Black History Month Programs and Activities


Black History Month Events and Activities


The Library commemorates Black History Month with a collection of speaker events, activities, and book discussions. Tune in to watch live online, or check out past programs on our YouTube channel.





Community Remembrance Project  |  Sunday, February 6, 2022

In this Missouri Valley Sundays presentation, Carmaletta Williams, chief executive officer of the Black Archives of Mid-America, discusses her work with the Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize victims of lynchings and other racial violence in Missouri. She talks, too, about how those memorials can promote community healing. 


All Boys Aren't Blue   |   Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Writer and activist George M. Johnson discusses his 2020 memoir on growing up Black and queer and the controversy – in the Kansas City area and nationwide – that has erupted around it. All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto is among the titles being challenged by parents who deem the books’ content as inappropriate for students and want them removed from school libraries. 

Details | RSVP

Wikipedia 101: Black History Month Edition

Learn how to use Wikipedia in this series of four events in partnership with the Black Archives of Mid-America. Source material for Wikipedia examples and editing will come from the award-winning 2021 KC Black History publication created in partnership with the Black Archives of Mid-America, the Local Investment Commission (LINC), and the Kansas City Public Library.  No Wikipedia experience is required.

Wikipedia 101: Context, History and More  | Thursday, February 3, 2022  |  Noon


Wikipedia 101: Creating an Account and Editing  | Thursday, February 10, 2022  |  Noon


Wikipedia 101: Wikidata Basics | Thursday, February 17, 2022  |  Noon


Wikipedia 101: Uploading Images Using Wikimedia Commons | Thursday, February 24, 2022  |  Noon


Past Program Videos

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Drawing from her bestselling book The Sum of Us, strategist and political commentator Heather McGhee examined the wide social and economic toll of racism in America and how it’s in the interest of everyone, not just people of color, to push for change. She joined the Library for an online conversation on October 19, 2021.

Details | Watch Video


Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Award-winning author and social justice scholar Dr. Monique W. Morris joined Kansas City Public Schools’ Dr. Lateshia Woodley in an August 26, 2021 discussion of the societal and educational disparities faced by Black girls and other girls of color. They draw from Morris’ book Pushout, which was adapted into a documentary film of the same name.

Details | Watch Video


Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women

Drawing from her book Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen, Northwestern University clinical psychologist Inger Burnett-Zeigler examined the popular trope of the strong Black woman and the personal suffering it all too often masks. The Library’s Kaite Stover joined her in the public conversation on July 26, 2021.

Details | Watch Video


Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue

In a July 25, 2021, Missouri Valley Sundays discussion of his book Black Smoke, James Beard Award-winning food writer Adrian Miller chronicled the influence of Black pitmasters and restauranteurs – including some Kansas City legends – on America’s barbecue history and culture.

Details | Watch Video


On Juneteenth

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed discussed her bestselling book On Juneteenth, in which she weaves American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir into a series of essays on our “long road” to the effective end of slavery on June 19, 1865. Her online Library presentation took place June 28, 2021.

Details | Watch Video


Book Discussions

North-East Book Group reads Deacon King Kong

Sunday, February 6, 2022  |  2 p.m.

Details | Find in Catalog

Queer Voices reads Bingo Love

Tuesday, February 15, 2022  |  6 p.m.

Details | Find in Catalog | Find in hoopla

Silver and Gold reads The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Thursday, February 24, 2022  |  2 p.m.

Details | Find in Catalog


Explore local Black History

 Reading, Watching, Listening Recommendations

From classic literature to contemporary cinema, the Library offers a number of ways to discover stories celebrating the African American experience. As we commemorate Black History Month, check out a selection of recommended books and browse the collection of films available through the Library's free streaming services. The works of fiction and nonfiction listed here range in topic from slavery to Black Lives Matter, from Civil War to civil rights, and from social media to social justice.