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During Black History Month, we recognize the enormous cultural contributions and civil rights achievements of African Americans. We are offering a wide array of events for adults, children, and teens including a presentation by the Petersburg Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, performances by Bright Star Theater, and a lecture on African American Art from the VMFA.

For All Ages

I am 400: The Art of Jerome and Jeromyah Jones
North Park Library
Wednesday, February 5, 6:30 pm
Meet father-son artists Jerome W. Jones, Jr. and Jeromyah Jones. Their art banner, I AM 400: The African Journey in America, 1619-2019, featuring 69 paintings highlighting the character, culture, and contributions of African Americans, will be on display at North Park throughout February. Sponsored by the Friends of North Park Branch Library.

An African Culture Experience
Varina Library
Saturday, February 15, 2:00 pm
A family event featuring a display of African artifacts, a Ghanaian dance instruction, a drum circle, and a panel discussion on Africans in the diaspora. Presented in partnership with the Next Star Arts Program.

For Kids

African Tales with Dylan Pritchett
Wednesday, February 19, 6:00 pm – Fairfield Library
Saturday, February 22, 10:30 am – Twin Hickory Library
Saturday, February 22, 2:00 pm – Libbie Mill Library
Dylan Pritchett, past president of the National Association of Black Storytellers, is helping us celebrate Black History Month with stories for children, drawn from the rich African oral tradition.

Bright Star Theater Presents: Black History Hall of Fame
Saturday, February 29, 10:00 am – Sandston Library
Saturday, February 29, 1:00 pm – North Park Library
Join as Bright Star Touring Theater brings to life Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, Mae Jemison, and the Buffalo Soldiers in a fast-paced celebration uniting fun and character education.

Bright Star Theater Presents: Rosa Parks and Friends
Gayton Library
Saturday, February 29, 4:00 pm
Take a journey through time with Rosa Parks and some of the most remarkable figures from history. Meet abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, and Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and, of course, Rosa Parks! An important story for any audience, this show gives a remarkable view of the challenges met by these amazing Black Americans. This historical journey will delight and inspire audiences with the triumphant power of the human spirit shown by these true heroes of history.

For Teens

Black History Month Trivia for Teens
Tuckahoe Library
Wednesday, February 5, 5:00 pm
Calling all teen trivia lovers! Use your knowledge of famous African American figures and events in order to beat your opponents to the answer. There will be prizes and snacks!

Teen Art Studio: Pop Goes the Easel: An African American Experience Expressed through Pop Art
Varina Library
Monday, February 24, 6:30 pm
Drop by Teen Art Studio in the Teen Department for this special event! Join our resident artist, Shawnda Harper, aka The Nappy Nerd, as we use library reference materials to create paintings or collages to express a historically African American figure by utilizing the pop art genre. All artistic skill levels are welcome. No registration required.

For Adults

Petersburg Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen
Libbie Mill Library
Saturday, February 15, 4:00 pm
Fighting prejudice at home and the Nazis in the skies of North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe, the group of African American pilots and servicemen known as the Tuskegee Airmen shattered stereotypes and paved the way for the future of an integrated United States Military. Members of the Petersburg Chapter share their story.

20 and Odd: Africans' Arrival in 1619 Screening and Q&A
Twin Hickory Library
Friday, February 21, 10:00 am
This Emmy award-winning documentary from 13 News Now from Hampton, VA examines the extraordinary story of the first Africans who arrived in English North America. Watch the 30-minute film alongside its creators and people central to the production and stay for a Q&A with the filmmakers after the show.

African American art at the VMFA
Glen Allen Library
Thursday, February 27, 6:00 pm
Expand your knowledge of African American culture by examining art in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ collection. During this lecture, you will observe many works by artists who deal with African American life and history as well as art that ranges in time period, style, and subject matter. Gain an understanding of and appreciation for the discipline of African American art.

This is just a selection of Black History Month events. Visit our calendar for the full schedule including film screenings, storytimes, and book discussions.