In honor of African American History Month in February, Chicago Public Library will feature a variety of programs for kids, teens and adults highlighting the culture, history and achievements of African Americans.

More than 60 events, workshops and programs are currently planned to celebrate this heritage month and all are free and open to the public. These include a variety of music performances, author events, storytimes, film screenings and much more. For more information about African American History Month programs and Library offerings, visit

Books by and about African American culture, art and more are available at all Library branches and on the Library’s website throughout the year. For a complete listing of programs, visit a CPL location or the Library’s website,

In addition to hosting programs throughout African American History Month, CPL has year-round resources highlighting African American history and culture. The Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection at the Woodson Regional Library is the largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest. People can visit during the library’s open hours or make an appointment to see available materials throughout the year.

CPL became the first public library to offer patrons unlimited access to the extensive HistoryMakers video database. This innovative partnership allows the public to explore the African American experience by listening to interviews told by more than 1,700 well-known and unsung figures throughout African American history. Patrons can access the database free of charge (with a library card) on the CPL website.

2019 African American History Month celebration highlights include:

Sewing with Nubia: Family Fabric


February 5 at 4 pm

West Loop

February 7 at 5 pm


February 19 at 5 pm


Feburary 21 at 5 pm


Feburary 28 at 2:30 pm

Learn how to sew a bag incorporating African prints while sharing sewing memories passed down from generation to generation. No experience necessary and all materials are provided.

An Unforgettable Afternoon with Diane Williams

Sulzer Regional Library

February 10 at 2 pm

In a rare public appearance, the Chicago poet and author will read from her work.

Oral Traditions: Spoken Word Workshop

Richard M. Daley

February 14 at 5 pm

North Pulaski

February 19 at 5 pm

Learn about the art of spoken word performance and pick up tips on how to create a spoken word tribute to family history and traditions.

Activism & Outreach: 50 Years of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party

Woodson Regional

February 16 at 1 pm

Hear a lively discussion of the history of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party featuring former members of the organization.

Musical Memories

Harold Washington Library

February 19 at 6 pm

The Musical Arts Institute Chamber String Orchestra presents a concert featuring compositions of African American composers played by youth musicians.

Author Talk: Elliott J. Gorn

Harold Washington Library

Feburary 25 at 6 pm

The author discusss his new book, Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till.

Papercutting Art Workshop Celebrating Janelle Washington

Maker Lab at Harold Washington Library

Feburary 28 at 6 pm

Artist Anayansi Ricketts in a workshop highlighting the work of African American papercutting artist Janelle Washington.

Cinema Harold

Harold Washington Library

Febuary 8 | February 13 | February 22

Cinema Harold is a series of film screenings highlighting people of color from around the world.


All Power to the People

Harsh Research Collection Gallery at Woodson Regional Library

February 16 to December 31

This exhibit celebrates the legacy of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party.

About Chicago Public Library

Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit