Black History Month 2014: Civil Rights in America

Black History Month is always one of the highlights of the Library’s year. It provides the chance for the community to come together by sharing life experiences and celebrating cultural identity. This year’s national theme is Civil Rights in America, which was chosen to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

PH/STAFFThe highlight of this year’s Black History Month celebration is a keynote address by journalist Wil Haygood, author of The Butler: A Witness to History. The book was the inspiration for the critically and popularly acclaimed motion picture, The Butler. Haygood will deliver the keynote address at Central Library on Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m. The program is FREE and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the FRIENDS of the St. Louis Public Library should call 314-539-0359 for limited reserved seating. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Amber Books.TheButler

In conjunction with Haygood’s appearance, the Library will also present a special screening of The Butler in Central Library’s Auditorium on Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m.


Black History Month is more than just the keynote—it is a system-wide celebration! There are programs that appeal to every age and interest taking place at Branches around the city all month long. Here’s a sample:

African-American Read-In Chain

stk320193rknThe St. Louis Public Library joins the National Council of Teachers of English in a celebration of African-American authors. Be a link in the African-American Read-In Chain. Contact your Branch to reserve seating.

Feb. 1-28  All Branches  All Day


Created Equal @ Central Library

Four films examine the changing meanings of freedom and equality throughout U.S. history. Offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its “Bridging Cultures” initiative, the series seeks to provoke discussion about history, resistance, and social change. Films on Monday evenings; Community Conversations on Tuesday evenings.

Film:                                                                        Conversation:

Auditorium                                                               Carnegie Room

6:30-8:30 p.m.                                                         6:30-8 p.m.

2  Abolitionists  (Starts at 5:30 p.m.)                       4  Abolitionists

10  Slavery By Another Name                                11  Slavery

18  The Loving Story   (Starts at 3:30 p.m.)           18  Loving

24  Freedom Riders                                                25  Freedom


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178433065Freedom Mural

Create a work of art celebrating liberty for all.

Preschool-Grade 5

Kingshighway  10:30-11:30 a.m.

Divoll  4-5 p.m.

Central  4-5 p.m.

Machacek  4-5 p.m.

Carpenter  6-7 p.m.

13  Julia Davis  3:30-4:30 p.m.


Conversations: The State of St. Louis City Youth—How Do We Help Them Succeed?

Community leaders discuss current events and issues that face black youth in St. Louis City.

15  Julia Davis  3-5 p.m.


Dr. Scott Holzer: The Harlem Renaissance—The Birth of a New Consciousness and the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Scott Holzer speaks about the JerryButlerPaintpolitical goals and artistic creations of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The presentation examines the paintings, music, writings, and dance of the important artists who explored and created a new consciousness for African Americans.

Divoll  3-4 p.m.


AfriClothJubilee Quilting Bee

Create quilt squares using influences from African culture.

Grades K-5

Kingshighway  4:30-6:30 p.m.

Buder  5-6 p.m.

Cabanne  4-5 p.m.

20  Schlafly  4-5 p.m.

25  Divoll  4-5 p.m.

26  Julia Davis  3:30-4:30 p.m.


For program details, pick up the commemorative Black History Month booklet available at St. Louis Public Library locations throughout the city or visit to download the pdf version.


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