ICPL celebrates Black History Month


The Iowa City Public Library will commemorate Black History Month with several special programs, live performances, storytimes, and movies.

Sunday, February 3, 2 to 4 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Sunday Fun Day – Peaceful Hand WreathRemember that love comes in different colors with the creation of a handprint peace wreath during today’s family drop-in program.

Wednesday, February 6, 7 to 8:45 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Film Screening – “I Am Not Your Negro”In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a personal account of the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. In this Academy Award-nominated documentary, filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

Thursday, February 7, 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Storytime Room: Preschool StorytimeJoin us as we honor black culture and history with books that celebrate key African American figures.

Saturday, February 9, 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Storytime Room: Family StorytimeJoin us as we honor black culture and history with books that celebrate key African American figures.

Saturday, February 9, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Black History Short Film FestOur film fest will feature several important stories that have been made into animated features, including “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer,” “Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” “Trombone Shorty,” “The Snowy Day.” Stop in for one short film or stay for them all. Popcorn will be served.

Wednesday, February 13, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: The African American Museum of Iowa Embracing PeaceFebruary 11 is set aside for children in the country of Cameroon to rededicate themselves to the importance of nonviolence in their daily lives and strive for education. The African American Museum of Iowa will connect this rededication with the nonviolent efforts of Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. This program is for children in preschool through second grade.

Wednesday, February 13, 7 to 9 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Film Screening – “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”Join us as we screen the first feature documentary about the remarkable poet, write, actress, and activist.

Saturday, February 16, 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Storytime Room: Family Storytime – “The Snowy Day”Did you know “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats was the first mainstream picture book to feature an African American protagonist? Join us as we commemorate “The Snowy Day” through reading, rhymes and songs, short films, an indoor snowball fight, and even playing with tabletop snow.

Tuesday, February 19, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Bryan Collier Collage ArtAuthor/illustrator Bryan Collier is a four-time recipient of a Caldecott Honor for “Martin's Big Words,” “Rosa,” “Dave the Potter,” and “Trombone Shorty.” Collier uses a unique technique of combining watercolors with collage, often using photos or cutouts of magazines. Today we will create custom collage art inspired by Collier’s art. This program is for students in first through sixth grades.

Wednesday, February 20, 7 to 8:45 p.m. in Meeting Room A: Film Screening – “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People”This is the first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present. “Through a Lens Darkly” probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.

Sunday, February 24, 3 to 4 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Sunday Fun Day – African American InventorsCelebrate Black History Month by learning about Garrett Morgan and Dr. Patricia Bath. We'll make paper models of their most famous inventions: traffic lights and eye-healing lasers.

Wednesday, February 27, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Totally Tweens – Reach for the StarsDiscover the story of Mae C. Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space, then create constellation embroidery art to take home. This program is for students in third through sixth grades.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.