Black History Month at CALS

Throughout the month of February, the Central Arkansas Library System will be celebrating Black History Month with informative, interactive, and entertaining programs for all ages. Bring the kids to a drum workshop with Stephin Booth, learn how to navigate the Encyclopedia of Arkansas to learn more about important black Arkansans, make new friends when you join a book club, or come to the Black Family Expo. Events will take place across the system, find something fun and educational near you. If you have any questions, please call 918-3000.

More events are being added so please check back for our complete list of Black History Month programming!

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In Our Own Words: Black Voices from the Archives

CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Presents LEGACIES & LUNCH

Speaker: Courtney Bradford

Courtney Bradford, curator of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, will use artifacts from the museum’s collection to speak on the significance of African American narratives in Arkansas history.

Courtney Bradford is from Little Rock,

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Who is Dr. MLK Jr.? (Minecraft: Education Edition)

Hybrid session—attend at the library or online!  Each attendee will receive this lesson plan including videos, activities and reflections to take back to your students.  Educator attendees are eligible for 2 hours PD credit.
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Black Voices Book Club

Each week we’ll explore juvenile fiction written by a Black author. No need to read ahead! This program is best suited for ages 8-15, though any age child or teen is welcome to attend. Email jford@cals.org for the Zoom link.
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Discover Arkansas’s Own Hidden Figure: Raye Montague

Come hear the story of Raye Montague, Little Rock’s own hidden figure credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. She was the first female program manager of ships in the U.S. Navy and paved the way for Black women in STEM.

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CALS Presents: The Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Learn some cool tips and tricks on how to use the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas (EOA) for Black History Month and all year long. Includes a brief history of the EOA, all kinds of hacks on how to get the most of our new and improved site, and some fun trivia to test your knowledge.

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Highlighting Little Rock’s Historically Black Communities (Dee Brown Branch)

Community outreach archivist Danielle Afsordeh will give an overview of Little Rock’s historically Black communities and their enduring significance, while highlighting related materials from the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas and the collections of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

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Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

Late author Toni Morrison talks about life and writing in this documentary exploring the ways her work reflects themes of race and American history.

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Book and Cook

Join us for this Black History Month themed Book and Cook! We’ll read a book and then make a snack.  *Limited to 10 participants*

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Crucial Conversations: Race in America Book Club

BookSouth to America by Imani Perry

Register to Attend Virtually

WHAT?

This six-month book club will explore issues around the history of race relations and our collective memory of the South in partnership with the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

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Event

Black Family Expo

Visit the Central Arkansas Library System’s Black History Expo at Pankey Community Center from 11AM to 2PM on Saturday, February 11, 2023, to learn about families with strong ties to Central Arkansas’s Black history, explore the CALS resources available to preserve your own family’s history, and sign up for a library card. Black History Month giveaways will be happening all day,

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Let’s Celebrate Black Inventors!

Let’s celebrate Black scientists and inventors this month by learning about their accomplishments! This event will feature interactive activities featuring notable Black contributors in STEM. Learn about the inventors of the refrigerator truck, GPS technology, and the stop light!

For ages 6-12

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Finding Family Facts (February 13)

The Butler Center offers a beginner’s genealogy class the second Monday of every month, taught by Rhonda Stewart, the Butler Center’s local history and genealogy expert. Participants will learn how to use online databases and city directories, as well as how to archive family documents. Jump-start your genealogy research with this fun and creative way to learn about the past.

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Crafting History: Canning and Arkansas Rural Black Women’s Activism

Come learn about the activism of rural Black women in Arkansas that centered around Home Demonstration Clubs in the early twentieth century. Community Outreach Archivist Danielle Afsordeh will give the historical overview,

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Highlighting Little Rock’s Historically Black Communities (Fletcher Branch)

Community outreach archivist Danielle Afsordeh will give an overview of Little Rock’s historically Black communities and their enduring significance, while highlighting related materials from the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas and the collections of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

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Event

Tinker Thursday: Jazz Day

A special Tinker Thursday with jazz, art, and a story!

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Black History Month Open Mic

Come showcase your talent on the mic or join the fun!  Poetry, acting, live music and more!

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Drum Workshop

In honor of Black History Month we are celebrating with Drum Master Stephin Booth! This program is open to all ages & you are invited.

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Kente Cloth Weaving Workshop

All ages. Explore the Kente cloth meaning with this mixed media weaving art project!

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Preschool Process Art

Join us right after Storytime for the perfect craft for your little one!

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We The People

Learn the basics of rights and citizenship with upbeat songs by popular artists like Janelle Monáe, H.E.R., Adam Lambert, Brandi Carlile and more.

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