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Birmingham Public Library to Host Dozens of Black History Month Programs

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bplonlinenews.comThe Birmingham Public Library (BPL)‘s celebration of Black History Month is into its second week. Throughout February, BPL is hosting 71 free programs and activities for our patrons in 15 libraries across the city, some in person and some online. Click here for a listing on our calendar (Black History Month programs)

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

Famous Alabamians Scavenger Hunt 

All month long

There are tons of famous people that have a connection to Alabama! Your challenge is to find the photographs of 10 famous African Americans hidden throughout the Avondale Library and match each icon to the statement that best describes them.

Almost to Freedom

Wednesday, February 9 | Uploads at 8:00 a.m. on their Facebook page

The Underground Railroad was not a railroad with tracks and trains—it was a system of people who believed that everyone deserves respect and freedom. Join Ms. Cas as she shares this riveting story along The Underground Railroad from the perspective of a child’s doll.

Make and Take Kits: Achi Game Board

Through Tuesday, March 1

Celebrate Black History Month with a game of Achi from Ghana! Participants will make a felt game board for Achi, a game from Ghana that is similar to tic-tac-toe. Kits include supplies and instructions and are available while supplies last.

Time for Tales with Mrs. Corinne: Legendary Tales of Black History

Thursday, February 10 | Starts at 10:30 a.m.

From Anansi to John Henry, black heritage is full of fantastic and fun legends. Join Avondale staff for a storytime filled with talking animals, magical skies, and familiar songs to celebrate the richness of black history. This program is for children ages three to five with a caregiver present. Space is limited and registration is required for this in-person event. Call the Avondale Youth Department at 205-226-4003 to register.

Take 2 Tales: Koi and the Kola Nuts

Friday, February 11 | Uploads at 8:00 a.m. on their Facebook page

All Koi has is a bag of kola tree nuts, and he needs to get home. Can he find a way to solve his problems? Follow along with this beloved Liberian folktale and find out!

Time for Tales with Ms. Cas and Ms. Marie: Very Well: Grandma’s Best Medicine 

Thursday, February 24 | Starts at 10:30 a.m.

This program features stories, songs, and recipes that rely on tradition to maintain health and wellness. Space is limited and registration is required for this in-person event. Call the Avondale Youth Department at 205-226-4003 to register.

Central Library
2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203

3D Printing Jewelry (Tweens)

Wednesday, February 16 | From 3:30—4:30 p.m.

Create jewelry inspired by Black Panther on our 3D printers.

 Hip Hop Cardio (Tweens)

Friday, February 18 | From 3:30—4:30 p.m.

Learn some new choreography and get your steps in. Let’s get moving!

T.K. Thorne and Behind the Magic Curtain

Saturday, February 12 | From 2—3 p.m.

Join local author T.K. Thorne as she discusses her new book. Behind the Magic Curtain: Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days peels back history’s veil to reveal little-known or never-told stories of an intriguing cast of characters. This event is held in the auditorium of the Central Library.

DNA Testing for African Ancestry

Tuesday, February 22 | From 12—1 p.m.

DNA ethnicity testing may seem like a simple and efficient way to trace your ethnicity. But do you know the differences between all the testing kits and what they offer? Paul Boncella examines the current state of the science behind ancestry kits, lists the possibilities for African ethnicity testing, and explains what the various products actually deliver. This program is open to all patrons and held virtually. Register online to attend this program.

East Ensley Branch Library

900 14th Street Ensley, Birmingham, AL 35218

Black History Month Trivia Game @ your Library

Tuesday, February 15 | Starts at 3:15 p.m.

East Ensley Library is hosting a Black History Month trivia game for afterschool kids. Test your knowledge about the contributions of African Americans and historical facts.

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

The Power of Love: A Black History Discovery Program

All month long | From 9 a.m.—6 p.m.

While Black History Month celebrates many African American icons, we often don’t know much about the leader’s partner. Love is an integral element to what these icons were able to achieve. Five Points West Library is focusing on the softer sides of black trailblazers, so patrons can learn a little more about well-known black historical figures.

The Oral History Project: Remembering the Unknown Foot Soldiers 

Wednesday, February 16 | Starts at 10:30 a.m.

Join Five Points West staff with a celebration of local history for Black History Month. Birmingham Public Library Archivist Jim Baggett will lead a discussion with civil rights foot soldiers about their experiences, protests, and courage during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Who Am I? Connecting to Your Past Using BPL Databases

Wednesday, February 23 | Starts at 10:30 a.m.

Researching your past bridges the gap across time and allows you to explore your family’s history. Attendees will learn how to combine historical and genealogy research using BPL databases, like African American History OnlineAncestry Library Edition, and familysearch.org.

Amazing Everyday Heroes

Wednesday, February 23 | Starts at 4 p.m.

Anyone can be a hero. Hear the story of ordinary people who risked their lives and became civil rights heroes when a bomb threatened to destroy their church. This program is held in the Meeting Room. Register in the Youth Department or call 205-226-4017 for more information.

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

Black History Word Search

Tuesday, February 1—Monday, February 28

Anybody that likes to color can come in and color a variety of Black History Month-themed coloring sheets.

Black History Coloring Fun

Tuesday, February 1—Monday, February 28

Come in and do a Black History Month-themed word search!

Black History Scavenger Hunt 

Tuesday, February 1—Monday, February 28

Come in and see the Black History Month bulletin board to get clues about who the famous people on the board are.

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

Famous Alabamians Scavenger Hunt 

All month long

There are tons of famous people that have a connection to Alabama! Your challenge is to find the photographs of 10 famous African Americans hidden throughout the North Avondale Library and match each icon to the statement that best describes them.

Take 2 Tales: Koi and the Kola Nuts

Friday, February 11 | Virtually on their Facebook page

All Koi has is a bag of kola tree nuts, and he needs to get home. Can he find a way to solve his problems? Follow along with this beloved Liberian folktale and find out! This virtual storytime is uploaded to the North Avondale Library Facebook Page at 8 a.m.

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

Black History Storytime Activity Kits (Children)

All month long

Stop by the North Birmingham Library and pick up your Black History Storytime Kit! Kits consist of books and activity sheets about people or events that make up black history.

Make It, Take It: Black History Month Arts and Crafts (Adults)

All month long

Activities inspired by Black History Month will be available throughout the whole month of February. Drop in any day and have fun completing the activities while learning!

A Taste of History: Famous Amos (Adults)

Tuesday, February 15 | Starts at 11 a.m.

Enjoy the sweet taste of cookies as North Birmingham staff honors and discusses the life of Wallace “Wally” Amos, founder of Famous Amos cookies. Discover why many cookie lovers still consider Famous Amos cookies their favorite!

Art Attack: Kings and Queens of Africa (Teens and Tweens)

Available starting Wednesday, February 16 | Available while supplies last

Learn about the kings and queens throughout the continent of Africa with this Make It, Take It art kit! Young patrons will paint a portrait with the supplies provided in the kit as they explore these historic royals

Black History Movie Showing (Adult)

Thursday, February 17 | Starts at 11 a.m.

Join North Birmingham Library staff to watch a movie based on a black history event. Check-in with the North Birmingham Library to see what movie they will show!

Black Health and Wellness: Bama Food Presentation (Adult)

Tuesday, February 22 | Starts at 11 a.m.

A Bama Health Foods representative is presenting about the six essential nutrients needed for your health and what each one does for your body.

Pratt City Branch Library
509 Dugan Ave, Birmingham, AL 35214

Black History Collage 

Wednesday, February 16 | Starts at 1:30 p.m.

Get creative and turn your favorite moments and heroes into a collage! Articles, papers, pictures, and craft supplies will be provided.

MLK Stained Glass Art

Wednesday, February 23 | Starts at 10 a.m.

Join Pratt City Library staff for Black History Month and learn how to create a stained glass art piece of Martin Luther King Jr. All supplies are provided.

Southside Branch Library
1814 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205

Black History Trivia

All month long | All day during business hours 

How much do you really know about black history? Test your knowledge by answering questions related to African American history! You may use a computer to find answers, BUT you are timed to complete these questions. Your name will be entered into a drawing for a prize awarded each week. Patrons are limited to one entry. For more information, call the Southside Library at 205-933-7776.

Grab n Go Kit: Timeline Travel

All month long | Available while supplies last

Check out a library book, grab an encyclopedia, or get to the internet to complete a timeline or journey of a well-known African American historical figure. Each week Southside Library will feature a historical figure. Drop by and pick up a Grab n Go kit that includes pieces with an event that happened during the life of the person. For more information, call the Southside Library at 205-933-7776.

#BINGO Black History Bingo for Teens

Every Wednesday in February | From 4:00—5:00 p.m.

Do you know your history? Join Southside Library staff for an opportunity to elevate your knowledge of black history through BINGO! Teens will answer questions and match their answers to the correct name on their BINGO card. The winner(s) will be rewarded! Teens are welcome to play every Wednesday.

Read-in for Justice

Saturday, February 26 | From 10 a.m.—11 a.m.

It’s back! Southside Library is hosting a virtual Read-In for Justice! Read-In is a program where readers of diverse backgrounds come together to tell stories centered on people of color. Southside Library will have readers who are employed in various health fields reading stories about African Americans or by African American authors for Black History Month. For more information, call the Southside Library at 205-933-7776.

Smithfield Branch Library
1 8th Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204 

Black History Bingo—Who Am I?

Every Tuesday in February | From 3:30—4:30 p.m.

Play Black History Month-themed bingo with Smithfield Library every Tuesday.  

We Can Change the World (Grab and Go craft)

Monday, February 14—Friday, February 18 | From 10 a.m.—5 p.m.

Drop by and pick up a Grab and Go inspirational craft.

History in the Making—Mural Making

Monday, February 21—Friday, February 25 | From 10 a.m.—5 p.m.

Help Smithfield Library create a mural!

Springville Road Regional Branch Library
1224 Old Springville Rd, Birmingham, AL 35215

Black History Wall Art

Every Tuesday in February | All-day

Come by the Springville Road Youth Department each week in February to help create wall art of famous African American heroes. Call 205-226-4085 for more information.

Bookmarks Viewing

Every Monday in February | Virtually on Facebook 

Watch episodes of Bookmarks featuring prominent black celebrities and artists reading children’s books from black authors. You can find these episodes on Springville Road Library’s Facebook page every week.

Film Friday: Race

Friday, February 11 | Starts at 10 a.m.

Celebrate the Olympics and Black History Month by watching Race, the biopic on Jesse Owens (an Alabama native)! His quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history sets him on the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

Film Friday: Cool Runnings

Friday, February 18 | Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Feel the rhyme! Flee the rhythm! Get on up—it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings! When a Jamaican sprinter is disqualified from the Olympic Games, he enlists the help of a dishonored coach to start the first Jamaican Bobsled Team. Celebrate the Olympics and Black History Month by enjoying this family favorite film.

Getting Started with African American Genealogy

Thursday, February 24 | Starts at 2 p.m.

Attendees will learn how to get started in genealogy with a special focus on genealogy resources useful to people with African American ancestry. The Birmingham African American Genealogy Group will lead this class. There will be an in-person watch party and this program will also be available via Zoom. Contact Springville Road Library’s Adult Department at 205-226-4083 for Zoom information.

Titusville Branch Library
2 6th Ave SW, Birmingham, AL 35211

Embroidery: Black History Crochet Designs

Every Tuesday in February | Starts at 11 a.m.

Join the Titusville Library Crochet Club and learn how to crochet different designs. Then, put your skills into practice and create Black History Month patterns. Materials are provided.

Titusville Adults Arts and Crafts/Games Craze

Every second and fourth Tuesday of each month | From 9 a.m.—6 p.m.

Adults feel free to come and see what the arts and crafts and games are all about. Come for fun and community with your neighbors.

Black History Month Jeopardy

Thursday, February 10 | Starts at 4 p.m.

The goal of this event is to educate people on events and people about black history. Winners will receive a prize!

Titusville Black History Tween/Teen Trivia Bowl

Friday, February 11 | Starts at 4 p.m. 

How much do you know about African American leaders and events? Want to learn more? This trivia bowl is designed to inspire, empower, elevate, and transform young patrons’ perspectives and understanding of history. Call Titusville Library at 205-322-1140 to register. The winner will receive $100.00.

Bessie Coleman Airplane Craft

Monday, February 21 | Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Your imagination will take flight with the Titusville Library as you learn about Bessie Coleman. After the short history lesson, patrons will make airplanes out of clothespins! Materials are provided.

Talking to Children About Race

Wednesday, February 23 | Starts at 4 p.m.

Branch Manager Reba Williams will lead a workshop on anti-racism. This workshop is about discussing race with children, focusing on having hard conversations with teens. But many talking points apply to older children as well. It will be an interactive workshop with time for questions and discussions.

West End Branch Library
1348 Tuscaloosa Ave SW, Birmingham, AL 35211

Creative Coloring Expressions

All month long | All-day

Enjoy coloring pages and word puzzles about black history. Call 205-226-4089 for more information.

Craft Class: Black and White Collage

Friday, February 18 | Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Participants will use black and white paper to create a collage.

Alive @ the Library: Sharing Black History

Monday, February 21 | From 11 a.m.—12 p.m. and 4—5 p.m.

During this informal event, participants will take three to five minutes to share an original work or a piece written by a well-known African American author. Participants may choose to just be part of the audience as well. Call 205-226-4089 for more information.

Friday Movie Matinee—Race: The incredible true story of gold medal legend, Jesse Owens

Friday, February 25 | Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Participants will watch an exciting film and enjoy a refreshing snack and beverage. Call 205-226-4089 for more information.

Woodlawn Branch Library
5709 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212

Martin Luther King Jr. Mosaic Poster

All month long

Afterschool children are invited to work together to create a large multi-colored mosaic mural of Martin Luther King Jr. that captures the essence of Dr. King’s dream. The finished mosaic poster will be displayed at Woodlawn Library.

Film Friday: Race

Friday, February 11 | Starts at 2 p.m.

Celebrate the Olympics and Black History Month by watching Race, the biopic on Jesse Owens (an Alabama native)! His quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him on the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

Getting Started with African American Genealogy 

Thursday, February 24 | Starts at 2 p.m.

Attendees will learn how to get started in genealogy with a special focus on genealogy resources useful to people with African American ancestry. The Birmingham African American Genealogy Group will lead this class. There will be an in-person watch party and this program will also be available via Zoom. Contact Woodlawn Library at 205-595-2001 for Zoom information.

Wylam Branch Library
4300 7th Ave, Birmingham, AL 35224

The Wylam Library’s programs center around the theme “Black Health and Wellness.”

Wylam Book Club

Wednesday, February 16 | Starts at 11 a.m.

The book club will discuss the novel The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips. This novel has several discussion-worthy topics, like race issues, child abuse, poverty, education, and mental illness.

Black Health and Wellness Discussion

Tuesday, February 22 | Starts at 10 a.m.

Join for an informative conversation about health and wellness during COVID with Jefferson County Health Department Representative Wanda Heard.

Community Leader Interview 

Monday, February 28 | Virtual on their Facebook page

Wylam Library staff will interview a notable Birmingham community leader and share the interview on the Wylam Branch Facebook page.

Follow the BPL on Facebook (Meta)InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn for more updates on our Black History Month celebrations!