Celebrate Black History Month at CHPL with Events, Materials, and More!

Written by Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Marketing, Downtown Main Library

Throughout February, visit any of our 41 library locations as we amplify materials, events, and other programs that focus on black history, joy, and resilience in celebration of Black History Month!

Read on to find out everything the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library has planned for Black History Month including dozens of unique events, prominent displays featuring books, movies, and music, local history, and more.

Amplifying Black Creators

We encourage you to borrow books, movies, and music made by black creators year-round, and during Black History Month all 41 library locations will amplify these works through a featured collection displayed prominently in each building marked with display signage featuring Academy Award-Winning Actor Sidney Poitier, Former U.S. President Barack Obama, and Writer, Cincinnati Poet Laureate Yalie Saweda Kamara.

While there, pick up one of the Black History Month bookmarks which have QR codes linking to even more materials to borrow – and pick up a Black History Month button!

On your way to your nearest neighborhood branch library, get a head start by browsing these staff lists:

Celebrate Black Joy

Check out one of these books celebrating the love and the resilience of African American life that are perfect for the youngest of readers.

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Black History Matters

Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation and celebrates the rich cultural heritage and stories that are an essential part of our country's history and future.

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Honoring Black Directors

It hasn't been an easy road (and still isn't) for Black directors to get the opportunities they deserve to create and distribute their visions. Amplify the voices of the directors who have broken barriers and shared their viewpoints with the world by enjoying one of these cinematic greats.

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Events Celebrating Black History

The Underground Railroad: Its History, People, & Glory, opens a new window

February 27, 4-5 p.m. | Anderson Township Branch Library

Celebrate Black History Month with the Cincinnati Museum Center, recreate elements of the Underground Railroad through photographs, maps, and more. Register online or by calling 513-369-6030. For all ages.

Celebrating Black STEAM, opens a new window

February 9, 4-4:45 p.m. | Westwood Branch Library

Learn about prominent Black scientists and artists as you make silhouette art, a quilt to display in the Library, "rockets," and more. Registration is required. Register by calling 513-369-4474 or in-person at the Westwood Branch Library. For ages 8-12

HBCU Youth-led Roundtable, opens a new window

February 11, 3-5 p.m. | Walnut Hills Branch Library

Join a roundtable discussion of the unique perspective provided by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs). Alumni and current and prospective students speak on the interests, outcomes, and challenges of attending an HBCU. Presented by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Registration is required. Register online. For teens.

There are dozens of events celebrating Black History Month for all ages throughout February. Find information on all Black History Month events happening at CHPL on our website, opens a new window.

Oral History with a Twist: The West End Stories Project Podcast

Listen to CHPL’s award-winning podcast featuring Ke Parks, Branch Manager of the West End Branch Library about the history and transformation of Cincinnati's West End neighborhood. Hear a new story every month told firsthand by those who lived in and worked in the neighborhood in the late 1900’s. Listen on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

Document Local Black History

Join the effort to document the devastating impacts of I-71 and I-74 on the Avondale, Evanston, and South Cumminsville neighborhoods. Urbanist Media is partnering with the Library to host three community archival scanning sessions to understand what these neighborhoods looked like before the highways.

Bring up to 10 family photographs and documents to be scanned into the Library’s archives and used in a Urbanist Media documentary. You’ll then receive a digital copy on a free flash drive!

Find details on this three-event series starting February 25 at the Avondale Branch Library on our website, opens a new window.

How are you honoring Black History Month this year? Let us know in the comments below!