Celebrate Black History Month the entire month of February with AADL. We're presenting films, speaker events, videos, and a lot more for viewers of all ages.
Events (Online and In-Person)
Monday (February 7)
Researching African American Ancestors (watch the recorded event)
Researching African-American ancestry can be a tremendous struggle and tremendously rewarding. This session offers helpful resources, tips and pitfalls to avoid. Jessica Trotter of Capital Area District Library will give an overview of how to find and navigate resources and offer tips for research. Find more tips, tricks, and advice in the downloadable pdf handout attached to the left side of this page.
Tuesday (February 8)
Inspiration: Black History Month Project
Watch an AADL staff member use Library resources in order to plan and gather inspiration for a month-long personal project. Stay tuned for an update when the results are revealed.
Monday (February 28) at 3 PM
Inspiration: Black History Month Project Update
See how a month-long project inspired by Black History Month is shaping up as the month winds down.
AADL and AACHM Living Oral History Project
The Living Oral History Project is a partnership between the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor District Library. It contains interviews that serve as a road map illustrating what local African Americans witnessed, experienced, and contributed to building the community we share today. The associated LOH Digital Collection presents over 2,500 historical photographs and news articles from the AADL Archives about major topics featured in the interviews, including Community Centers, Education, Housing, Employment, Entrepreneurship, and Faith. The LOH Walking Tour showcases historically Black neighborhoods in Ann Arbor. Click to view all the phases of the Living Oral History project, or view the playlist below.
Quote of the Day: Black History Month
Watch a quote come to life every day in February as AADL staff use their skills to make powerful words pretty. Click for all our videos or watch the playlist below.
Al Paca and Bobby Cat
Puppet neighbors Al Paca and Bobby Cat celebrate Black History Month by exploring what Black History Month is all about and celebrating stories of some of the most influential, interesting, and amazing Black Americans through history. Click to see all of Al Paca and Bobby Cat's videos, or watch the playlist below.
MLK: In His Own Words
Watch 11 videos of hand-drawn Illustrations of quotes from the speeches, articles, and correspondences delivered at various points in Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Click to see all the quotes or watch the playlist below.
A Selection of Past Events Featuring Black Speakers and Authors
Herb Boyd Discusses Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination
Herb Boyd discusses his award-winning book, Black Detroit: A People's History of Self-Determination. Black Detroit looks at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit–a blend of memoir, love letter, history, and clear-eyed reportage that explores the city’s past, present, and future and its significance to the African-American legacy and the nation’s fabric. It brings into focus the major figures who have defined and shaped Detroit, including William Lambert, the great abolitionist; Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records; Coleman Young, the city’s first black mayor; diva songstress Aretha Franklin; Malcolm X; and Ralph Bunche, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Building Matters: Black Architects in Michigan
Local experts discuss the contributions of Black architects, architectural designers, and landscape architects to the built environment of Michigan. They touch on Michigan's first Black-owned architectural firm, Detroit's historic Black Bottom neighborhood, and Detroit's connection to the rise of hip-hop architecture.
Book Discussion: I Can't Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux
AADL staff discuss Michael Arceneaux's collection of essays, I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put by Faith in Beyonce.
Biblio Files #20 | All American Boys
Each week, a few AADL staff members have a brief chat to answer one question–from "What's your favorite classic?" to "What book didn't live up to the hype?" In this episode, the Biblio Files team breaks from that format to have a brief discussion of the 2021 Washtenaw Read, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
2021 Washtenaw Reads Author Event | Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely have a conversation about the 2021 Washtenaw Reads selection, All American Boys. They discuss how they came to write All American Boys together, the importance of the book's themes in their own lives, and how we can create meaningful inter-racial dialogue around issues like police brutality.
AADL Podcasts Featuring Black Stories and Black Artists
AADL Productions Podcast: Lola Jones and Carol Gibson
Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to Anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they've sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity.
Ann Arbor Stories: For All the Marbles
That spring in 1936, seven years into the Great Depression, the entire city of Ann Arbor, age 14 and under, lost their marbles over the biggest sporting event the city had ever known— 1936 Ann Arbor Daily News Marbles Tournament. The champion of the west would punch their ticket to the National Marbles Tournament on the Jersey Shore, and a chance at marbles immortality.
Art Prints from the Black Lives Matter: Call for Artists Added in AADL's Collection
Following AADL's Black Lives Matter: Call for Black Artists in 2020, the Library worked with local artists to add their work to the Library's permanent circulating art print collection. Browse our full art print catalog and request work from these amazing artists. (link includes other artists in AADL's collection as well)