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Celebrate African American History Month 2012 at the Houston Public Library

Houston, TX. – The Houston Public Library invites the community to celebrate African American History Month and learn about the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout the nation’s history and in our city. The Library will offer presentations by authors, films, exhibits and more for the entire family. All events and programs are free and open to the public. For more information on African American History Month Events, visit or call 832-393-1313. The programs are supported by a grant from the Houston Public Library Foundation.

For More Details on African American Culture Visit Houston Public Library’s Special Collection Libraries:

The African American Library at the Gregory School is the newest of three special collections operated by the Houston Public Library. Located in Houston’s historic Freedman’s Town, the Library is housed in what was once the Edgar M. Gregory School, which served as the first public school for African Americans in Houston. As the first library of its kind in Houston, and one of the few African American libraries in the country, The African American Library at the Gregory School serves as a resource to preserve, promote, and celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans in Houston, the surrounding region, and the African Diaspora. To accomplish its mission, the African American Library at the Gregory School preserves and makes accessible to historians, researchers, and the public an incomparable collection of multi-type resources including, but not limited to, reference books, rare books, archival materials, exhibits, artifacts, oral histories and innovative programs. The African American Library at the Gregory School is located at 1300 Victor Street, 77019.

Families can also learn how the influences of African Americans reached across the city of Houston as well as the state of Texas by visiting the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC) in the historic 1926 Julia Ideson Building. The HMRC provides researchers a variety of materials such as manuscripts, archival records, maps, films, tapes, photographs, architectural drawings and more. The Julia Ideson Building is located at 500 McKinney, downtown.

For those customers wanting to trace their families’ history, they can visit the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. Founded in 1921 as a special collection for genealogical research at the Houston Public Library, Clayton Library is one of the top 10 genealogical libraries in the country. Customers can find information through the Library’s extensive collection of U.S. and foreign books, CD-ROMs, microfilm, and more than 5,000 family histories. Specially trained reference staff is available to assist all levels of genealogist, from those new to the hobby, to experienced professional researchers. Clayton Library is located at 5300 Caroline, in the museum district.

About African American History Month
Carter G. Woodson, (1875-1950) noted Black scholar and historian and son of former slaves, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, which was later renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He initiated Black History Week, February 12, 1926. For many years, African Americans in the United States celebrated the 2nd week of February (chosen as to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln). In 1976, as part of the nation’s Bicentennial, the celebration was expanded and became established as Black History Month, and is celebrated all over North America. In honor of Woodson and the African American community, the Houston Public Library celebrates African American History Month 2012.

Scheduled Events:
Youth Programs

Ballet Talks with Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson will discuss the challenges she faced on her journey to become the first African American principal dancer with the Houston Ballet.

Friday, February 3 | 3:30 PM
Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library
7007 W. Fuqua, 77489

Friday, February 10 | 4 PM
Acres Homes Neighborhood Library
8501 West Montgomery, 77088

Lauren Anderson, the first African American principal dancer in the Houston Ballet, will give a one-hour presentation on The Nutcracker.
Wednesday, February 22 | 11 AM
Mancuso Neighborhood Library
6767 Bellfort, 77087

Lauren Anderson, the first African American principal dancer in the Houston Ballet, will give a one-hour presentation on Sleeping Beauty.
Wednesday, February 7 | 10:30 AM
Collier Regional Library
6200 Pinemont, 77092

Baba Alafia and the Magical Storytime
This program incorporates stories and games involving African drums and various percussive instruments of Africa.

Wednesday, February 1 | 10:30 AM
Oak Forest Neighborhood Library
1349 West 43rd Street, 77018

Tuesday, February 7 | 10:30 AM
Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library
4100 Montrose, 77006

Wednesday, February 15 | 1 PM
Pleasantville Neighborhood Library
1520 Gellhorn, 77029

Thursday, February 16 | 10:30 AM
Scenic Woods Regional Library
10677 Homestead Rd., 77016

Thursday, February 23 | 4 PM
Walter Neighborhood Library
7660 Clarewood, 77036

Floyd Cooper, Children’s Book Illustrator
Floyd Cooper has illustrated over fifty books and received multiple Coretta Scott King awards. Most recently, Floyd illustrated the book These Hands by Margaret H. Mason. This program will consist of a look at children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper’s journey and work as an artist. Younger students will learn that something as simple as a shape or a scribble can be all it takes to create art or story.
Tuesday, February 21 | 1 PM and 6 PM
Smith Neighborhood Library
3624 Scott St., 77004

The Life of Harriet Tubman starring Hope Shiver
Hope Shiver portrays Harriet Tubman combining her narrative with spirituals of sorrow and joy.
Saturday, February 25 | 12 PM
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002
Adult Programs

Film Screening and Filmmaker Q&A with Jon Schwartz: “This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale”
This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale is the 60-year history of an archetypal American neighborhood, Riverside in Houston, Texas, which experienced the classic syndrome of integration, real estate blockbusting, white flight and regentrification common to virtually every American city. The filmmaker, Jon Schwartz, will be in attendance to answer questions after the screening. Refreshments will be served.
Saturday, February 4 | 12 PM
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

Book Discussion and Presentation
“Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood Among Black Women,” by Mignon Moore. Dr. Janis Hutchinson, Professor of Anthropology, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Houston, will host this interactive event in conjunction with Mignon Moore’s appearance at the “Race Scholars at Rice” event on February 1st.
Saturday, February 11 | 2 PM
Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library | 4100 Montrose

Screening of “The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975”
At the end of the 1960’s, numerous Swedish journalists came to the US, drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Filming for close to a decade, they gained access to many of the leaders of the Black Power movement – Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver among them – capturing them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Thirty years later, this lush collection of 16mm film, peppered with footage of Black Panther activities and B-roll images of black America, was found languishing in the basement of Swedish Television. Director Göran Olsson and co-producer Danny Glover bring this mesmerizing footage to light.
Saturday, February 11 | 2 PM
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

“An Afternoon with…” Author Daniel Black
Saturday, February 18 | 1 PM
Central Library | 500 McKinney, 77002
Nationally-acclaimed author Daniel Black will discuss his latest novel “Perfect Peace,” a heartbreaking portrait of a large, rural southern family’s attempt to grapple with their mother’s desperate decision to make her newborn son into the daughter she will never have.

About the Author: Daniel Omotosho Black is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, yet spent the majority of his childhood years in Blackwell, Arkansas. He was granted a full scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in English. He was awarded the Oxford Modern British Studies Scholarship and studied abroad at Oxford University, Oxford, England. Upon graduation from Clark College (magna cum laude in 1988), he was granted a full graduate fellowship to Temple University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in African American Studies. Completing this phase of his academic career in 1993, with Sonia Sanchez as one of his dissertation advisers, Dr. Black returned to his alma mater in order to help establish the tradition of topnotch scholars who publish and remain at historically Black institutions. As a tenured associate professor, he now aims to provide an example to young African Americans of the importance of self-knowledge and communal commitment. Omotosho, as he prefers to be called, is the founder of the Nzinga-Ndugu rites of passage (or initiation) society — a group whose focus is instilling principle and character in the lives of African American youth

“An Afternoon with…” Mignette Patrick Dorsey
Saturday, February 25 | 1 PM
Henington-Alief Regional Library | 7979 South Kirkwood
Award-winning journalist Mignette Patrick Dorsey will discuss her book, “Speak Truth to Power: The Story of Charles Patrick, a Civil Rights Pioneer,” which tells the story of the author’s father. Charles Patrick’s quest for justice in segregated Alabama on the eve of the civil rights movement represents a telling instance of the growing determination of African Americans to be treated fairly; it was part of the broadening and deepening stream of resolve that led to the widespread activism of the civil rights movement.

About the Author: A Los Angeles, California native, Dorsey is the youngest child of Charles and Rutha Patrick. She is an award-winning print journalist who has worked as a city spokesperson and a high school journalism educator. Dorsey, who holds a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Houston, teaches writing classes at a community college. She enjoys exercising, bicycling and travelling with her husband.

“For Preserving a Legacy: A Tribute to Houston’s Blues”

Society for the Performing Arts’ Education in partnership with the Houston Public Library presents, “For Preserving a Legacy: A Tribute to Houston’s Blues.” Part of a month-long project to celebrate Houston’s rich blues history. Lecture demonstrations and panel discussion open to the public and led by local blues musicians with the purpose of highlighting the history of blues in Houston. Public performances by local blues and jazz musicians and photography exhibition to showcase the Houston blues scene.

Saturday, February 4 | 2 PM
The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor St., 77019

Thursday, February 9 | 6 PM
McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Neighborhood Library
5411 Pardee St.,77026

Wednesday, February 15 | 6 PM
Central Library Julia Ideson Library | 500 McKinney, 77002

Lecture and Demonstration (for teen audience)
Tuesday, February 7 | 6 PM
Smith Neighborhood Library | 3624 Scott St., 77004

Lecture and Demonstration
Saturday, February 18 | 2 PM
The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor St., 77019

Panel Discussion Featuring Local Blues Musicians and Roger Wood
Saturday, February 25 | 2 PM
The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor St., 77019

Photography Exhibition: Down In Houston: Documenting a Blues Community
Exhibition Dates: January 28, 2012 – March 10, 2012
The African American Library at the Gregory School | 1300 Victor St., 77019
In collaboration with the Society for the Performing Arts Houston, The African American Library at the Gregory School will exhibit photographs featured from the book, Down In Houston, and programming the entire month of February to celebrate Houston’s impact on the wider American blues scene.

About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.

For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at or call 832-393-1313.

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