National Black History Month has its origins in 1915, when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
We have curated a terrific lineup of programs to celebrate Black culture and stories. Acclaimed food author and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty returns! Bright Star Touring Theatre and Uncle Devin will delight young and old audiences alike with their action-packed and fun performances. With help from the Library of Congress, we will learn about the stories of formerly enslaved Virginians. And we will discover local history and learn about Roberta Flack’s career and the Green Valley Pharmacy. Come join us!
Talk by Michael Twitty, Author of “Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew”
Thursday, Feb. 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Twitty returns! Join us for an author talk with the acclaimed author of “Koshersoul” as we honor Black History Month. The talk will be followed by an audience Q&A and a book signing.
In person and live streamed. RSVP to receive a live stream link and an event reminder.
Black History Heroes, Soldiers and Spies
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
History is filled with Black American heroes! In this Bright Star Touring Theatre production, audiences learn the stories of some of the most amazing figures like Colonel Charles Young of the Buffalo Soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen as they take flight to help achieve victory in World War II, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser, whose work as a spy helped the Union during the Civil War. An exciting and interactive production that is sure to intrigue young and old alike!
Children Grades K-5. RSVP for an event reminder.
Virtual Program: Narratives of Enslaved Virginians
Thursday, Feb. 9, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Researching can be perilous, but even more so for Black historians during the Jim Crow era. In the 1930s, Federal Writers’ Project researchers with the Works Progress Administration interviewed formerly enslaved Virginians to preserve their stories. Special presentation by the Library of Congress.
Adults, registration required for Zoom link
Roberta Flack Documentary at Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
Sunday, Feb. 19, 7-9 p.m.
Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Join Arlington Public Library at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse to enjoy a new PBS Documentary, “American Masters: Roberta Flack.” It provides an intimate look into Flack’s artistry, life and triumphs over racism and sexism within and outside of the recording industry. This film screening is offered courtesy of PBS, American Masters, and The WNET Group, in partnership with WETA and The Black Heritage Museum of Arlington.
Adults, registration required
Green Valley Pharmacy: A Community Gathering Place
Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Join us in exploring local African American history with Portia A. Clark President of the Green Valley Civic Association, for a special presentation on Arlington's landmark Green Valley Pharmacy. The longest-operating African American pharmacy in Arlington County and likely the first African American owned pharmacy in the county, the Green Valley Pharmacy has helped shape and define the local community for over 60 years.
Adults and teens Grade 9+, registration required
Two Live Performances with Uncle Devin, ABC’s of Percussion
Tuesday, Feb. 28
ABC's of Percussion Storytime: 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., Central Library
Uncle Devin Live Show: 6-7 p.m., Columbia Pike
Both events are good for families.
Join us for an interactive, musical storytime at Central Library where children can hear and see the percussion instruments mentioned in the book, The ABC's of Percussion Children's Book by Uncle Devin.
For the live performance at Columbia Pike, The Uncle Devin Live Show uses original songs, funky grooves, and the DC tradition of call-and-response to have children and families experience the infectious energy of a live Go-Go that does not stop. Children will have an opportunity to hear and see some of the percussion instruments.