often overlooked due to his scandalous exit from America in the talk “Marcus Garvey: A Light in the Darkness?” on Thursday, February 16, at 6 p.m.
    • Giovanna Micconi, PhD student of African American Literature at Harvard University, will discuss William Demby’s life in the talk “William Demby and African American Expatriates in Italy” on Saturday, February 18, at 11:30 a.m.
    • Oludamini Ogunnaike will present on Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, and its powerful presence in Senegal on Thursday, February 23, at 6 p.m.

  • The Central Library’s Monday Night Film Series will focus on African American actresses as follows: February 6, Lady Sings the Blues with Diana Ross; February 13, What’s Love Got To Do With It with Angela Bassett; and February 27, Lackawanna Blues with S. Epatha Merkerson. All films are shown at 6 p.m. on Monday evenings in Rabb Lecture Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, 617.536.5400.

  • A live musical tribute to Ella Fitzgerald is planned for 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, as Sonny & Perley will present a concert of songs in Rabb Lecture Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, 617.536.5400.

  • Families will enjoy performances by Cornell "Sugarfoot" Coley, a Boston musician, dancer, and educator. He will present an exciting program of drumming and dance from West and Central Africa, Cuba, the United States and Brazil as follows:
    • Monday, February 13, at 11 a.m., Egleston Square Branch, 2044 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury, 617.445.4340
    • Thursday, February 16, at 11 a.m., Faneuil Branch, 419 Faneuil Street, Brighton, 617.782.6705
    • Wednesday, February 22, at 10:30 a.m., Rabb Lecture Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, 617.536.5400.
    • Thursday, February 23, at 10:30 a.m., Connolly Branch, 433 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617.522.1960.

  • Storytellers will present African folk tales on Thursday, February 23, at 12:30 p.m. at the Hyde Park Branch, 35 Harvard Avenue, 617.361.2524, and black history stories at a pajama story time at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 27, at the Connolly Branch, 433 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617.522.1960.


About the BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Today, the Boston Public Library has twenty-seven neighborhood locations, including the Central Library in Copley Square. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit www.bpl.org.

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