Black History Month

Each February, we spotlight the important contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout our country's history and present day. Join us for the events listed below and check back for more as we are continually adding things to our calendar.

You can also check out our Black Lives Matter reading, viewing, and watching lists.

Past Events


Teen Library Council: Online Event

Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4:30 pm

Give your input on remote library services and events for teens. Participants earn service hours. For grades 6-12.

Registration closes at 10 am the day of the event. We will email the Zoom event link after registration has closed, and we will send it to our Remind group (@spl-tlc) shortly before the program starts. Email the teen team with questions about this event, and join our Remind (@spl-tlc) to stay connected.


Adult Book Discussion--Memorial: Online Event on Instagram Live

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 7:30 pm

Library staff discuss our newest book discussion title on Instagram Live.

This month we're reading Memorial by Bryan Washington. February is the month of love and sure, love is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Join us this month to discuss Washington’s funny, profound, and “powerful portrait of the challenges, both internal and external, that so often come with loving another human being” (Associated Press).

This book is available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive, with no holds from February 1-28.

Follow the library on Instagram.

Find works by Washington in the library catalog.


'March' by John Lewis Teen Book Discussion: Online Event

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 4:00 pm

Comics have helped engage young people in civil rights work from at least as early as the 1950s. This book discussion is for grades 6-8.

We're discussing the themes of social justice present in John Lewis' award-winning graphic memoir March, and the ways images are used in telling the stories. March books one, two, and three are available from the library catalog and as eBooks from Hoopla. They are free with your library card.

You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email. If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the teen team or call the library at 847-673-7774.


Civic Lab--Mind the Gap: Online Event

Monday, February 22, 2021, 7:30 pm

Who is a STEM professional? Learn about racial disparities in STEM fields, and join in discussion about how we define the boundaries and requirements of STEM jobs.

You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email. If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the events team or call the library at 847-673-7774.


'March' by John Lewis: Online Event

Monday, February 22, 2021, 6:30 pm

Join us for an interactive book discussion and activity celebrating the life and legacy of Black civil rights leader John Lewis. Limited to 20. This event is designed for children in grades 4-6.

We're discussing the award-winning graphic novels March by John Lewis. While participants are not required to read the graphic novels before the discussion, some familiarity may be helpful for participation. These graphic novels contain autobiographical visual depictions of some painful moments in American history. Some caregivers may opt to read along with participating children. We will email information on picking up activity supplies after registration has closed.

March books one, two, and three are available from the library catalog and as ebooks from Hoopla. They are free with your library card.


Adult Book Discussion--Memorial: Online Event on Goodreads

Thursday, February 18, 2021, 8:00 pm

Library staff moderate conversation of our newest book discussion title. You can join the discussion on Goodreads at any time.

This month we're reading Memorial by Bryan Washington. February is the month of love and sure, love is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Join us this month to discuss Washington’s funny, profound, and “powerful portrait of the challenges, both internal and external, that so often come with loving another human being” (Associated Press).

This book is available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive, with no holds from February 1-28.

Join the library on Goodreads.

Find works by Washington in the library catalog.


Zoom into the Movies--John Lewis: Good Trouble: Online Event

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 8:00 pm

Chris, Sharon, and Mimosa discuss the documentary movie "John Lewis: Good Trouble."

Using interviews and rare archival footage, we learn about Lewis's 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration. We'll talk about the movie and the beloved Civil Rights leader, politician, and humanitarian who served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Directed by Dawn Porter. This film is in English, with English subtitles. Watch the film via the library's free streaming service Hoopla, and then join us with your questions and comments.

Registration closes at 10 am the day of the event. We will email the Zoom event link after registration has closed. If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the events team or call the library at 847-673-7774.

Find this film in the library catalog.


Pages through History--Never Caught: Online Event

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 7:00 pm

Discuss Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s startling and eye-opening account of slavery in the early days of the United States.

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, tells the story of Ona Judge, who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington. Ona risked her life to escape and reach freedom. Historian Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on one young woman's efforts to pursue a life of liberty, free from violence.

Books will be available in print and can be reserved for pickup at the library. The book is also available as an eBook and audiobook on OverDrive.

Registration closes at 10 am the day of the event. We will email the Zoom event link after registration has closed.  If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the events team or call the library at 847-673-7774.

Find Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s works in the library catalog.


We're Connected--Interactive Stories with Oba William King: Online Event

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 11:15 am

Enjoy stories in the Black tradition of call and response and share your own with Oba William King.

Registration closes at noon on Friday (the day before the event). We will email the Zoom event link after registration has closed.

If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the events team or call the library at 847-673-7774.


Zoom into the Movies--Daughters of the Dust: Online Event

Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 8:00 pm

Chris, Sharon, and Mimosa discuss the movie "Daughters of the Dust."

At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family lives in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina. These formerly enslaved West Africans adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions. They now struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while thinking about moving to the mainland.

Starring Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, and Barbara O. Directed by Julie Dash. This film is in English, with English subtitles. Watch the film via the library's free streaming service Kanopy, and then join us with your questions and comments.

Registration closes at 10 am the day of the event. We will email the Zoom event link after registration has closed. If you have questions about this event after registration has closed, please email the events team or call the library at 847-673-7774.

Find this film in the library catalog.