February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of the achievements by African Americans and a time to pay tribute to their role in American history. Also known as African American History Month, the event traces its history to 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans declared the second week of February to be “Negro History Week” as it coincided with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
The library will be hosting several events for adults, teens, and children throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month.
Courageous Conversations Book Discussion. Join us for a discussion of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, by Heather McGhee. Register online and stop by the library’s front desk to pick-up a copy of the book. February 9 at 7:00pm.
Teen Book Discussion Group – Black History Month. Come to our second teen book discussion prepared to talk about a book you have recently read by an African American author or featuring an African American protagonist. Open to all Union County teens. Registration is required. February 15 at 5:15pm.
An Evening with Judge Victoria Pratt. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her commitment to reforming the criminal justice system. She’s been called a pioneer in procedural justice -a simple, proven approach to transforming our court system using the power of dignity and respect. This event is co-sponsored by the Town of Westfield Human Relations Advisory Commission. Registration is required. February 16 at 7:00pm.
Lisa G and cast members of Antioch Baptist Church present Black history’s First Watch Night Service In America. Join us in a visual narrative of the first watch night service in America’s Black history. See how and why the Watch Night service came to be a tradition celebrated by Black Americans in their homes, communities and churches. Registration is required. February 21 at 7:00pm.
From Africa to Zydeco (for kids). The Friends of the Library present From Africa to Zydeco – come hear roots music from Africa to Louisiana from Soundstage4kids, presented just for kids. Introduce your children to the magic of music with this great family event. Tickets will be distributed the afternoon of the event while supplies last! Registration is required. February 26 at 2:00pm.
Keith Henley performs Langston Hughes: I too, have a song to sing! Actor Keith Henley of the American Historical Theatre performs “Langston Hughes: I too, have a song to sing!” Langston Hughes was a resident of Westfield, on Downer Street, in the late 1920s. This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Registration is required. February 28 at 7:00pm.