African American History Month


Enjoy a month of programs to celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. Learn about the culture through authors, films, exhibits, and more.

Featured Events

Houston Public Library Quarterly (HPLQ)

Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America by Wil Haygood

Texas Southern University, Sawyer Auditorium | 3100 Cleburne St., 77004
February 13, 2016 | 2 PM

Presentation and book signing by the author

FREE with ticket; seating is limited. Reserve your seat now!

It Shall Be Done: A Recent Acquisition from the Gregory School Collection Exhibition

The African American Library at the Gregory School | 1300 Victor St., 77019
November 14, 2015 - April 30, 2016

View photographs, documents, and artifacts, including a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. funeral program, information on the inception of Houston College for Negroes (now Texas Southern University), rare artwork by John Biggers and Eliezabeth Catlett, and oral histories.

Explore Your History at Clayton Library

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research | 5300 Caroline, 77004

Renowned Genealogist Sharon Gillins
Saturday, February 6, 2016 | 10:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Harvesting Ancestors - Lessons from the Garden | 10:30 AM
Practices learned from the garden are compared to genealogical practices and illustrated with examples from genealogical research. The content is suitable and accessible to beginners who are building good research habits, and will be equally entertaining and informative to more advanced researchers.

Louisiana Conveyance Records: Researching Enslaved Ancestry | 11:45 AM
This presentation uses Louisiana conveyance records to illustrate the record types and methods for analysis that researchers can use to locate details about their once-enslaved family members prior to 1870. Although the case studies are based on Louisiana records, the methodology is transferable to any state.

From Post- to Pre-Civil War: The African American Experience in Records
Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 10:30 AM

In celebration of African American History Month, Clayton Library is proud to offer a series of classes presented by Clayton Library staff members Rodney Sam and Franklin Smith. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.

Sessions include:
First Louisiana Guard: The Life of a Free Man of Color in a Southern Union Regiment | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
This program will show how the life of Casimir Sam, a Louisiana Creole and a free man of color who served in the Civil War, can be reconstructed through the use of military records. This session will be presented by Clayton Library staff member Rodney Sam.

Researching Pre-Civil War Slave Ancestors - Identifying the Slaveholder | 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
Learn tips and strategies for identifying the slaveholder using post-Civil War records and information.   From the 1870 community use the surname and location approach to narrow the potential slaveholder candidates. This session will be presented by Clayton Library staff member Franklin Smith.

Ensemble Theatre

Smith Neighborhood Library | 3624 Scott St., 77004
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | 4 PM

Catch a preview performance of August Wilsons’ classic Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play at the Houston Public Library!  The full-length production runs January 28, 2016 – February 28, 2016 at Houston’s Ensemble Theatre.

Meet the Authors

Chris Tomlinson

Julia Ideson Building, Auditorium | 550 McKinney St., 77002
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 | 6 PM

Houston Chronicle reporter Chris Tomlinson will discuss his acclaimed book, Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families Who Share the Tomlinson Name – One White, One Black

Pat Tucker

McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Neighborhood Library | 5411 Pardee St., 77026
Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 2 PM

Prolific writer and journalist Pat Tucker talks about her new book, Somebody Has To Pay.


Cydney Rax

Johnson Neighborhood Library | 3517 Reed Rd., 77051

Saturday, February 27, 2016 | 2 PM

Novelist Cydney Rax presents the latest installment in her “Love and Revenge” series, If Your Wife Only Knew.

Featured Events for the Entire Family

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Carnegie Neighborhood Library & Center for Learning | 1050 Quitman, 77009
Friday, February 19, 2016 | 1:30 PM

Park Place Regional Library | 8145 Park Place Blvd., 77017
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | 3:45 PM

Acclaimed author Katheryn Russell-Brown brings a musician and unsung hero of jazz, Melba Doretta Liston, to life in her highly acclaimed children’s book, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone.

Da Camera Chamber Music & Jazz presents

Collier Regional Library | 6200 Pinemont, 77092
Thursday, February 4, 2016 | 11:15 AM

Lakewood Neighborhood Library | 8815 Feland St., 77028
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 | 10 AM

Walter Neighborhood Library | 7660 Claremont, 77036
Saturday, February 13, 2016 | 1 PM

Heights Neighborhood Library | 1302 Heights Blvd, 77008
Thursday, February 18, 2016 | 10:30 AM

Vinson Neighborhood Library | 3810 West Fuqua, 77045
Thursday, February 18, 2016 | 3:30 PM

Da Camera of Houston is one of American’s leading presenters and producers of ensemble music. Bring the entire family to enjoy and appreciate an evening of jazz by a distinctive mix of renowned performers and emerging artists.

Featured Activities for Children

These activities will be offered at a variety of Neighborhood Library locations. Check back for a link to scheduled events.

Martin’s Helping Hands Wreath

Create beautiful, inspiring wreaths with your children while learning about the important message of peace and equality by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kendall Neighborhood Library | 609 N. Eldridge, 77079
February 3, 2016

Tuttle Neighborhood Library | 702 Kress, 77020
February 3, 2016

Young Neighborhood Library | 5260 Griggs Rd., Palm Center, 77021
February 10, 2016

Mancuso Neighborhood Library | 6767 Bellfort, 77087
February 17, 2016

When You Were An Activist: Comic Strip Maker

Young children and tweens alike will have fun creating their own comic strips depicting their own story of standing up for what they believe.

HPL Southwest Express | 6400 High Star, 77074
February 3, 2016

Pledge Quilt: I pledge to stand up for ____

Create your own pledge to stand up for what you believe and make it a part of the HPL pledge quilt. Everyone can stand for something and be an activist.

Park Place Regional Library | 8145 Park Place Blvd., 77017
February 5, 2016

Scenic Woods Regional Library | 10677 Homestead, 77016
February 10, 2016

Vinson Neighborhood Library | 3810 West Fuqua, 77045
February 16, 2016

Activism Movies: Glory Road, 42, The Help

Enjoy films that tell the fascinating and true stories of everyday heroes who stood up to injustice and persevered.

Heights Neighborhood Library, 1302 Heights Blvd., 77008
January 30, 2016

Vinson Neighborhood Library | 3810 West Fuqua, 77045
February 5, 2016

Stanaker Neighborhood Library | 611 S/Sgt. Macario Garcia, 77011
February 9, 2016

Melcher Neighborhood Library | 7200 Keller, 77012
February 11, 2016

Smith Neighborhood Library | 3624 Scott St., 77004
February 19, 2016