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Black History Month at the Birmingham Public Library

Birmingham Public Library (Photo, Cody Owens)

Times Staff Report

The Birmingham Public Library is hosting over 80 programs celebrating Black History Month in February, including musicals, soul food cooking demos, African-American dance, genealogy and movies.

On Feb. 24, Pratt City Branch Library’s Crown & Tea program is combining the cherished African-American custom of wearing church hats with a formal tea. Learn the art of African dance from BPL’s Candice Hardy at Five Points West and Pratt City libraries.

At Wylam, Pratt City and Titusville libraries, come learn how to make tasty healthy soul dishes more nutritious. Celebrate African-American music at Central, Powderly, West End and East Lake libraries. You can view the full list of Black History Month and other programs and services at BPL’s 19 libraries by clicking on the calendar at www.bplonline.org.

Here is a sample of select 2018 Black History Month programs being held in February:

Church hats and tea program

  • Crown & Tea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2-3:30 p.m., Pratt City Branch Library-During and after slavery, black women took off their maid and servant outfits and wore decorated hats to church. Join this cherished African-American custom. Adorn your favorite church hat and join us for tea as we see who has the best “hattitude.”
  • A Taste of Black History with Chef E, Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m. at Titusville Branch Library – Join Chef E for a healthy cooking demonstration. This program is free and limited to 25 adults. Call 205-322-1140 to register.

 African Dance

  • Heritage Corner with Ms. Candice, Saturday, Feb. 24, 3-5 p.m. at Five Points West Regional Library – Join us for an afternoon of cultural enrichment as 2e explore the art and history of African dance and the history of “stepping.”
  • Heritage Corner with Ms. Candice, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m. at Pratt City Branch Library – Candice Hardy will present an African dance performance.


  • Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) Music Department Salutes African American History Month, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 4-5 p.m. in Linn-Henley Research Building Arrington Auditorium – Concert by the Music Department of ASFA, under the leadership of Kim Strickland, Department Chair. Featuring
  • Our Musical Journey Through Faith, Thursday, Feb. 22, 3:30 p.m. at West End Branch Library – Broadway singer extraordinaire Royce Brown presents a medley of historical African-American songs of faith and the struggles of the civil rights movement.
  • East Ensley Presents Katrina Pigler, Thursday, Feb. 22, 5-6 p.m. at East Ensley Branch Library – Join us for an inspirational concert featuring Katrina Pigler singing a variety of jazz and gospel songs.
  • Powderly Annual Black History Musical and Program, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m. at Powderly Branch Library-Call 205-925-6178 for more information.

Writing And Spoken Word

  • Share Your Dream, through February 28 at East Lake Branch Library – Children and adults are invited to share their dream in writing at East Lake Library. Entries will be added to the library’s Martin Luther King display.
  • “African Americans in Times of War Spoken War,” Friday Feb. 23, 3:30 p.m. at Inglenook Branch Library – Recite a poem acknowledging the National Black History Month Theme “African Americans in Times of War Spoken War” or recite a poem on African American heroes and events. Register in advance at 205-849-8739.
  • The Race Card (all ages), through February 28, Pratt City Branch Library – Discussions about race can often be difficult and enlightening. Express your thoughts on race into one sentence using only six words. Your six-word sentence will be on display on the Race Card Wall.
  • Finding Your Roots, Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 12-14, 4 p.m. at Five Points West Regional Library – Educator
  • Black History Month Research-Using BPL Databases to Connect to Our Past, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2:15-3:15 p.m., Regional Library Computer Center in Linn-Henley Research Building – Attendees will learn how to combine historical and genealogical research using BPL’s databases, African American History Online and Ancestry Library Edition.
  • The Beyond Kin Project: Making the Slave Connection, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m., Linn-Henley Research Building – Project co-founders Donna Cox Baker and Frazine K. Taylor will teach a software method and research techniques for handling the unique complexities of helping African-Americans research their slave connections using common genealogy tools.
  • Finding Your Roots, Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 12-14, 4 p.m. at Five Points West Regional Library – Educator Henry Louis Gates Jr. has hosted several PBS series that examine U.S. history. In “Finding Your Roots,” the Harvard professor continues his quest to get into the DNA of American culture.


  • “Stroke Mythbusters” Facts and Myths about Strokes, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m. – Learn the truth about stroke, presented by UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center and Dr. Michael J. Lyerly, director of the UAB Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program and director of the Stroke Center at Veterans Affairs.