|The Houston Public Library (HPL) is proud to present an exciting array of virtual and in-person events, programs and resources that celebrate and honor Black history, culture and heritage. Throughout the month of February, Houstonians of all ages are invited to join the Black History celebration by attending HPL’s first-ever Celebration of Black Voices Festival, historical research seminars, book discussions, author visits, movies and more.
“As one of the most diverse cities in the nation, we owe it to our community to provide education on the Black experience in America and foster the celebration of Black contributions in art, culture and beyond,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I encourage Houstonians to take part in The Houston Public Library’s Celebration of Black Voices Festival to learn more about the adversities, achievements and rich histories of Black Americans.”
The Celebration of Black Voices Festival will feature the creativity of Black artists and storytellers on Feb. 19 at the Central Library in Downtown Houston. Speakers and performers include the 2021 Texas Writer Award winner Don Tate, the City’s 2021-2023 Poet Laureate: Outspoken Bean, Houston Youth Poet Laureate Avalon Hogans and actress Jean Donatto as Rosa Parks. Festival guests can also enjoy food, music, and dancing. Additional events at the Central Library include an Author Talk with Anthony Graves on Feb. 8, a Vibe N’ Write poetry workshop on Feb. 12, a showing of the movie Hidden Figures on the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza on Feb. 17 and a Race and Social Justice Book Club on Feb. 22.
The Library will also offer online presentations through its History Research Centers. The Clayton Library will host “In Their Own Words: Genealogy in the Slave Narratives” on Feb. 4. The African American Library at the Gregory School will host a series of lectures every Thursday evening with a focus on Black Health and Wellness, beginning with, “The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks: Family Reflections on Medical Research, Consent, and her ‘Immortal’ Life” on Feb. 3.
“As the nation focuses on Black History Month, we’re excited to host such an impressive array of programs and events that showcase the rich diversity, talents, and contributions of the African Diaspora,” said Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. “We are proud that our focus on celebrating Black History, and addressing issues related to race and social justice are integral to our mission at HPL; not just in February but throughout the year.
HPL encourages library cardholders to utilize its valuable resources and databases such as the Race & Social Justice Project, the African American History database and the archives at the African American Library at the Gregory School throughout the entire year. For these and other resources visit, houstonlibrary.org/Gregory.