Black history is American history, world history, and human history. It should be acknowledged, taught, and celebrated every single day of the year, not just in February. The Library is proud to provide materials, events, and other programs that focus on Black history, Black resilience, Black joy, and Black futures all year long.
The Library has a multitude of ways for you to learn about and celebrate Black history:
African American Read-In
Our annual African American Read-In is going virtual this year. We'll have videos of Black authors and their friends reading from their books, special book lists including one created in partnership with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for adults, and more. Stay tuned for more of what we have in store and mark your calendar to join us online Saturday, Feb. 20.
Storytime at Home
We’ve recorded two very special Storytime at Home videos that feature books chosen just for Black History Month. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel as we add six more in the coming weeks as part of the African American Read-In.
Race & The City — Critical Conversations About the Roots of Systemic Racism in Cincinnati
Join us for the second event in our Race & The City series on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Community activist Melanie Moon hosts virtual, interactive discussions of historic systems that created generational barriers to equitable opportunities for the Black people in our city. Share your lived experiences and viewpoints while listening and learning from others.
Based on the book, Race & The City: Work, Community and Protest in Cincinnati: 1820-1970, participants can listen to the chapters on YouTube prior to each event.
Throwback Thursdays with Genealogy & Local History
Each Thursday in February on our @CincyLibrary Facebook page, our Genealogy & Local History department is diving into our archives to highlight a piece of Black Cincinnati’s past. Stay tuned for a few videos of past exhibits as well.
West End Stories Project Podcast
West End Branch Manager Keloni Parks embarked on a journey last year to document the stories of the residents of one of Cincinnati’s most iconic, historically Black neighborhoods. You can tune in on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Captivate to listen to the current podcasts as well as future ones.
North Central Branch Take & Make Black History Bingo
Drop by the North Central Branch Library to test your knowledge of influential Black Americans and historical events by playing our Black History bingo game. Each game kit consists of directions, four bingo cards, space covers, clues, and an answer key. Drop in or use our curbside pickup to get your free kit today, while supplies last.
Beyond Black History Month Scavenger Hunt
Who invented the Super Soaker? Were there really riots about Zoot Suits? How did “Black Panther” T'Challa gain his superpowers?
The Beyond Black History Month Scavenger Hunt has those answers and more. Come tour the Sharonville Branch to find these and other hidden facts now through Saturday, Feb. 27. Dig deeper and check out related materials. Have fun with history, win a prize, then go stump your friends. All ages are welcome, and masks are required.
Urban Fiction Book Club
Our latest system-wide book club centers on the work of Black authors. This month, the group is reading The Deadline by Kiki Swinson and meets Thursday, Feb. 25. Come to discuss the book, stay for the community and comradery.
Explore Library Materials
Our staff is constantly combing through our collection to recommend some of their favorite finds to cardholders. View lists for kids, teens, and adults that provide wonderful resources for learning and un-learning this Black History Month and beyond.
Also available are the special collections in our Digital Library. Go online to see African American Society Columns, the Althea Hurst Scrapbook, and the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.
Beyond the Library
We’re proud to be part of the greater Cincinnati community, and love all the things our friends and partners in the city have planned for Black History Month. You can attend Queens of Queen City – Cincinnati Stories of African American Women with the Harriet Beecher Stowe House or join the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for events like The Bonds of Family and Legacy and The Black Family and Generational Health. Check your favorite source for local events for more.
How are you honoring Black History Month this year? Let us know in the comments below!