St. Louis Public Library celebrates Black History Month through month-long programming

The St. Louis Public Library celebrates Black History Month by hosting various programming throughout February, focusing on and honoring African-Americans in Times of War. SLPL’s Black History Month programming includes:

On the Home Front: Victory Gardens
February 1
4:30-6 p.m.
Divoll, 4234 N. Grand Blvd.
Learn about the importance of victory gardens on the home front during World War II, as well as how African-American political cartoonist Charles Alston’s food-filled illustrations influenced the war effort. Then, create your own mini-garden! Teens (Gr 6-12)

Voices of Praise Choir - Songs of Protest and Songs of War
February 3
2-3 p.m.
Carpenter, 3309 S. Grand Blvd.
Under the direction of Malcolm Speed, you will listen to diverse genres of music such as gospel, jazz, spirituals and acapella renditions. Hear a saxophone player who will render a variety of smooth jazz sounds. There will be a quilt exhibit featuring the work of local quilters. Adults

Black History Month Book Club: Sherri L. Smith’s “Flygirl”
February 6
4-5 p.m.
Central, 1301 Olive Street
Discuss “Flygirl” by Sherri L. Smith, the story of a light-skinned African-American girl who "passes" for white in order to join the Women Air Force Service Pilots during World War II and make an airplane out of candy. Teens (Gr 6-12)

Singer, Dancer, Spy? A Spotlight on Josephine Baker
February 6
5-6 p.m.
Barr, 1701 S. Jefferson Ave.
Children will learn about St. Louis native Josephine Baker and her involvement in World War II as a spy for France. Participants will create and use invisible ink similar to what Baker used to smuggle secret documents among her sheet music. School age (Gr K-5)

Make Music Not War
February 6
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Schlafly, 225 N. Euclid Ave.
Create your own instruments to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Hellfighters Regimental Band. School age (Gr K-5)

Cathay Cooks
February 6
4-5:30 p.m.
Walnut Park, 5760 W. Florissant Ave.
Learn more about the journey of Missouri’s own Cathay Williams and make fruit pizzas.  Discover how she became the first black female to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces by pretending to be a man. School age (Gr K-5)

African-Americans Story Quilt
February 6
4-5 p.m.
Machacek, 6424 Scanlan Ave.

Children will design individual pieces of a story quilt depicting events and individuals from African-American wartime history. School age (Gr K-5)

Oliver Wendell Harrington: Mimic His Art
February 7
4– 5 p.m.
Cabanne, 1106 Union Blvd.

Create cartoons in the style of Oliver Wendell Harrington, a Harlem Renaissance artist whose drawings depicted racial discrimination and segregation during World War II. Teens

African-American Gold Star Mothers of WWI
February 7
1-2 p.m.
Julia Davis, 4415 Natural Bridge Ave.
Learn about the WWI African-American Gold Star Mothers and their fight to receive treatment equal to mothers of fallen white soldiers. View a presentation about their unique experiences and create a Gold Star flag to honor the women in your life. School age (Gr K-5)

Fighting for the Double V: African-Americans in World War II and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement
February 8
7-8:30 p.m.
Schlafly, 225 N. Euclid Ave.
Speaker Dr. Trevin Jones will focus on the Civil Rights Movement around the time of World War II, the Double V campaign, and the role of African-American soldiers. Light refreshments will be served. Adults 

Attucks Acts
February 8
4-5 p.m.
Baden, 8448 Church Rd.
Learn about the lives of Crispus Attucks, a former dockworker, and other African-American Revolutionary War heroes by creating your own pottery similar to what came in on the ships where Attucks worked. School age (Gr K-5)

I Protest
February 8
4-5 p.m.
Carondelet, 6800 Michigan Ave.
Protest unfair laws and rules today and remember the struggles of the past by making protest signs.  You can make a difference! Teens

Geography Quest
February 8
4-5:30 p.m.
Kingshighway, 2260 S. Vandeventer Ave.
Play games to discover the far-away places African-Americans experienced while serving our country in times of war. School age (Gr K-5)

Profiles in Courage: Cathay Williams, First Black Female to Enlist in the Army
February 10
2-3:30 p.m.
Walnut Park, 5760 W. Florissant Ave.

This program will highlight Cathay Williams’ extraordinary life and service, including her unsuccessful efforts to receive a military pension.  Library Manager Carolyn Sanford will speak and serve as moderator during the program, which will feature talks by local experts on African-American women in the military. Adults

“You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen”
February 10
2-3 p.m.
Central, 1301 Olive Street
Hear selections from Carole Boston Weatherford’s “You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen” and race airplane gliders in Central Library’s Great Hall! School age (Gr K-5)

Treasure Hunt Through History
February 13
9 a.m-9 p.m.
Buder, 4401 Hampton Ave.
Hunt for treasure while discovering famous political figures and events in African-American history. Families

Quilting African-American History
February 13
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Carpenter, 3309 S. Grand Blvd.
Each patron will contribute to our community quilt by creating an image displaying wars in which African-Americans played a significant role. Families

Meet Tuskegee Airmen
February 21
6-8 p.m.
Julia Davis, 4415 Natural Bridge Ave.
Join us as we welcome the Tuskegee Airmen Hugh J. White Chapter as they share their stories from the battlefield. They will also discuss how life changed for them once they returned home. Adults 

We Return Fighting: African-Americans and World War I
February 24
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Buder, 4401 Hampton Ave
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Dr. Delia Gillis, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Central Missouri, will discuss the powerful, political implications of African-Americans returning from World War I.  Light refreshments will be served. Adults