SLPL’s Black History Month Programming

The St. Louis Public Library presents Black History Month 2019 as we learn and discuss programming surrounding the sacrifices African Americans made during the Great Migration throughout the nation from small towns to large urban communities. 

"Owned: A Tale of Two Americas”
February 2
1-3 p.m.
Central Library
The United States’ post-World War II government policies directly subsidized white America housing, while denying opportunities to minorities, setting America on two divergent paths–one of imagined wealth, propped up by speculation, and the other in systematically defunded and segregated communities where “the American dream” felt out of reach.

Living for the City
February 2
2-3:30 p.m.
Carpenter Library
Panelists native to St. Louis discuss housing challenges they faced while living in their respective neighborhoods---Kinloch, Mill Creek, Carondelet---and public housing projects Pruitt Igoe and Bluemeyer with the focus on the impact migration and integration had on these communities. Adults

Display Reception: Where'd You go to High School: The Black High School Experience in St. Louis
February 4
10:30 a.m.-Noon
Carondelet Library
Display runs Feb. 4-9
Join us for the opening reception of this traveling pictorial and interactive display about Black high schools in St. Louis since the Great Migration.   

Exploring Black Excellence: Past, Present and Future
February 4
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Divoll Library
Learn about the professional accomplishments of Black Americans during the Great Migration and explore your future goals. Decorate a patch with your future accomplishments and add it to Dream Quilt. Teens

Creative Kids: Steamboat School
February 5
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Buder Library
Listen to Deborah Hopkinson’s “Steamboat School,” and create a boat. School age           

Education During the Great Migration
February 5
4-5 p.m.
Machacek Libary
Hear Eloise Greenfield’s book, “The Great Migration: Journey to the North,” and discuss the differences between schools of the South and schools of the North during the Great Migration. Children will design their ideal classroom. School age

Lila, the Life of a Missouri Slave
February 6
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Carpenter Library
Visit with “Lila” and learn about slavery on the Missouri frontier, and hear her story of survival, strength, and success as she takes charge of her future at an advanced age when the inner quest for freedom can no longer be ignored. Performed by Angela de Silva. All Ages

I Look at the World: Black History Then and Now
February 7
4-5 p.m.
Julia Davis Library
Read the Langston Hughes poem, “I Look at the World,” and discuss the Harlem Renaissance. Teens will then write and share their work. Teens

“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities”
February 9
1-3 p.m.
Central Library
The latest documentary from Stanley Nelson (“Black Panthers,” “Freedom Riders”) and Marco Williams, the powerful story of the rise, influence and evolution of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities come to life.

Creative Kids: Great Migration Mapping
February 9
3-4 p.m.
Central Library
Children listen to Jacqueline Woodson’s book “This is the Rope,” and map out the family’s journey on a large interactive map of the United States. School age

Display Reception: Where'd You go to High School: The Black High School Experience in St. Louis
February 11
10:30 a.m.-Noon
Machacek Library
Display runs Feb. 11-16.
Join us for the opening reception of this traveling pictorial and interactive display about Black high schools in St. Louis since the Great Migration.

Save or Spend?
February 12
10-11 a.m.
Schlafly Library
Children listen to “Uncle Jed’s Barbershop,” and discuss the concepts of saving, savings goals, and segregation. Participate in a card game learn what it takes to reach a savings goal. Two copies of Uncle Jed’s Barbershop will be given away. School age

African-American History and Genealogy
February 12
7-8:30 p.m.
Schlafly Library
Representatives from the St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society (STL-AAHGS) host a workshop on the best ways to trace your African-American roots. Learn tips and tricks for finding reliable information about black ancestors, and participate in some hands-on history and genealogy activities.

I, Too, Am America
February 18
1-2 p.m.
Walnut Park Library
Families will listen to Langston Hughes’ “I, Too, Am America.” Make collages. Families

One Crazy Summer
February 18
3-4 p.m.
Baden Library
Children listen to the audio reading of Rita Williams-Garcia’s book, “One Crazy Summer.” and make protest signs using Alphabet Stamps as a printing press. School age

Display Reception: Where'd You go to High School: The Black High School Experience in St. Louis
February 18
10:30 a.m.-Noon
Buder Library
Display runs Feb. 18-28
Join us for the opening reception of this traveling pictorial and interactive display about Black high schools in St. Louis since the Great Migration.                

In the Footsteps of the Great Migration
February 19
5-6:30 pm
Barr Library
This interactive program that takes you along the three major streams of migration, and highlights different challenges, trials and triumphs of those who migrated. Patrons will be encouraged to participate in a mixed-media art piece inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem, “One-Way Ticket,” and will remain on display throughout February. Families

Save or Spend?
February 19
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Cabanne Library
Children listen to “Uncle Jed’s Barbershop,” and discuss the concepts of saving, savings goals, and segregation. Participate in a card game learn what it takes to reach a savings goal. Two copies of Uncle Jed’s Barbershop will be given away. School age

Black History Month: Picture Yourself in History
February 20
4-5 p.m.
Central Library
Learn about the Harlem Renaissance and Photoshop ourself with notable artists and influential figures of the times. Participants receive a framed copy. Teens

Creative Kids: Can You Paint Like Jacob Lawrence?
February 21
4-5 p.m.
Carondelet Library
Who was Jacob Lawrence? Can you paint like him? School age

Painting the Great Migration
February 21
5:30-7 p.m.
Carpenter Library
Following the styles of Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, explore the history of Black migration by creating a painting or collage. School age

“Times's Getting Harder: Stories of the Great Migration”
February 21
7-8:30 p.m.
Schlafly Library
A Call to Conscience chronicles individual stories of hardship & triumph of African-Americans. Adults  

"John Lewis: Get in the Way”
February 23
1-3 p.m.
Central Library
The first major documentary biography of John Lewis, civil rights hero, congressional leader and champion of human rights whose unwavering fight for justice spans the past 50 years. The film showcases never-before-seen footage shot over 20 years.

The East St. Louis Race Riot of 1917: Look How Far We've Come
February 23
2-3:30 p.m.
Walnut Park Library
Speakers Dr. Andrew Theising and Edmond Brown focus on the history of the riot and the examination of the city’s current economic and political state. A related exhibit will be on display throughout the month. Adults

The Great Migration: You Choose
February 27
4-5:30 p. m.
Kingshighway Library
Create an interactive story and discover where your choices will lead you. School age

Great Migration: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
February 27
6-7 p.m.
Julia Davis Library
SLPL and Mack Williams, of History To You, Inc., looks at the Great Migration. Adults

The St. Louis Public Library's Black History Month programming is made possible by the St. Louis Public Library Foundation and the Missouri Humanities Council.