Posts Tagged ‘Black History Month’


New Children’s Nonfiction Books to Celebrate Black History Month

by Mari Redington on February 10th, 2017

bhmFebruary has been a busy month for the Children’s Room. Well, it’s pretty much always a busy time for us, but with Valentine’s Day, the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten anniversary, and the One Book, Two Book festival coming up, we wanted to be sure to offer some great programs and resources for children to learn about black history in our country. For upcoming programs for kids and adults, see our Black History Month series in the calendar. And be sure to check our Black History Month book display and the Behind the Beat: African American Music display by the African American Museum of Iowa, both located in the Children’s Room. Here are some of my favorite newer nonfiction books I’ve been reading this month to learn more.  Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL celebrates Black History Month

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 27th, 2017

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Storytime Recap: Black History

by Morgan Reeves on February 21st, 2016
Storytime Recap: Black History Cover Image

Saturday’s family storytime was in honor of Black History Month. We started off by singing a favorite welcome song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” After clapping, stomping and saying hello, I talked to everyone about how February is a month full of celebrations. We have Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, plus Black History Month. This is a time to honor the many historic accomplishments and current contributions of black Americans.

The first book we read was We March by Shane W. Evans. This simple story follows a family as they join in the crowds marching to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for civil rights.

Next we all stood up and moved together as we did the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” One time slow and one time fast is always a fun way to repeat these.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Then I introduced our next book by talking about how many contributions black Americans have made to music styles over the years. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt takes the tune of “This Old Man” and adapts it to a swinging jazz band counting from one to ten. This is a joy to read with the rhythmic beat and scat-style interjections.

Next I asked everyone to join me in singing and moving to “Mr. Sun”

Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you. To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me

Then I reminded everyone that black or white or somewhere in between, we all start out as babies, so our last story was Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. This is a sweet and funny story about a parent asking their mischievous baby to behave.

 

Then we finished up with our call and response goodbye rhyme.

GoodbyeSong

Our movie today was the animated version of This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson, which follows a rope’s uses as it travels with a family from South Carolina to Brooklyn.

 

ICPL children’s event celebrates George Washington Carver

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 9th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library invites students in kindergarten through third grades to celebrate botanist and inventor George Washington Carver during a special Black History Month event from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Storytime Room.

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in the 1860s. After slavery was abolished, he attended several schools before earning his high school diploma in Minneapolis, Kansas. He studied botany at Iowa State Agriculture College in Ames. He was the college’s first black student and, eventually, its first black faculty member before serving as Director of Agriculture at the upstart Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

Carver is famous for his agricultural discoveries and inventions. He introduced the idea of crop rotation in the rural South, in which farmers would rotate cotton, which depleted the soil of nutrients, with peanuts, which replenished them, from year to year. Carver devised more than 300 uses for peanuts, including dyes, paints, plastics and gasoline.

Using books, music, artifacts and toys, the Library will celebrate the life and accomplishments of George Washington Carver in an engaging program designed to make history fun.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Under-the-Radar Read

by Melody Dworak on February 8th, 2016
Under-the-Radar Read Cover Image

I can’t stop talking about this memoir of African American life and prison life in the 19th Century. The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict by Austin Reed is “the first known prison narrative by an African American writer,” editor Caleb Smith wrote in the Yale Alumni magazine. The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library purchased the manuscript, and Random House published it as a book this winter.

This book is a remarkable find. Perfect for history buffs, rare manuscript nerds, and African American prison researchers, this book was written by an African American man born free in the 1820s but living much of his life in confinement. Reed was a natural storyteller and his memoir reads like a novel. He documents his experiences both in prison and as a free man, the cruelties of the whip and other 19th Century torture tactics as well as adventures and opportunities he encountered while living free.

This book has not received a ton of press at this point. The New York Times highlighted the find in 2013 before the manuscript was edited for publication, and the Smithsonian Magazine picked up the story for its arts and culture section. It doesn’t have a long holds list and we’ll be buying the e-book and e-audio versions soon.

If there is one nonfiction book you read in 2016, make it Austin Reed’s groundbreaking memoir.

 

ICPL to screen Bessie on Feb. 4

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 28th, 2016
ICPL to screen Bessie on Feb. 4 Cover Image

In honor of Black History Month, the Iowa City Public Library will show a free screening of Bessie at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4.

This 2015 HBO TV film about legendary American blues singer Bessie Smith focuses on her transformation as a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues.” Directed by Dee Rees, the film stars Queen Latifah stars as Smith, with supporting roles are played by Michael Kenneth Williams as Smith’s first husband Jack Gee, and Mo’Nique as Ma Rainey.

Bessie received four Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Television Movie.

The movie will be shown in the big screen in Meeting Room A. Popcorn will be provided.

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.