More Than A Month: The Library Celebrates African American History, Culture and History

For Immediate Release:

January 17, 2019

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252; Mindy.Linetzky@sfpl.org

Banner artwork by Ron Moultrie Saunders

More Than A Month

The Library celebrates African American history, culture and heritage

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– Since 1926, Black History week – and later month – has promoted important historical events, contributions, leadership and activism of African Americans. The Library calls our Black History Month celebrations More Than a Month, in an effort to emphasize that reflection, open dialogue, interdisciplinary education and shared advocacy needs to take place in our communities every month, all year round.

Beginning on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday weekend and throughout February, the Library champions Black history, culture and heritage with special music, dance, crafts and storytelling events at every branch in the City. More Than a Month features film screenings and literary events for adults, interactive events for teens, hands-on activities for kids, and exhibits, music and craft classes for the whole family.

Author talks and lectures will cover the intersection of race and baseball, a reading from the memoir of a Black Panther Party member, the speeches of Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, San Francisco Civil War stories and the history of African Americans in Visitacion Valley. Hands-on crafts for all ages include African paper necklaces, quilt-making in the tradition of Gee’s Bend and treasure boxes in the style of Tyree Guyton, the Detroit artist who fancifully decorated abandoned homes in his neighborhood. There’s even a special Motown/Disco Drag Queen Story Hour at two neighborhood branches!

The Black & Brown Comix Arts Festival celebrates the creativity of people of color in the comic arts and popular visual culture. This year’s celebration features Rebecca Roanhorse, Nebula and Hugo winner and author of Trail of Lightning in conversation with Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper. Also appearing are graphic novelists Mario Hernandez and cast members of the film Black Panther.

Two new exhibits showcase rarely told Black history. Unsung Heroes, an exhibit produced by the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society on display at the Main Library, celebrates the contributions and sacrifices that African American shipyard workers made during World War II. The Port Chicago Story: Lighting the Fuse to Civil Rights on display at the Treasure Island Museum, tells the story of the 1944 disaster and trial and their impact. It is presented by the National Park Service, in partnership with the Treasure Island Museum and the San Francisco Public Library.

Visit the African American Center in the Main Library to learn about historical, political and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and beyond. In addition to housing a collection of reference materials spanning a broad range of subject areas, the Center organizes many free exhibits and programs.

All programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. More information, including the program guide, is available at sfpl.org/more-than-a-month.

More Than a Month program highlights:

Black History Buttons – Jan. 18, Merced Branch Library

The Black Comix Arts Festival Youth Day – Jan. 19, Main Library, TheMix

The Black Comix Arts Festival – Jan. 20, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Kimberly Marshall reads Just Another Nigger – Feb. 5, Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

African American Quilts – Feb. 6, Ocean View Branch Library

The Other Black Migration:Genealogy Workshop Series – Feb. 6, SF African American Historical & Cultural Society

Lighting the Fuse to Civil Rights: The Port Chicago Trial – Feb. 9, Treasure Island Museum

Drag Queen Story Hour & Motown & Disco FamilyDance Party with Black Benatar – Feb. 9, Sunset and West Portal branch libraries

Raceball: Race & the National Pastime – Feb. 10, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Make a Treasure Box – Feb. 13, Mission Bay Branch Library and Feb. 16, Western Addition Branch Library

Fagen: An African American Renegade in the Philippine-American War – Feb. 17, Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room

Gee’s Bend Quilts – Feb. 21, North Beach Branch Library

San Francisco During the Antebellum and Civil War Eras – Feb. 23, Golden Gate ValleyBranch Library

Black History in Visitacion Valley – Feb. 23, Visitacion Valley Branch Library

West African Guitarist Jesse Sahbi – Feb. 27, Mission Bay Branch Library

A Conversation on Blackness – Feb. 28, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Exhibits

Unsung Heroes – Through April 11 – Main Library, African American Center

The Port Chicago Story: Lighting the Fuse to Civil Rights – Jan. 26 through July 7, Treasure Island Museum