Close to 100 events planned at Queens libraries for Black History Month 

All libraries in the Queens Public Library system have a range of events to choose from for Black History Month.
Photo by Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media

In honor of Black History Month, the Queens Public Library System organized over 100 events and activities for all ages to honor the contributions of Black Americans. 

The programs range from book talks led by New York Times bestselling authors to beloved movie screenings at various locations. This year’s theme, in collaboration with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is the celebration of Arts such as the Harlem Renaissance, the birth of jazz and blues, or more recently, hip-hop which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

On top of the events that include collage making and concerts, they also curated a list of books ranging from new releases to classics, by African American authors for adults and children. The library system also released aAfrican Americans and The Arts Journal,” which features daily prompts to think about the past and future of Black art. The journal can be downloaded online, or picked up at various locations in person. 

Below are some of the notable events this month. A full list of programs, with over 100 events to choose from, can be found on their website.

Charmaine Wilkerson: “Black Cake” Author Talk & Book Signing 

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel, “Black Cake” tells the story of a Caribbean family changed by the secrets of its matriarch. The book, which was turned into a Hulu show produced by Oprah Winfrey under the same name, delves into intersecting themes of sexual identity and family connections. 

During the author talk, Wilkerson will dive deep into her creative process with attendees. They will also be able purchase a signed copy of the book which made it to the New York Times best seller list. The event is first come first serve. 

Feb. 20 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

South Jamaica Library, 108-41 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11433

Carnival Festival Arts: From Africa To The Americas

A virtual panel will discuss the African traditions embedded in carnival festivals, such as Mardi Gras, will feature panelists from Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and New Orleans.

They’ll use their roles as historians to designers will discuss how concepts of resistance, spirituality and freedom originating in Africa moved across continents to show up in the current diaspora. 

The virtual panel will be moderated by Columbia University scholar Charles Daniel Dawson. 

Feb. 15 from 6-7 p.m. 

Join on Zoom: https://queenslib.org/4b6ubyl

Literary Thursdays: Jonathan Eig, Author Of “King: A Life”

While many biographies have been written about Martin Luther King Jr., Jonathan Eig’s recently published book, “King: A Life” is the first to emerge in decades. It is the only biography of the civil rights leader to feature recently declassified FBI files on his death. 

The landmark biography gives readers an intimate glimpse into MLK’s life, including his emotional struggles during his fight for racial and economic justice. Eig will discuss his book virtually as part of the library’s Literary Thursdays event.

Feb. 8 from 6-7 p.m. 

Join on Microsoft Teams: https://queenslib.org/3tw3BxH

In-Person Panel Discussion: Hip Hop Fashion Talk

In honor of hip-hop’s influence on fashion, a panel discussion and fashion show will be held at Jamaica’s library to celebrate the music genre that recently turned 50.

To discuss the undeniable role that hip-hop played on fashion, panelists include Elizabeth Way, the author of “Fresh Fly Fabulous: 50 Years of Hip Hop Style” and Elena Romero, author of “Free Stylin’: How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry.” Sowmya Krishnamurthy, a music journalist who penned “Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion” will also participate in the discussion. 

For those who can’t attend in person, the fashion show curated by Jackie Love, with Music by DJ Stokes, will be live streamed on the library’s Instagram page. 

Feb. 22 from  6-7 p.m.

Central Library 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11432

Frederick Douglass: Advocate For Equality Exhibit 

At the Central Library on Merrick Boulevard, the “Frederick Douglass: Advocate for Equality” exhibit has already been running since the beginning of January. It explores the trajectory of Douglass’s life, from his escape from slavery to his fight for equality during the Jim Crow era. 

Featured photographs and documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection help convey the narrative of his powerful life through this in person exhibit. 

On display until Feb. 29 

Central Library 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11432

​​Black History Month Film Fest

Movie fans have the opportunity view over a dozen movies throughout the month at various locations across Queens. The film fest, curated by QPL Hip Hop Coordinator Ralph McDaniels, started off with “Stormy Weather,” released in 1943, and will also feature newer movies such as Black Panther released in 2018.

Here is the full list:

Feb 3, 1 p.m. – Hunters Point: “Boom for Real” Not Rated (2017) 

Feb 8, 3 p.m. – Hollis: “The Wiz” Rated: G (1978) 

Feb 8, 5 p.m. – Langston Hughes: “Little Richard: I Am Everything” Not Rated (2023) 

Feb 10, 2 p.m. – Lefferts: “Shaft” Rated: R (1971) 

Feb 15, 5 p.m. – East Elmhurst: “One Night in Miami” Rated: R (2020) 

Feb 15, 5:30 p.m. – Queensboro Hills: “Daughters of the Dust” Not Rated (1991) 

Feb 17, 2 p.m. – St. Albans: “Fresh Dressed” Not Rated (2015) 

Feb 17, 2 p.m. – Peninsula: “Big George Foreman” Rated: PG-13 (2023) 

Feb 20, 3 p.m. – Queens Village: “Amazing Grace, Aretha Franklin” Rated: G (2018) 

Feb 22, 6 p.m. – South Jamaica: “The Five Heartbeats” Rated: R (1991) 

Feb 23, 3 p.m. – Flushing: “Black Panther” Rated: PG-13 (2018) 

Feb 24, 2 p.m. – Rochdale Village: “Juice” Rated: R (1991) 

Feb 29, 5:30 p.m. – Central: “Cooley High” Rated: PG (1975)