Birmingham Public Library Celebrates The Arts This Black History Month 2024 With 81 Programs

Flyer advertising the Black History Month programs happening at all BPL locations in February 2024.

Celebrate Black History Month at the Birmingham Public Library this year with a variety of programs, like film screenings and art programs—including an art exhibition of contemporary Gee's Bend quilts! There are 81 programs happening across 16 active BPL library branch locations this February.

This year's theme for Black History Month is African Americans and the Arts.

Avondale Regional Branch Library | 509 40th Street S, Birmingham, AL 35222

All Ages Programs

Grab N’ Go: Black History Month Magnet Craft
All month long | Available while supplies last
Craft your own Black History Month magnet! This keepsake craft can be completed in the library or picked up to take home. Available while supplies last.

Black History Month Bookmark Coloring Activity
All month long | Available while supplies last
Color your own bookmarks featuring quotes by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. Available while supplies last.

Adult Programs

Club Create: Mixed Media Black History Month Mosaic
Wednesday, February 28 | 2:00 p.m.
Close out Black History Month by creating your own work of art. Our Club Create workshops for adults feature a new craft project each week with instruction and materials provided.

Youth Programs

Famous Alabamians Scavenger Hunt
Monday, February 19–Thursday, February 29 | During hours of operation
There are ton of mega-famous people who are synonymous with life in Alabama in all realms of endeavors, including politics, sports, education, film, music and more. Find the photographs of 10 famous African Americans hidden throughout the library and match each champion to the statement that best describes them.

Central Library | 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203

All Ages Programs

Assembly: Contemporary Gee's Bend Quilts
Monday, January 1–Saturday, February 24 | During hours of operation
East Building Fourth Floor, Gallery
Artists' Opening Reception
Saturday, February 3 | 3:00–5:00 p.m.
30 contemporary quilts created by 23 Gee’s Bend quilters are on display in an Art for Everyone art exhibition. The Central Library is hosting a reception for Assembly and two additional artists, who are also opening on the first floor that same day, on Saturday, February 3. Many of the quilters will be present at the reception.

Soulful Sunday: Gospel Music Competition
Sunday, February 18 | 1:00–3:00 p.m.
East Building First Floor, Grand Commons
Up to 10 soloists will compete for prizes—1st place wins $250.00, 2nd place wins $100.00, and 3rd place wins $50.00. Experience these moving performances as an audience member or as an audience judge and help choose the winners. If you are a gospel or soul singer interested in competing, registration for Soulful Sunday opened Tuesday, January 16, and closes Thursday, February 15. You can register to compete on the BPL's calendar page.

Mixed Ages Programs

Archives 101
Saturday, February 17 | 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Research Library Fourth Floor, Arrington Auditorium
Connor Marullo will walk through the ins and outs of the archive experience. This talk will cover utilizing finding aids, making an appointment with the archives, and going over the rules and regulations for handling the collections. If you are planning a visit to the archives or are interested in how the archives function, this presentation is for you. This program is intended for Teens, Adults, and Seniors.

DNA Testing for African Ethnicities, Updated 2024
Wednesday, February 21 | 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Research Library Fourth Floor, Computer Lab
DNA ethnicity testing may seem like an efficient way to identify ancestral connection to the peoples and places of Sub-Saharan Africa, but what do you know about the tests and insights they offer? Paul Boncella examines the current state of the science, lists possibilities for African ethnicity testing, and explains what various products actually deliver. This program is intended for Tweens, Teens, and Adults and is happening in-person and virtually on Zoom. Registration is only required for online attendance; visit the BPL’s calendar page to register for Zoom.

Adult Programs

Bards & Brews Slam
Friday, February 2 | Registration starts at 6:00 p.m.; Slam start at 6:30 p.m.
East Building First Floor, Grand Commons
Poets are not required to compete with Black History Month themed poetry, but many poets do share poetry about race, culture, identity, and history. This competition is open to the 1st 10 participants who register with the $5.00 registration fee; registration starts promptly at 6:00 p.m. on-site at the Central Library. Our guest entertainer is local drummer Barry Johnson, and our resident host is Thed Weller.

Researching Your House History
Saturday, February 10 | 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Research Library Fourth Floor, Arrington Auditorium
Jefferson County enjoys a rich architectural heritage. This talk introduces you to sources available at the Birmingham Public Library Archives to locate vintage photos of your house, building or church; determine the structure's age; and learn who has lived or worked there.

The Self-Care Mastermind: Dance Your Heart In!
Monday, February 12 | 5:30–6:30 p.m.
East Building First Floor, Grand Commons
Join licensed massage therapist and certified health coach Christina (C. J.) Wade for The Self-Care Mastermind series. Each program covers topics related to physical and mental health. Topics include diet/nutrition, exercise, meditation and relaxation techniques, therapeutic journaling, and personal healthcare advocacy. February's focus is on exercise and dance.

Author Talk Jerome E. Morris & Central City’s Joy and Pain
Saturday, February 24 | 11:00 a.m.
Research Library Fourth Floor, Arrington Auditorium
Jerome E. Morris will speak about his book Central City’s Joy and Pain: Solidarity, Survival, and Soul in a Birmingham Housing Project. In his book, Morris explores complex social issues through personal narrative by blending social-science research with his own memoir of life in Birmingham, Alabama.

East Ensley Branch Library | 900 14th Street Ensley, Birmingham, AL 35218

All Ages Programs

Black Girl Magic Movie Screenings
Thursdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 | 3:00–5:30 p.m.
East Ensley is hosting movie screenings that highlight black girls and women in magical and fantastical settings. February 1 is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1998), February 8 is The Princess and The Frog, February 15 is A Wrinkle in Time (2018), February 22 is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and February 29 is The Little Mermaid (2023).

Black History Watch Party Biopic
Tuesday, February 27 | 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Join us as we learn more about black history with our biopic watch party.

Adult Programs

Stitch and Chat
Thursdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 | 1:00 p.m.
Do you have a love of quilting or a desire to learn? Meet the members of Stitch and Chat!

Black History Bingo
Tuesday, February 6 | 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Come learn black history facts with a game of bingo!

Adult Black History Snack and Paint
Tuesday, February 13 | 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Join East Ensley Library for a black history painting and free refreshments.

Youth Programs

Grab N’ Go: Quilt Code
All month long | During hours of operation
Stop by to pick up a Grab N’ Go craft based on quilt codes, or you can stay to make your craft and learn more information about it.

Teen Black History Snack and Paint
Tuesday, February 20 | 1:00–2:30 p.m.
Teens are invited to join us for a painting session on black history with snacks.

Five Points West Regional Branch Library | 4812 Avenue W, Birmingham, AL 35208

Adult Programs

Black History Collaborative Quilt by Five Points West Quilt Club
Saturday, February 3 | 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Five Points West Quilt Club is creating an anniversary quilt celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Five Points West Library's current location. This quilt will also incorporate block codes used in the Underground Railroad that communicated secret messages to aid enslaved people escape to freedom.

Black History Month Concert: A Sweet Bouquet of Musical Flowers
Saturday, February 10 | 2:00 p.m.
Come out for an exciting afternoon concert exploring the multi-genre sounds of spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, ballads, and love songs. Join singer HAWK (J. D. Jackson) and his band as they perform music from different genres that fueled African Americans throughout the ages.

Black History Month Movie Matinee: The Color Purple
Saturday, February 17 | 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 21 | 11:30 a.m.
Join us for the Black History Month Movie Matinee film screening of the reimagined musical version of The Color Purple.

Inglenook Branch Library | 4100 40th Terrace N, Birmingham, AL 35217

All Ages Programs

Community Cityscapes
Thursday, February 22 | 4:00- 5:00 p.m.
Create a painting inspired by African American artist Faith Ringgold.

Youth Programs

Story Time
Tuesday, February 20 | 4:00- 5:00 p.m.
Black history stories with crafts and snacks.

North Avondale Branch Library | 501 43rd Street N, Birmingham, AL 35222

Youth Programs

Black History Essay Contest
Deadline is Friday, February 23 | During hours of operation
Children will be given a writing prompt about their favorite African American leader/figure and why they chose that individual. Prizes and completion certificates will be given to participants. The deadline for essay submission is Friday, February 23, at the end of the day. On Thursday, February 29, the essay contest winners will be announced.

Check out their blog to learn more

Coding Club
Mondays, February 5, 12, and 26 | 3:00 p.m.
Join us as we learn to code, build a mobile app, and develop our own Artificial Intelligence project. We will also play fun games on and

Black History Trivia Game
Friday, February 16 | 3:00 p.m.
Play a fun game of trivia about African American leaders!

Black History Book Cafe
Thursday, February 22 | 3:00 p.m.
Sample some tasty books about famous African American leaders and celebrate their contributions to Black History Month.

North Birmingham Regional Branch Library | 2501 31st Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35207

Adult Programs

Black History Quotes Trivia
All month long | During hours of operation
Come join us as we give “power to the people” and guess the name of the leader behind each memorable quote! Guess correctly and the winner will receive a prize!

Slide City
Wednesdays, February 7 and 21 | 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Patrons will learn and dance to a variety of line dance music with the designated dance for each song. This program is for beginners and advanced dancers.

Lights Out
Friday, February 16 | 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Watch a movie with the Adult Department. Light refreshments, like popcorn, snacks, and bottled water, are offered, too.

Youth Programs

The Peanut Craft
Tuesday, February 20 | During hours of operation
Patrons will learn more about George Washington Carver's discovery of over 300 uses of peanuts while doing a paper peanut craft. Be aware that this craft does include peanut butter if your child has a peanut allergy. 

Grab N’ Go Art Attack: Celebrating Faith Ringgold—Painted Story Quilts
Wednesday, February 21 | During hours of operation
Patrons will celebrate the artistry of Faith Ringgold and paint their story quilts.

A Taste of History: Famous Amos
Wednesday, February 28 | 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy the sweet taste of cookies as we honor and discuss the life of Wallace "Wally" Amos, founder of Famous Amos cookies. Also, discover why many cookie lovers still consider Famous Amos cookies their favorite!

Powderly Branch Library | 3301 Jefferson Avenue SW, Birmingham, AL 35221

Adult Programs

Underground Railroad Inspired Abstract Painting
Tuesday, February 20 | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Create abstract art that is inspired by the quilt code used in the Underground Railroad by enslaved individuals to escape from slave states to free northern U.S. states and Canada.

Youth Programs

Change Sings Craft & Storytime
Thursday, February 8 | 10:00–11:00 a.m.
This is a story and craft time for children in preschool–2nd grade. We're reading Amanda Gorman's book to highlight young influential artists.

Pratt City Branch Library | 509 Dugan Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35214

Adult Programs

Documentary Now: Black History
Monday, February 19 | 1:00–2:30 p.m.
See African American history and join us for a discussion.

Black History Month Bingo
Friday, February 16 | 10:00–11:30 a.m.
BINGO! Are you ready to learn some cool facts about Martin Luther King Jr.? Come hang out with us to play bingo and win big!

Smithfield Branch Library | 1 8th Avenue W, Birmingham, AL 35204

All Ages Programs

Grab N’ Go: Black Excellence Pin Craft
Thursday, February 1–Friday, February 9 | During hours of operation
Grab a Black Excellence Pin Craft kit in honor of Black History Month.

Black History Bingo: Who Am I?
Tuesdays, February 6, 13, 20, and 27 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Join us for a bingo game that grows your knowledge while having fun!

History in the Making Movie Mania
Wednesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Watch a black history inspired movie every Wednesday in February.

Free to Shop Mobile Store
Wednesday, February 14 | 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Smithfield Branch Library and Be Kind Birmingham are giving back to the community. Stop by to check out Be Kind Birmingham’s free-to-shop mobile store that all ages can enjoy.

Adult Programs

Black History with the Burks
Tuesday, February 20 | 10:00 a.m.
Join us for Black History Month and learn about African American history and culture while engaging through arts, crafts, and history.

Southside Branch Library | 1814 11th Avenue S, Birmingham, AL 35205

All Ages Programs

Grab N’ Go: Quilting to Freedom
Monday, February 12–Friday, February 16 | During hours of operation
The Quilting to Freedom Grab N' Go kit allows families to work together to re-create a paper version of quilts made during America's colonial period, which held codes that told secret messages along the Underground Railroad.

Adult Programs

Reel Deal
Wednesday, February 7 | 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Reel Deal led by Perdeta Long discusses & recommends movies that match the monthly theme. All movies mentioned can be checked out physically from the BPL or digitally on Hoopla, Libby, or Kanopy. February’s theme is Black History Month, and this program will be streamed on Southside Library's Facebook page.

Springville Road Regional Branch Library | 1224 Springville Road, Birmingham, AL 35215

All Ages Programs

Underground Railroad Quilt Board Game
Monday, February 12 | 4:00–5:00 p.m.
Come to the Springville Road Youth Department to play a unique board game where you use Freedom Quilts to escape on the Underground Railroad. Learn about these historical topics while having fun. Games bring people together!

Sahi On Ko Djony
Wednesday, February 21 | 4:00–5:00 p.m.
Enjoy an immersive experience of West African drumming, dance, and folklore from Sahi On Ko Djony.

Adult Programs

Fiction Book Club
Tuesday, February 13 | 2:00–3:00 p.m.
February's pick is The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. Come discuss the friendship of African American educator Mary McLeod Bethune and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This group meets in person and virtually through Zoom. Register to attend through Zoom.

Beyond Your Ordinary Book Club
Tuesday, February 20 | 2:00–3:00 p.m.
In this group, members can read, listen to, or watch the media of their choice within a given topic and discuss their selections at the club meeting. February’s topic is African American authors. This group meets in person and virtually through Zoom. Call 205-226-4081 to inquire about attending via Zoom.

Youth Programs

Grab N’ Go: Create Your Own Black History Bracelet!
All month long | During hours of operation
This Black History Month, create your own unique African lace beads that provide a natural bohemian look. This Grab N’ Go craft will maximize your creativity and imagination! Available while supplies last.

Titusville Branch Library | 2 6th Avenue SW, Birmingham, AL 35211

All Ages Programs

Titusville Community Family History Harvest
Monday, February 5–Friday, February 9 | 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
The Titusville Black History Month Family Memory Wall seeks to uncover and celebrate the rich tapestry of familial narratives within our community. During this week, we are hosting workshops each day to help build a collective archive for the Titusville community. Call 205-322-1140 for the full schedule.

Read their blog to learn more

Love Day: A Celebration of Black History, Valentine's Day Love, and Intergenerational Connections
Tuesday, February 13 | 10:45 a.m.
In honor of Black History Month and Valentine's Day, we are hosting a celebration of love, laughter, and intergenerational connections. Get ready for an unforgettable Love Comedian Show with the charismatic Mattie J., and enjoy complimentary massages, manicures, facials, music, food, and games. Registration is required. Call 205-322-1140 to secure your spot at the program.

Mixed Ages Programs

Exchange Club Education
Tuesdays, February 6, 13, 20, and 27 | 10:00–11:00 a.m.
Join us at our library as we collaborate with the Exchange Club of Alabama to educate, motivate, and support parents who come in for our Diaper Resource Day.

Titusville Branch Community Resource Day
Thursday, February 8 | 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Vendors will provide information and resources, such as medical consultations, food distribution, utility assistance, and other essential services, for patrons. This program is intended for Teens, Adults, and Seniors.

Spin Drums
Monday, February 26 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Want to make your own musical instrument? Then come to the Titusville Branch to learn how to construct your very own spin drums!

Adult Programs

Titusville Branch Diaper Resource Day
Tuesday, February 6 | 10:00–11:00 a.m.
Patrons in the community will be provided with free diapers and wipes.

Farmer’s Market
Wednesday, February 7 | 10:00–11:00 a.m.
Patrons will have the chance to acquire fresh produce for free. This program is intended for Seniors.

Black History Collage
Monday, February 12 | 10:30–11:30 a.m.
To celebrate Black History Month, make your own collage about black history with materials from magazines and newspapers.

Watch a Movie about Black History
Thursday, February 15 | 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Join us for a movie all about African American history!

Youth Programs

African Necklace Craft
Mondays, February 5 and 19 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
To commemorate Black History Month, learn how to make your very own African necklace!

Black History Collage
Monday, February 12 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
To celebrate Black History Month, come to Titusville Branch to make your own collage about black history with materials including magazines and newspapers.

Watch a Movie about Black History
Thursday, February 15 | 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Join us for a movie all about African American history!

West End Branch Library | 1348 Tuscaloosa Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35211

All Ages Programs

Jigsaw Puzzle Club
All month long | During hours of operation
Help us put together a jigsaw puzzle. We'd love for you to stop by any time to put some pieces in place.

UAB Live HealthSmart Alabama
Wednesday, February 7 | 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Stop by the UAB HealthSmart table to learn more about healthy living and diabetes.

Live at the Library: Celebrating Black History
Wednesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Celebrate black history at the library with readings, stories, and dramatizations. Share something such as a poem or listen to presentations by others.

Friday Movie Matinee
Fridays, February 9 and 23 | 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a movie and a snack.

Make a Beaded Bracelet
Wednesday, February 14 | 12:00 p.m.
Design a beaded bracelet to wear to celebrate Black History Month.

Craft Time: Make a Button
Friday, February 16 | 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Use our button maker to create a button to wear to celebrate black history.

Adult Programs

Coffee at the Library
All month long | 9:00–10:00 a.m.
Stop by the library every morning in February to enjoy free coffee and snacks. Learn more about the library and the West End community during your visit.

West End Crocheters
Wednesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 10:00 a.m.
Work on your own crochet project or learn how to crochet with us. Enjoy a snack and the company of friends.

Talk with a Doc: Diabetes Education and Healthy Living
Wednesday, February 7 | 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Learn more about health and wellness in a relaxed and informal environment. This monthly program provides education on a wide range of health topics, like wellness, relationships, physical health, nutrition, exercise, and more.

Computer Basics
Thursday, February 15 | 10:00-11:00 a.m.
In each class, participants will get hands-on practice with the basics of computers.

Woodlawn Branch Library | 5709 1st Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35212

All Ages Programs

Famous African Americans Word Search
All month long | During hours of operation
Enjoy this word search puzzle by finding the names of famous African Americans. Take the puzzle with you or complete it here at the library. This puzzle will be available throughout February.

Adult Programs

TRIO Educational Opportunity Center at UAB
Wednesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at UAB representatives will provide information on how adults can continue their education. TRIO EOC's services include GED assistance; college and trade school application help; applying for financial aid and scholarships; tutoring and mentoring; and more! Their services are free to eligible participants.

Tax Preparation with AARP
Mondays and Wednesdays, February 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, and 28 | 9:00 a.m.
Patrons are invited to have their taxes processed with AARP. This program continues in March and early April on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Wylam Branch Library | 4300 7th Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35224

All Ages Programs

Community Jigsaw Puzzle
All month long | During hours of operation
Join us throughout February to help complete a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle that depicts the journey of some iconic African Americans.

Black History Month Scavenger Hunt
All month long | During hours of operation
Participate in our scavenger hunt challenge and learn about several famous African Americans who all have ties to Alabama.

Black History Month Word Puzzles
All month long | During hours of operation
Strengthen your brain by completing African American history word puzzles, crossword puzzles, brain teasers, and more.

Adult Programs

TGIF Crafts
Friday, February 2 | 10:00 a.m.
Participants will decorate African American History Month keychains and magnets that can be displayed with pride all year.

Wylam Book Club
Wednesday, February 21 | 11:00 a.m.
We will discuss the novel Rules of Engagement by African American author Stacey Abrams, writing under her pen name, Selena Montgomery. The novel has suspense, risk, danger, and romance that will lead to great conversation.

Youth Programs

Wylam After-School Club
Tuesday, February 13 | 3:30 p.m.
In honor of African American aviator John C. Robinson, we will watch a video to learn about the forces that make paper planes SOAR and become an expert plane folder! Participants are challenged to fold and adjust their own paper plane to try and make it fly as far as possible.

Follow the BPL on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter for more updates like these, and check out our Calendar page to see what other programs are happening.

By Cheyenne Trujillo | Library Assistant Ⅲ, PR Department