The Iowa City Public Library will commemorate Black History Month in February with several special programs, live performances, and book discussions.
Thursday, February 2 and February 16, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A: TED Talks Celebrate Black History Month
TED (Technology, Education, and Design) Talks are ideas worth spreading. Bring your lunch and join us for fresh perspectives on black identity and fascinating insights on how to finally defeat racism.
Thursday, February 2, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Tween Movie and Book Club – “The Watsons go to Birmingham”
Join our tween book and movie club us as we discuss “The Watsons go to Birmingham” by Christopher Paul Curtis and watch the movie. Tween events are for students in third through sixth grades.
Saturday, February 4, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Black History Month Gospel Music Concert
Join the Gospel Explosion Ministry’s Praise and Worship Team, GEM Team Mimi Ministry, and Precious GEMs as they share hymns and gospel songs.
Sunday, February 5, 2 to 3 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Fonziba Drums
Enjoy an afternoon of learning and music, and receive hands-on experience playing one of the 30 jembe hand or bass drums Fonziba will bring to ICPL.
Tuesday, February 7, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A: “From Prison to PhD” – an author event with Jason Marque Sole
“From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances” is the inspirational memoir of Jason Marque Sole. Jason is a former drug dealer, leader of a street gang, and a three-time convicted felon. He fought to turn his life around, earning both bachelor and master degrees in criminal justice, and a doctorate degree in public safety leadership.
Wednesday, February 8, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Wonder Wednesdays – Underground Railroad History Program
Explore how Iowans contributed to the Underground Railroad by providing shelter, transport, and material to support slaves on the trail to freedom. This traveling trunk program from the African American Museum of Iowa is designed for students in kindergarten through second grade.
Thursday, February 9, 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A: “Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers’ Project” with Catherine A. Stewart
Cornell College History Professor Catherine A. Stewart will read from and discuss her new book, “Long Past Slavery: Representing Race in the Federal Writers’ Project.”
Thursday, February 16, 10:30 to 11 a.m. in Meeting Room A: All That Jazz Music Storytime
This preschool storytime featuring a professional ensemble from The University of Iowa Arts Share will celebrate some of the great musicians who paved the way of jazz music in America.
Sunday, February 19, 2 to 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A: “Invisible Hawkeyes: African Americans at the U of I During the Long Civil Rights Era”
Lena Hill, an associate professor of English and African American studies at the University of Iowa, and Michael Hill, also an associate professor of English and African American studies at the University of Iowa, will read from their new book, “Invisible Hawkeyes: African Americans at the University of Iowa During the Long Civil Rights Era.”
Thursday, February 23, 3 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Living History with Harriet Tubman
Kathryn Harris, retired Library Services Director at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, will present her reenactment of Underground Railroad Conductor Harriet Tubman.
Sunday, February 26, 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Sunday Fun Day – Celebrate Black History
Families are invited to Celebrate Black History Month with crafts and short films highlighting historical African-American figures.
For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.