Black History Month 2012: Looking to the Future

New event added!** This year we're celebrating Black History Month with a variety of programs that not only reflect on our past, but look ahead to our future.

Black History Month Programs 2012:


1. Lecture: Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America

Saturday, February 4, 2 pm

Main branch, Second Floor Events Room

Visiting scholar from Australia, Dr. Michael Ondaatje will give a presentation about his new highly acclaimed book, Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America. Visit event page.


2. Black History Month Celebration

Thursday, February 9, 4 pm

Showers Center Branch

Enjoy a celebratory program which will feature singing, praise dancing, poetry reading, and a recital of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.


3. "Preserve Your Family Documents" Days

Saturday, February 11, and Saturday February 25, all day.

Main branch, Archives department, 3rd Floor

In honor of Black History Month, you are encouraged to bring in your family photographs, news clippings, legal certficates, scrapbooks, and any other precious family documents that you would like to preseve. The Archives department on the third floor of our Main branch will scan your documents free of charge, and give you a digital copy so that they can be shared with many future generations of your family.


4. Panel Discussion: Looking to the Future

Sunday, February 12, 2 pm

Main branch, Auditorium

This panel discussion will feature young African-Americans speaking about how the Civil Rights Movement has impacted their lives, how it lives on in their own generation, and what their expectations and hopes are for their own lives and for future generations of African Americans. It will be moderated by Victoria Joiner Miller. Visit event page.


5. A Celebration of African American History through Dance (All Ages)**

Thursday Feb. 16, 6 pm

Join Dance Theater of Huntsville as they celebrate the African American History through dance.  During the black history performance, they will present tributes to Gospel, Alvin Ailey,  African dance and Hip Hop. Visit event page.


6. The Huntsville Spriritual Chorale Performance

Thursday, February 16, 6 pm

Main branch, Atrium

The Huntsville Spiritual Chorale will perform moving Negro Spirituals in honor of Black History Month.


7. The Alpha Men Concert

Thursday, February 23, 6 pm

Main branch, Atrium

Enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Alpha Men as they sing a variety of songs to celebrate Black History Month.


8. The People Behind the Portraits of Maria Howard Weeden

Sunday, February 26, 2 pm

Main branch, Second Floor Events Room

HMCPL archivist Susanna Leberman will give an engaging presentation about the people in Maria Howard Weeden’s famous paintings. Linda Wright Riley will recite poems that accompany the original artwork.  Visit event page.


9. Finding our African-American Ancestors

Thursday, February 2 – 10 to 11 AM

Wednesday, February 8 – 2 to 3 PM

Wednesday, February 15 – 6:30 to 7:30 PM

Thursday, February 23 – 10 to 11 AM

All programs will be in the Main branch's Heritage Room on the 3rd floor.

Resident Genealogy expert Richard White will teach these informative classes about how to use the newest genealogy resources and technology to find your African-American ancestors.


Youth Programs:

1. Preschool Storytime featuring African-American authors

Monday, February 13, 10 am

Main branch, Youth Services


2. A visit from Harriet Tubman

Monday, February 27, 4 pm

Main branch, Youth Services

This program, appropriate for all ages, features a re-enactment of famous African American Abolitionist Harriet Tubman by local Huntsville Renee Mobley.  At the end of the performance she will answer questions from children and their families about Harriet Tubman, history, and the civil rights movement.


3. Music and Rhyme Storytime: African Americans in Jazz

Wednesday, February 29, 10:30 am

Main branch, Youth Services

The Tennessee Valley Jazz Society will be visiting Music and Rhyme Storytime to teach preschool children and their families about Jazz.  They will bring a selection of Jazz instruments and talk about the importance of African Americans in Jazz music.


Throughout February and March

The Atrium Art Gallery on the first floor of the Main branch will feature artwork that celebrates African-Americans, produced by local artists.


Please contact Susanna Leberman with any questions about Black History Month programs at sleberman [at] hmcpl [dot] org or 256-532-5989.