Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month is this February, marking a time to come together to recognize and celebrate the innumerable achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans. You're invited to celebrate with us at San Mateo County Libraries!

All month long, we will host programs, performances, crafts, films, and more for all ages. Highlights include musical performances with award-winning artists, a special storytime for families with Dr. Khalid White, civil rights inspired music listening parties and screen printing crafts for teens, and art workshops and documentary screenings for adults.

East Palo Alto Library will host a Black History Month kickoff event, The Soul of EPA, opens a new window, on Saturday, Feb. 1. From 12-3 PM, all are invited to experience African American history through food, books, art, creative expression and music, which includes a performance from Grammy-nominated musician Andre Thierry.


Funk and Soul with Quinn DeVeaux

Bay Area musician Quinn DeVeaux, opens a new window will share his "blue beat" musical style that combines R&B, funk, and soul. Quinn (pictured above) will also share stories about African American artists.

Are You Ready To Learn by Andre Thierry

Join Grammy-nominated artist Andre Thierry, opens a new window as he shares his creole culture in "Are You Ready to Learn." Enjoy Andre's musical story through a journey of mix African, Native American Blues, French dance melodies and elements of Afro-Caribbean music.


Fabric Painting With Asual Aswad

With artist educator Asual Aswad, participants will utilize ancient Adinkra symbols to create and print their own fabric designs. Transform a blank piece of fabric into your own original artwork while learning about the concepts of color, design, symmetry, pattern and balance.

Teen Screen Printing and Listening Party

Come and screen print your own poster or tote with a special design inspired by the art of Jean-Michael Basquiat. Basquiat's art used social commentary to criticize power structures and systems of racism. While creating your work, participants will listen to famous music inspired by the civil rights movement and modern songs inspired by Black Lives Matter.

Film and Art

Documentary Club: Always in Season

Jacqueline Olive’s award-winning documentary film "Always in Season" explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today.

Art Docent Talk: Soul of a Nation - Art in the Age of Black Power

Organized by the Tate Modern art gallery, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, is a powerful and provocative presentation focusing on art made in the pivotal decades between 1963 and 1983. The works were forged in a crucible of institutionalized racism and codified prejudice that has pervaded America for centuries.


Storytime with Guest Author Khalid White

Join us as we welcome local author Khalid White as our special guest during our preschool storytime. Khalid will read one of his books, which features an Afro Latinx family. Children will be able to take home a book, while supplies last, and can stay after the storytime to meet the author.

You can find our full list of Black History Month events here, opens a new window. Which event are you most excited to attend? Let us know in the comments below!