This February, the DC Public Library's Black History Month programming focuses on "African Americans and the Arts," celebrating African American artistry and culture's rich history and influence across various creative mediums. A range of exhibits, panels, and events will explore numerous facets of Black artistic expression that continue shaping contemporary culture.
Key events include a conversation with Billy Dee Williams on his new memoir, "What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life". The Library will also host compelling author talks featuring musician Henry Threadgill and fashion diversity advocate Bethann Hardison. NPR Weekend Edition host Ayesha Rascoe will speak about her new book "HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience" with Professor Nikole Hannah-Jones.
An exhibition titled "Let This World Be Beautiful" will showcase vibrant paintings and watercolors by the late artist and teacher Alma W. Thomas. The exhibit will also feature works by current DC Public Schools teachers. This special showcase connects Thomas' historical legacy with a new generation of artist/educators.
The Library's Black History Month highlights also involve an intriguing panel discussion on the fight for DC home rule following Dr. King’s assassination. Award-winning author Blair LM Kelley will join the Library’s Public Square discussion series about her latest book, "Black Folk: The Roots of the Working Class," tracing the Black working class experience over 200 years. A game show event will test contestants' knowledge of popular phrases and expressions from the book "Historically Black Phrases" hosted by authors jarrett hill and Tre’vell Anderson.
Through its diverse range of programming, the Library aims to honor iconic African American artists and the culture they reflect and influence while motivating new generations to find and amplify their creative voices.
More details on the DC Public Library's Black History Month events and exhibits can be found here.