Hallowed Grounds: Places of African American Memory

Hallowed Grounds: Places of African American Memory

Celebrate the Achievements of African Americans

Black History Month

DC Public Library proudly celebrates Hallowed Grounds: Places of African American Memory during its annual Black History Month festivities from Feb. 1-29.

Enjoy a variety of programs like lectures, concerts, story times, a play and many more. You are also encouraged to use library resources like Historic Black Newspapers and FreedomFlix. Programs and resources are available to children ranging from ages birth to 12, teens ages 13-19 and adults.


Click HERE to view all programs.

Featured Events:

February 9, 7:30 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Lost in the Stars: an Evening with the Washington National Opera

In partnership with the Washington National Opera, DC Public Library presents a discussion of the upcoming Kennedy Center program, Lost in the Stars.

Tom Minter and members of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program offer a preview of the company’s upcoming production of Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, based on the novel Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. Artists will perform musical excerpts with live piano accompaniment. Two pairs of tickets to see the live production will be raffled courtesy of the Washington National Opera.

February 20, 2 p.m., 
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Screening of "Through a Lens Darkly" with Director Thomas Allen Harris
We are excited to have Director Thomas Allen Harris with us as we screen his documentaryThrough a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. The film brings to light previously hidden and largely unknown images by both professional and vernacular African American photographers which add to our understanding of history by providing a window into lives, experiences and perspectives of Black families that is absent from the traditional historical canon.

Following the screening, Harris will speak about the importance of personal archiving and his involvement in the community engagement project the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow, which collected 6000 images from personal family archives across the USA. 

This event will be held in conjunction with the launch of the DC Public Library's new Memory Lab, a DIY space for personal digital archiving.

Online Resources

Your Library has a wealth of online resources that can help enrich your African-American history, life and culture, from Colonial times and slavery, to the Civil War, to the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights movement. It all can be found in Black Studies Online Research

Historic Black Newspapers Delve into black history with more than 500 scholarly articles and more than 4,000 slave narratives in The African American Experience.
You can read articles from four Historic Black Newspapers:
  • Atlanta Daily World
  • The Baltimore Afro-American
  • Chicago Defender
  • New York Amsterdam News
Information dates back to the late 1800s.
Oxford African American Studies Center The African American Studies Center contains over 5,000 biographies, more than 7,500 articles, and hundreds of maps, documents, images, timelines, websites and charts and tables of African-American life, history and culture.
The Black Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, and much more.
Mae Jemison and Nelson Mandela Learn about Mae Jemison, Nelson Mandela and others in the AP Images. Search the history of the world in photographs from the 1840s to as recent as a minute ago.
Black Renaissance The Black Renaissance in Washington, D.C. explores the role of the visual arts, music and performing arts in D.C. during the 1920s and 1930s.
FreedomFlix FreedomFlix brings American history alive! Explore topics from the revolutionary era to today’s world through videos, online books, project ideas and quizzes to check your learning.  For grades 4 and up.


Good Reads

For Youth

African American Poetry Heart and Soul March A Sweet Smell of Roses
African American Poetry
by Arnold Rampersad and Marcellus Blount
JUV 811.08
Heart and Soul: The Story of African Americans
by Kadir Nelson
JUV 973.04
March: Book One
by John Lewis
G.N. 92 L6739A
A Sweet Smell of Roses
by Angela Johnson
Ruth and the Green Book Whomp, Whomp We've Got a Job Jazz Age Josephine
Ruth and the Green Book
by Calvin Ramsey
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!
by Wynton Marsalis
We've Got a Job
by Cynthia Levinson
Jazz Age Josephine
by Jonak Winter

For Teens
The Warmth of Other Suns Remember the Titans Fire in the Streets The Silence of Our Friends
The Warmth of Other Suns
by Isabel Wilkerson
CD 307.2408 W681 B.O.D.
307.2408 W681
Remember the Titans
DVD 791.43 REMEM
Fire in the Streets
by Kekla Magoon
The Silence of Our Friends
by Mark Long

The librarians at Deanwood Library have also created a reading list for children and teens with books on the civil rights movement.

For Adults
Words of Protest Courage in the Moment The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks The Seven Days
Words of Protest, Words of Freedom
edited by Jeffrey Lamar
811.08 W924
Courage in the Moment: The Civil RIghts Struggle
text by Paul Dickson
323.1196 W191
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
by Jeanne Theoharis
92 P2525T
The Seven Days
by R. Kayeen Thomas

Want more recommendations? Check out these selected works related to Black History Month.