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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Celebrate African Americans in the Arts

Films, concerts, live performances and expert talks highlight the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s (901 G St. NW) month long celebration of Black History Month through the arts.

Throughout the month of February, the library will be honoring Black creators and activists. The theme explores the “unbroken chain” of Black art passed down through generations and the power it has to be a catalyst for change.

  • Uncover your own family tree through a guided, three-part genealogy series focused on research techniques (Feb. 3, 10 and 24 at 11 a.m.)
  • Join National Public Radio (NPR) journalist Ayesha Rascoe as she speaks about her new book “HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience” along with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones (Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.)
  • Join neighbors and fellow tech-enthusiasts for a discussion about technology and sharing new ideas and projects (Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.)
  • Explore DC’s history of redlining, incarceration, and gentrification with author and professor Tanya Golash-Boza as she discusses “Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap” (Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Watch documentary “The House on Jonathan Street” (Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.)
  • Engage in discussion with historian Blair Kelley about the “adversities and joys” of the Black working class in America (Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.)
  • Hear from Billy D. Williams as he discusses his memoir “What Have We Here?: Portraits of a Life” (Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.)
  • Celebrate the life of Rev. Doctor Pauli Murray and join the US Mint and National Women’s History Museum in commemorating the release of the 2024 Pauli Murray quarter (Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.)
  • Learn about Revolutionary War spy James Lafayette and join the International Spy Museum for a discussion about his work (Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.)
  • Watch “Free The People”: a 3-part docuseries detailing the Black Lives Matter movement in DC in 2020 with filmmakers Kintsugi Kelley-Chung and Andrew “Jazzy” Jasuira (Feb. 25 at 1 p.m.)
  • Join Paul Alexander for a book signing and discussion of his book “Bitter Crop:The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year” (Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.) – Registration Required 
  • Hear from Princeton University’s Laurence Ralph about his book “Sito: An American Teenager and the City that Failed Him” and author and poet Clint Smith (Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.)

Visit dclibrary.org to learn more about these events and to register to attend.

Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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