African American History Month


Enjoy a month of programs to celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. Learn about the culture through authors, films, exhibits and more.

Featured Events

Presentation by Congressman John Lewis and Co-Author Andrew Aydin
The inaugural Houston Public Library Quarterly series launches with the groundbreaking graphic novel, March: Book One, an engaging and award-winning first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights.

Sunday, February 8, 2015 | 6:30 PM
Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater | 500 Texas Ave., 77002

Darryl Littleton: A Cultural History of Black Comedians
Author and comedian Darryl Littleton, also known as “D’Militant” for his slicing and incisive social and political commentary, shares a unique history lesson with a serving of witty side notes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 | 6 PM
Julia Ideson Building, Auditorium | 550 McKinney St., 77002

Presentation “The Changing Face of Houston’s African-American Community:  Findings from 33 Years of Houston Surveys”
Stephen Klineberg, Founding Director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, reports on central findings with responses from community leaders including Dr. Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 | 6 PM
Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Carriage House | 5300 Caroline, 77004

Don Tate presents, “My Two Hats”
Author and illustrator Don Tate is known for his numerous critically acclaimed books for children, including The Cart That Carried Martin, (Charlesbridge); Hope’s Gift, (Penguin); Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Charlesbridge); and Ron’s Big Mission, (Penguin). He is also the author of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started To Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2012), an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor winner.

Thursday, February 26, 2015   | 9:30 AM
Carnegie Neighborhood Library and Center for Learning | 1050 Quitman, 77009

Thursday, February 26, 2015   | 1 PM

McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Neighborhood Library | 5411 Pardee, 77026

Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 6 PM
Children’s Museum of Houston – Parent Resource Library | 1500 Binz, 77004

Houston Grand Opera presents “First Songs: Peace, Hope, Dreams”

Young children from birth to preschool age, along with their caregivers, are introduced to soothing songs from a teaching artist. Featuring songs adapted from children’s books, All the Colors of the Earth and Sleep, as well as African American spirituals. Participants learn to use music as a tool to interact with young ones during reading time.

Bracewell Neighborhood Library
Tuesday, January 20 | 10:30 AM

Looscan Neighborhood Library
Wednesday, January 28 | 3:30 PM

Montrose Neighborhood Library
Tuesday, February 3 | 10:30AM

Morris Frank Library, an HPL Express Location
Tuesday, February 10 | 12 PM

Heights Neighborhood Library
Tuesday, February 17 | 10:30 AM

Kendall Neighborhood Library
Wednesday, February 18 | 12:30 PM

Robinson-Westchase Neighborhood Library
Thursday, February 26 | 11 AM

Events at the African American Library at the Gregory School

Reading for Peace
Saturday, January 31, 2015 | 2 PM

Young poets from Writers in the Schools respond to “Organized Love: Ideas on Non-Violence” and the vivid first-hand account of the struggle for civil and human rights as portrayed in the award-winning graphic novel March: Book One by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.

Who’s Winning?
Saturday, February 7, 2015 | 1 PM

When the choice was made by Black and White civic leaders in 1960 not to publicize the desegregation of lunch counters in Houston, many Houstonians were angered not only by the act itself but also by the apparent concealment of the information by the city’s leading media outlets. Jade Cooper’s work Who’s Winning? visually questions the strategy implemented by Houston leaders to eradicate discriminatory acts. In response to Cooper’s piece, join us for a Game Day and Chess Tournament. Games will be provided.

In Reaction to the Civil Rights Movement
Saturday, February 7, 2015 | 2:30 PM

There is an increasing need for meaningful discourse, particularly on the issues highlighted by the Civil Rights Movement. Join
Organized Love: Ideas on Non-Violence artist Anthony Suber as he recontextualizes the purpose and latent meaning behind
photographs, writings, and art that have been created in reaction to civil disobedience and non-violent struggle.

Play — Our Feet Can Tell a Story
Thursday, February 12, 2015 | 11AM

This production celebrates the profound cultural contributions of African Americans through music and dance. Written by Houston playwright Thomas Meloncon. Suitable for all ages. Seating is limited. Call 832-393-1440 for reservations.

Houston Ebony Opera Guild — Robert A. Henry Lecture 2015 — The Art and Craft of the African American Composer: An exploration of the work and audience expectations of African American Composers
Saturday, February 14, 2015 | 2 PM

Led by Dr. John L. Cornelius, the discussion will focus on primary aspects of the artistic impulse: What makes a composer write in a way that is different than before? Is the level of expectation greater, lesser or the same for African American composers? Nathaniel Dett’s "The Ordering of Moses" and Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts will be examined through excerpts, anecdotes, and historical comparisons for insight into their gestation and fruition. Co-sponsored by Friends of Houston Ebony Opera Guild.

Closing Program — Organized Love: Ideas on Non-Violence
Panel Discussion and Selected Readings

Saturday, February 21, 2015 | 2 PM

Join Organized Love: Ideas on Non-Violence participating artists as they discuss their processes for creating their works in the exhibition. Readings by Thomas Meloncon and Garry Reece. This exhibit is a collaboration with the Menil Collection and other institutions.

Du Bois Was Wrong – The Problem of the 20th and 21st Century is the Color Line
Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 2 PM

Dr. James Jones III, instructor at Prairie View A&M University’s history department, is an expert in contemporary African American history and has authored numerous publications. This community discussion will revolve around the idea that since the issue of race is still plaguing America, we must begin to question the responsibility of the group that Du Bois characterizes as the ‘Talented-Tenth’ to an African American community that lags behind other communities. These programs are free and open to the public. Receptions to follow.


Other AAHM-Related Events around HPL

A Celebration of African American History
February 6, 2015 | 3 PM
February 20, 2015 | 3 PM
February 27, 2015 | 3 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library

A Musical Tribute for African American History Month
February 19, 2015 | 3 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library

A Tribute to Alvin Ailey
February 26, 2015 | 3 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library

African American History Month Pre K Storytime
February 4, 2015 | 10:30 AM
Smith Neighborhood Library

African American Trail Rider
February 13, 2015 | 3 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library

Amandla Productions: Under the Griot Tree
February 14, 2015 | 2 PM
Central Library, 4th Floor Program Place

Author: Crystal Allen
February 4, 2015 | 6 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library

Baba Alafia and the Magical Storytime
February 7, 2015 | 2 PM
Shepard-Acres Homes Neighborhood Library

Classic Literature Book Club
February 10, 2015 | 12 PM
Central Library, Room 479
The Classic Literature Book Club is reading A Lesson Before Dying in conjunction with University of Houston-Downtown's participation in The Big Read. This selection is also a part of HPL's celebration of African American Heritage Month.

From Slavery to Freedom: Researching Pre- and Post-Civil War African American Ancestry
February 7, 2015 | 11 AM
Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Carriage House