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Service Alert

The Anacostia Library will be closed from Monday, July 22 - Sunday, Aug. 4 for a scheduled facilities project. Learn more on the Anacostia Library page.

Celebrating African Americans in the Arts with a Film Strip featuring photos of library speakers, Xenobia Bailey, Michael Twitty, Sheila Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Andrew Young, Angela davis, Clint Smith, Misty Copeland and Jelani Cobb

Celebrate Black creators and activists this Black History Month with "African Americans in the Arts." This year's theme explores the unbroken chain of Black art passing between generations and the power that art has to drive change. This month, you are invited to trace Black art’s evolution and influence with your library card.

Signature Events


Feb. 3, 10 and 24, 11 a.m. | Black History Revealed: Navigating African American Genealogy and Celebrating Family Legacies Workshop Series | MLK Library

Join us for a three-part genealogy workshop series, Black History Revealed: Navigating African American Genealogy and Celebrating Family Legacies, designed to guide you from getting started in building your family tree, to applying advanced research strategies to extend it, to uncovering the lives and contributions of your ancestors. Live discussion and Q&A will follow each session. All sessions are limited to 25 participants and registration is required for each session. Registration will close two days before the workshop.

What Have We Here

Thursday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. | What Have We Here? With Billy Dee Williams | MLK Library

The iconic Billy Dee Williams will discuss his life and new memoir "What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life" at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Hear Billy Dee Williams reflect on key milestones from early stereotype-busting roles to pop culture phenom status with Jummy Olabanji, anchor of NBC 4 TODAY.

Pulse of the Capital Concert Celebrating the Anniversary of Go-Go Music

Monday, Feb. 19, 3:30 p.m. | Pulse of the Capital: A Free Go-Go Anniversary Concert | Howard Theatre

On Feb. 19, we will be celebrating the 4th Anniversary of the Go-Go Music Designation Act at The Howard Theatre, the home of Go-Go since the 1970s. Come join hosts De De Folarin and Kapri as they welcome EU, Junkyard Band, Backyard Band and R&S Band to the stage with beats by DJ Frank White. 

We Who Believe in Freedom

Thursday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m. | Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray | MLK Library

Join the United States Mint, the National Women’s History Museum, and DC Public Library to celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Doctor Pauli Murray and commemorate the release of the 2024 Pauli Murray quarter, the eleventh coin to be released in the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters™ Program.

Spy Museum Logo

Friday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m. | International Spy Museum: James A. Lafayette, Revolutionary War Spy | Southwest Library

James A. Lafayette was a spy for the Patriots in Virginia during the fight for American Independence. Working closely with Marquise de Lafayette, this enslaved man undertook “important commissions” and gathered “intelligences from the enemy’s camp.” This talk will explore how we know about James and his work as a spy for the Patriots—from speculation to documentation.

Free the People

Sunday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m. | Free the People Film Screening and Panel Discussion | MLK Library

Join us for a special screening of Free The People, a 3-part docuseries detailing D.C.'s 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising from the frontlines Following the screening film makers Kintsugi Kelley-Chung and Andrew "Jazzy" Jasuira will discuss the making of the film and why they thought it was important to tell the story. 

Bitter Crop

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. | Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year | MLK Library

Biographer, Paul Alexander will discuss his book Bitter Crop:The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year with a moderator, answer questions from the audience, and sign copies of the book. Register for your seat and learn more about the author and book below. 


Thursday, Feb. 29, 7 p.m. | Sito: An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him | MLK Library

Join the Library and Loyalty Bookstores for a special conversation with Princeton University's Laurence Ralph for his new book Sito: An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him. In conversation with poet and author Clint Smith, Ralph will discuss this new account of the lived experience of urban danger, and about anger, fear, grief, vengeance, and ultimately grace. 

See All Black History Month Events

Stream Previous Black History Month Events


Up from the People

Up from the People

Explore Up from the People: Protest and Change in D.C., the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s permanent exhibit. It is located outside The
We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist D.C.

We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist D.C.

Presented as part of a groundbreaking partnership between DC Public Library and the National Women’s History Museum, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black
Let This World Be Beautiful

Let This World Be Beautiful

The DC Public Library is pleased to present a two-part exhibition celebrating the remarkable Washington, D.C. artist Alma W. Thomas, a true master of
Alma Thomas: Life is Color

Alma Thomas: Life is Color

Visit the exhibit Alma Thomas: Life is Color, on view on Floor 2 of the MLK Library during the library’s regular public hours. On the same floor, view