Your public library is here to connect you with books, virtual programs, online resources, and learning experiences that celebrate Black history and culture all year long. On this page, you can:
- Find suggested fiction and nonfiction titles for adults, teens, and kids, all hand-selected by our librarians in recognition of Black History Month.
- Register for upcoming virtual programs in Zoom.
- Log in with your Oak Park card and PIN to use online resources for self-paced learning from anywhere.
For more title and resource suggestions, consider joining our year-long Anti-Racism Resource Challenge. You also can check resources for Countering Anti-Black Sentiments. Learn more about the origins of Black History Month itself from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
What we suggest
All February, we’ll be suggesting more titles by Black authors. Find them all on our Title Suggestion Lists page.
More from your digital library…
Register now for virtual programs this month
Emancipation to Inauguration: Chicago’s Black Experience
Monday, February 1, 6-7:30 pm. From our first non-indigenous citizen to the 44th President of the United States, African American history runs deep in Chicago and has touched all aspects of American life. Learn more about this incredible tale with musician/historian Clarence Goodman.
Anti-Racism Book Group: So You Want to Talk About Race
Wednesday, February 10, 6:30-7:45 pm. Please join us to discuss So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. This breakout book explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape—from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement—offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. This discussion will be moderated by Oak Park Public Library librarian Margita Lidaka and Chicago Public Library Branch Associate Charmaine Bryant. Register in Zoom now »
- Copies can be downloaded through Media on Demand/Libby and Hoopla.
- Need help getting started with Media on Demand or Libby? Watch how-to videos »
- Introducing a new collaborative community event as part of our anti-racism journey: the Anti-Racist Book Group. Hosted in collaboration with the Austin Branch of the Chicago Public Library, monthly meetings are virtual, and registration can be found on both libraries’ online calendars.
President’s Day Peace Circle: Recalling Amanda Gorman’s Poem: “The Hill We Climb” (Grades 4-8)
Monday, February 15. We will honor President’s Day by recalling the words of Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old who recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration this year. Young adults are invited to virtually come together and talk to people their own age. Young adults can reflect on the poem, its significance to the country, and what it meant for them. This is a safe space: what gets said in the circle stays in the circle. This program will be led by Children’s Librarian and trained Circle Facilitator Ms. Beronica Puhr.
Before you join this session’s circle, please take the time to revisit Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb.”
Motown: Music That Moved the World
Thursday, February 25, 2-3 pm. Enjoy the timeless music of Motown that moved us then and still moves us now. Through audio and visual content, trace the amazing musical journey from the power soul of “Dancing in the Streets” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” to the psychedelic soul of “Cloud Nine” and “What’s Going On” to the pop soul of The Jackson 5. Presented by Gary Wenstrup. Register in Zoom now »
Celebrating Black Futures: Live Performance, Art & Conversation
Friday, February 26, 5-6:15 pm. Join us as visual artist Juarez Hawkins, poet Maya Marshall, and rapper JSteezzy share live performance, art, and conversation in celebration of Black Futures. We will explore ideas of the Black artist in community, the importance of joy, and the power of radical imagination. Started in 2015 by the Movement for Black Lives, Black Futures Month is an opportunity to dedicate February to sharing new stories that dare to imagine a society where Black people are liberated and free. Register in Zoom now »
Explore online resources
Get access to subscription-based resources that Google can’t offer with your Oak Park card and PIN:
- African-American History Online: Find a fresh way to explore the full spectrum of African American history and culture, covering five centuries.
- African American Heritage: Explore a genealogy database devoted to African American family history research.
- PebbleGo (preschool-grades 3) and PebbleGo Next (grades 3-5): Read the biographies of Black Americans, including civil rights leaders, explorers and pioneers, scientists, inventors and business leaders, athletes, and more.
Join Oak Park’s Anti-Racism Resource Challenge
You’re invited to join Oak Park’s first Anti-Racism Resource Challenge! We’ll share intentional learning experiences, using specially selected books, media, articles, websites, and more.