Nearly 60 Black History Month Programs Underway at the Birmingham Public Library

Did a scheme to segregate Birmingham’s population by race existed long before the city passed an ordinance in 1926 that legally sanctioned racial redlining of homes to keep blacks and whites separated?

Two Central Library discussions on that topic February 9 and February 23, led by Paul Boncella of the Southern History Department, are among nearly 60 free 2020 Black History Month programs under way at the Birmingham Public Library’s 19 locations.

Other programs of interest include:

 • "African Americans and the Vote" -2020 is the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (1870), which granted African Americans the right to vote (Programs will be Wednesday February 19 at 3:30 p.m. at Avondale Regional Branch Library, and Monday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at Five Points West Regional Branch Library)

 • Black History Month Concert by the Wenonah High School Choir (Thursday, February 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Powderly Branch Library)

The Spirit of Harriet Tubman Re-enactment. Presented by R. Abayomi Goodall, Wednesday, February 19 at 3:30 p.m.

 • “Creasy”-The Story of an Enslaved Girl, Shirley Ferrill’s one-woman play that tells the true story of her enslaved great-great grandmother. Tuesday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m. at Pratt City Branch Library.

Cooking Healthy Soul Food with Chef E, Southside Branch Library, Saturday, February 29 at 10:00 a.m.

Inspirational Coasters honoring famous black heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks will be made by youth at Smithfield Library on February 5.

East Ensley Branch Library will celebrate National African-American Read-In on Tuesday, February 11 at 3:30 p.m.

Black History Month movies will be shown throughout February at several libraries.

Inglenook Library’s Readers Are Leaders Book Club will pay homage to teen author Marley Dias, founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You.

 Below s a listing of each program by library location of BPL’s Black History Month programs (you can also get more information by clicking on the seasonal calendar on the BPL website)

Avondale Regional Branch Library

Movie Matinee "Selma, Lord Selma," Sunday, February 2, 2:30 p.m. 
Join us for a showing of the Walt Disney movie “Selma, Lord Selma.”In 1965 Alabama, an 11 year old girl is touched by a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and becomes a devout follower. Her  resolve is tested when she joins others in the famed march from Selma to Montgomery.

Tot Time with Mrs. Eve: African Folktales, Monday, Feb. 3, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 
Join us for a morning of interactive fun as we share some favorite African Tales in celebration of Black History Month! Storytime designed for 2- to 4-year-olds, with a parent or caregiver; no groups, please.

Time for Tales with Mrs. Corinne – Thursday, February 6, 9:30 a.m.
Join us for a preschool storytime as we explore the rich world of African American heritage through stories, music, and more. Group registration not required but appreciated.

African Americans and the Vote – Wednesday, February 19, 3:30 p.m.
 The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) which granted African American men the right to vote. It also marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. Join us as we celebrate this year's Black History theme through stories and songs and recognize the struggle for voting rights among African American men and women throughout American history.

Central Library

 The 2020 Black Heritage Fair, “Theme: African Americans and the Vote,” Saturday, February 1, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Linn-Henley Research Library, Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor 
This free event, sponsored by the Birmingham African American Genealogy Group, will have several genealogy displays, singers, vendors, children dancers, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) information table, and guest speaker from the Walker County NAACP, which will remind us of our unique culture, the importance of registering to vote.

Bards & Brews Open Mic, Friday, February 7, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Birmingham Improv Theatre
BPL's popular spoken word poetry-craft beer event returns to Birmingham Improv Theatre, where an open mic program was held last November. Come show off your poetry about Black History and any topic of your choosing. Click here for more information about the February 7 Bards & Brews event at Birmingham Improv Theatre.  Beer will be provided by Interstallar Ginger Beer of Pelham. The event is made possible by a generous donation from the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.

Race and Real Estate: Redlining Birmingham in 1938, Sunday, February 9, 3:00 p.m., Arrington Auditorium
A federal government effort to identify the areas of Birmingham best suited to receive home mortgages led to the creation of a map in 1938 that further defined racial boundaries sanctioned by the city's zoning ordinance of 1926. Paul Boncella of the Southern History Department examines the two versions of the federal government's redlining map and other documents to demonstrate how real estate zones were delineated and how the criteria for doing so were later invoked to justify preserving the city's racial divisions.

An Emblem of Segregation: The 1926 Birmingham Zoning Map, February 23, 3:00 p.m., Arrington Auditorium 
A scheme to segregate the population of Birmingham by race existed both in theory and in practice long before the legislation that made it legal was passed in 1926. Paul Boncella of the Southern History Department examines the zoning map and other documents to demonstrate how the ordinance came into existence and why it was initially accepted by the population at large. Boncella presented a similar workshop about laws that allowed racial separation in Birmingham housing at BPL last year. 

"What Else They Brought: An Introduction to Native African Art and Contemporary African Americaan Art," presented by Octavia Kuransky, Tuesday, February 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Kuransky, of the Birmingham Museum of Art, will discuss African  and African American art that came to the United States after slavery.

East Ensley Branch Library

Solve It!, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Knowing African American history is the key to cracking this case. Afterschool children embark on a fun scavenger hunt, solving puzzles and decoding interesting facts that honor the achievement of black Americans.

 National African American Read-In, Tuesday, February 11, 3:30-4:30 p.m. 

Celebrate the National African-American Read-In by reading aloud a passage of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry from your favorite African-American author.

Black History Month Trivia, Tuesday, February 18, 4:00-4:30 p.m. 
Test your knowledge of African-American activists, leaders, thinkers, and artists.

 East Lake Branch Library 

Afterschool Tuesday Art Break, 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday - February 4, 11, 18, 25
Children and adults are invited to spend an hour coloring black history related coloring pages. Supplies provided.

East Lake Library Black History Month Storytime. 10:00 a.m. every Thursday  -February 6, 13, 20, 27
During February every Thursday at 10 a.m., children and preschoolers are invited to attend our Black History month themed story time. Let the fun and learning begin!

Rosa Parks Coloring Mosaic
During the month of February Adults, children and teens are invited to color a page of our Rosa Parks mosaic.

Black History Month Trivia, all month long in February
Come test your knowledge of African- American activists, leaders, thinkers, and artists.

Ensley Branch Library

Alabama Black History with Elinor and Winfield Burks, Wednesday, February 10 at 3:30 p.m. Fascinating facts will be presented about some of the African American heroes of Alabama.

Ensley Reading Gems, Thursday, February 13 at 10:00 a.m. 
Participants will come together and discuss their various views, insights and opinions on a book by an African American author.

African American Brain Teasers, Thursday, February 20 at 3:30 p.m. 
Patrons will learn or recall interesting facts and trivia related to African Americans while participating in fun activities such as word searches, crossword puzzles, and more.

Five Points West Regional Branch Library

African Americans and the Vote, Monday, Feb. 24, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Join us for a panel discussion on African Americans and the vote.

 Inglenook Branch Library 

Celebrating Black Music, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 3:00 p.m. 
Music from different genres written and performed by black artists will be played throughout Inglenook Library to pay homage to the black music culture.

Science with the Burks, Tuesday, February 11, 3:30 p.m.
Winfield and Eleanor Burks, longtime BPL volunteers, will perform science experiments discovered by black scientists.

I Heart Black Art, Friday, Feb. 14, 3:30 p.m.
Use your artistic expression to make a Valentine’s Day card for your loved ones while paying homage to black artists.
Marley Dias, founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and teen author.

Readers are Leaders Book Club, Honoring Marley Dias, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 3:30 p.m. 
Pay homage to teen author Marley Dias by joining us to read books about young heroes. Marley, 13, is the founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of “Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!” Marley launched #1000BlackGirlBooks in 2015, using the power of social media with a goal of collecting 1,000 books featuring black female protagonists by February 2016. Her story went viral, gaining media attention across the globe, and she has collected 11,000 books to date.

A Taste of History: Joseph Lee, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 3:30 p.m. 
Enjoy the taste of different forms of bread as we discuss the life of Joseph Lee,  black man who invented the Bread Making Machine.

Black History Movie, Friday, Feb. 28, 3:15 p.m.
 Join us as we watch a movie based on an aspect of black history. Refreshments will be served.

North Avondale Branch Library

“Movie in the Afternoon”-Every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. -February 5, 12, 19, 26 
Join us for an afternoon movie and snack. We will showcase an inspirational movie highlighting a black history event.

Black History BINGO! – Friday, Feb. 21, 3:30 p.m.
Children will be introduced t great moments of black history and the civil rights movement as they play bingo.

North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

African-American Open Mic Poetry, Monday, February 4, 4:00-5:30 p.m. 
Come participate by reading an original poem or poetry written by an African-American author.

"My Black is Beautiful” Pattern Print for ART ATTACK ( For ages 10 and up.), Wednesday, February 12, 4:00 p.m.

Real MENtors Talk Pizza & Purpose for Young Men aged 14-18, Wednesday, Feb 19, 4:00 p.m. 

Black professional men will talk to our teenagers about their careers and share words of encouragement. Real MENtors Talk is a male mentoring program started by BPL in September 2019.

Paint Me A Story!, Monday, February 18, 3:30 p.m.
Children will enjoy a read-aloud story Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome. After the reading, children will create an art piece relating to the story. Registration required.

Pratt City Branch Library

History in the Painting, Tuesday, February 4, 2:30 p.m. 
Join us as we explore history through painting with Mitch Jones.

“Creasy” The Story of an Enslaved Girl, Tuesday, February 18, 10:00 a.m.
Listen and watch as Shirley Ferrill, in her one woman play tell the story of her enslaved great-great grandmother. Ms. Ferrill, who operates an African American clothing store in Birmingham, has shared her story at various venues around Birmingham including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Powderly Branch Library 

Black History Trivia, February 3-21
Join us February 3-21 for our trivia contest. Pick up information from our Circulation Desk to enter for a grand prize!

Wenonah High School Choir, Thursday, February 27, 5:30 p.m. 
Come sing along with this great choir from Wenonah High School as they render various editions of Negro Spirituals and other selections from African American composers.

Smithfield Branch Library

 Inspirational Coasters, Wednesday, February 5, all day during library hours 
Participants will be creating coasters featuring iconic heroes such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, etc. Materials will be available all day to create the coasters.

Black History Month Movies: 
Rosewood- February 21, 4:00 p.m.
Selma, Lord, Selma- February 28, 4:00 p.m.

Southside Branch Library

Cooking Healthy Soul Food with Chef E, Saturday, February 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m. 
Get tips on cooking healthy family favorite dishes from Chef E. Participants will enjoy a taste of the result of the cooking demonstration. The program is free but limited to 25 adults. Reserve your place by calling 205-933-7776.

Springville Road Regional Branch Library 

Freedom, The Underground Railroad Interactive Board Game (for teens), Friday, Feb. 21, 4:00 p.m. 

Black History Trivia Contest, Friday, Feb. 28, 4:00 p.m. 

Titusville Branch Library

 Black History Month Movie- The Barber of Birmingham, Tuesday, February 4, 3:30 p.m. 
Join us for a viewing of The Barber of Birmingham, which follows James Armstrong, one of the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. Light refreshments will be provided.

West End Branch Library

 The Spirit of Harriet Tubman Reenactment. Presented by R. Abayomi Goodall Wednesday, February 19, 3:30 p.m. 
Join us for this powerful event as R. Abayomi Goodall presents a reenactment of Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery before escaping and establishing the famed Underground Railroad. Tubman returned to the South 19 times to lead 300 other slaves to freedom. Goodall is an accomplished, versatile performing and visual artist, often described as a personality of “Rhythms, Color and Sound."

 A native of Washington, D.C., Abayomi moved to Selma in 2010 to serve as the director of the Ancient Africa Enslavement & Civil War Museum. Her stage credits include “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman,” “I Am Elizabeth Bowser,” “The Amen Corner,” “Georgia History Timeline” and “The Dreamer.” A professional dancer, Goodall danced and toured with Calabash Dance Theatre.

Woodlawn Branch Library

 Black History Month Bingo, Tuesday, February 10, 3:45 p.m.
Join us for Black History Month Bingo. Learn something new while winning some great prizes!

Spotlight on Black Films: Hidden Figures, Thursday, February 20, 3:45 p.m.
Stop by and enjoy a classic movie during Black History Month. Light refreshments will be served.

Wylam Branch Library

 Wylam Book Club, Wednesday, February 19, 11:00 a.m.
The Wylam Book Club will discuss the novel House Girl by Tara Conklin

Storytime with Ms. Fontaine, Friday, February 21 at 10:00 a.m.
In honor of Black History Month, join us for a special story time with books and songs to learn about African-American history and celebrate the skin you're in.

Arts and Crafts, Tuesday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m.
 Create and design your own African-inspired bracelet.

Storytime with Ms. Fontaine, Friday, February 28 at 10:00 a.m.
In honor of Black History Month, join us for a special story time with books and songs to learn about African-American history and celebrate the skin you're in.