Blogger Abby Johnson

How are you celebrating Black History Month?

As you probably all know, February is Black History Month. If you’re not following The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later feature, you should be. Every day in February they’re posting an interview with a children’s author or illustrator of color. And of course you’ve already familiarized yourself with this year’s Coretta Scott King Book Award winners. Today, I wanted to share with you what my department is doing to celebrate Black History Month.


We put up a bulletin board display featuring famous African Americans and books by and about people of color. Every day we update the bulletin board with a “Today in Black History” fact.


We’re getting daily facts from the website Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the facts you choose are appropriate for your audience and that you double check them against a reliable source (since there don’t appear to be any citations on the site). Today, February 9, our fact reads “February 9, 1995 – Astronaut Bernard Harris became the first African-American to walk in space.”

In front of the bulletin board, we have a display of titles about Black History and famous African-Americans. We also have another, larger Black History book display in the department.

As far as programs go, we hosted a local world music professor who offered an interactive West African Drumming workshop. He presented information about his travels with the Peace Corps in Africa and taught the kids drumming rhythms and dance moves. The kids had a blast (and hey, who doesn’t like to make a little noise in the library?). Other departments at my library are offering programs, too. The art museum associated with my library is hosting Family Fun crafts and making apple bookmarks (paired with the book An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner, 2006) and helping hands wreaths. Our media department is showing Black History Month movies for their Monday movies and holding a Black History Month Literary Tea and inviting local African-American authors to talk about their books.

So, what’s your library doing for Black History Month?

– Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN


  1. angela

    Great posts, I love the photos and the idea of adding daily facts.

  2. Carrie Waterson

    Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Indiana Black History Challenge

    IMCPL Kids’ Book Blog
    Each day a post about black history. Some featured titles will be:

    Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge, 2009
    Words to My Life’s Song by Ashley Bryan, 2009
    Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose, 2009
    Bring me Some Apples and I’ll Make you a Pie: a Story about Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley, 2009
    The Rock and The River by Kekla Magoon, 2009
    My Name is Phillis Wheatley by Afua Cooper, 2009
    Traveling the Freedom Road by Linda Osborne, 2009
    January’s Sparrow by Patricia Polacco, 2009
    Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Nelson, 2009
    Sweethearts of Rhythm : the story of the greatest all-girl swing band in the world by Marilyn Nelson, 2009
    Mare’s War by Tanita Davis, 2009
    Maritcha a Nineteenth-Century American Girl Tonya Bolden, 2009

  3. Pingback: ALSC Blog » Blog Archive » How are you celebrating Black History … | Black Africa

  4. Ari

    I love what your library is doing, it sounds like Black History Month will be a great month! I’m not sure what my library is doing, haha. i do hope people keep up this enthusiasim year round and realize not just Black History but all multicultural history should be celebrated 365 days of the year, not just regulated to one month.

    And I learned something new today, Bernard Harris was the first AA to walk on the moon, thanks for sharing!

  5. Jen

    There are some great ideas here! We don’t have anything on display currently at my library but I might have to use some of your suggestions.

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