Boston Public Library Commemorates Black History Month
Throughout February, programs honor and celebrate African Americans
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For Immediate Release
January 24, 2013
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BPL Communications Office

Boston Public Library will observe Black History Month in February with a series of programs, films, and activities for all age groups. Highlights from the month’s programming include:


  • African Mask Making. For children ages 6-12, a program on African mask making is offered at sixteen different BPL locations. Young people will create a paper mache mask with Behind the Mask Studio Artists who will display samples, discuss techniques, and guide creativity.


  • Harriet Tubman: I Can’t Die But Once. For families with children ages 11 and older, storyteller Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti (pictured right) performs Harriet Tubman: I Can't Die But Once at seven locations including the East Boston, Faneuil, Dudley, Lower Mills, West Roxbury, Orient Heights, and Grove Hall branches. Told in the oral tradition, Quezaire-Presutti will present the life and times of Harriet Tubman in a 45-minute presentation including how Harriet Tubman operated as a scout and spy of the Union Army, and was possibly the first American woman to work on the battlefields of the Civil War. This program is sponsored by the City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library.


  • Author Calvin Alexander Ramsey will share readings from his book, Ruth and the Green Book, on Saturday, February 9, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library in Copley Square. RSVPs are required for this free event sponsored by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.


  • Central Library Film Series. The Central Library in Copley Square hosts a trio of Monday evening films celebrating African American Actors in February with screenings of To Wong Fu, The Preacher’s Wife, and Hotel Rwanda. The films are shown at 6 p.m. in Rabb Lecture Hall on February 4, 11, and 25. The Central Library is located at 700 Boylston Street.


  • Dudley Branch Film Series. The Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library hosts a Wednesday afternoon film series during the month of February. All films relate to the theme “at the crossroads of freedom and equality” and will be shown at 3 p.m. on February 6, 13, 20, and 27. The movie titles are Glory, The Long Walk Home, Do the Right Thing, and Pariah. The Dudley Branch is located at 65 Warren Street in Roxbury.

The complete schedule of upcoming events at Boston Public Library locations, for Black History month and beyond, is available at


Also in February, the Boston Public Library will publish its annual “Black Is” booklist, a compilation of recent works by and about African Americans for adult readers. The 2013 booklist contains dozens of fiction and nonfiction works, including autobiographies by Vanessa Williams; Rodney King; and Zakes Mda, the noted South African contemporary writer.


Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a literacy center, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It 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. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs 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


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