Smithsonian Teams Up for Black History Month

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Smithsonian Teams Up for Black History Month

DC Public Library is happy to partner with two Smithsonian Institution organizations for children programs during Black History month. The Smithsonian Institution National Museum on African American History and Culture will present its "Mission: Preservation" program at 11 branches. And the Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater on Tour will present "How Old is a Hero?" at six branches in wards 7 and 8, facilitated by Class Acts Arts and funded in part by CapitalOne.

Ruth and the Green BookThis is the second year of the partnership with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum on African American History and Culture. Last year they presented the "Mission: Preservation" program during Black History month at West End Neighborhood Library and during the summer to 18 DCPL branches. This program, which introduces children to the great migration and segregation, in addition to another aspect of librarianship – preservation and archiving— was very well received and many branches requested the program for Black History Month. After hearing the story of Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Ramsey, students will don white cotton gloves, and explore authentic historical artifacts, record observations and determine a preservation plan. Participants will keep their gloves and activity book and be encouraged to go home and preserve their own family history!

Smithsonian Discovery Theater - How old is a hero?This is DC Public Library’s first year to work with Class Acts Arts, which is facilitating the second Smithsonian program for Black History Month. With a generous donation from Capital One, the Smithsonian Associates Discovery Theater on Tour, "How Old is a Hero?" will be presented at Anacostia, Capitol View, Deanwood, Dorothy I. Height/Benning, Francis A. Gregory and William O. Lockridge Bellevue.

This program will introduce children to young heroes of the civil rights movement that they may not be aware of, such as Ernest Green, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin who, months before Rosa Parks, also refused to give up her seat on the bus; and Ruby Bridges, who was only six in 1960 when she stepped into first grade—and into history – as the first student chosen to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans.

Please check the website for program information at the various branches, and while you are at a library, check out the many resources available to support these Smithsonian presentations including music CDs, DVDs, books and kits.