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Celebrate Black History Month with the BCS libraries

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Promotional banner illustration celebrating Black History Month.

The Bryan + College Station Public Library System is proud to celebrate Black History Month this February with special events and activities all month long. We’re also proud to promote Black heritage and history year-round through our large collection of books and other media.

African American culture is influenced through the artistic and cultural movements of Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, which have been led by people of African descent that set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, Black History Month examines the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.

Visit our library branches and explore our events, displays, and collections related to this year’s theme of arts and artisans. We’ve got more than 200 titles for all ages ranging from biographies of Black artists, to folktales and stories, and from local family histories, to books on how African American cooking techniques have shaped the food scene in America today.

Special events and programs

Black History Storytime with Toni Simmons

  • When: Feb. 19 at 10 a.m.
  • Where: Larry J. Ringer Library in College Station

Toni Simmons is an award-winning, dynamic storyteller and author who brings new life to her stories with songs, rhythms, changes, and audience participation.

This program is made possible through a grant funded by The Texas Commission on the Arts and by the Friends of the Library.

Toni Simmons
1858 bill of sale in Brazos County for a 15-year-old slave girl. Dated Sept. 4, 1858. This document is a bill of sale for “Loeza.” Loeza was 15 years old when she was sold by W.A. Killough to James Walker of Bryan. She was noted to be “of sound mind and body” and was purchased as “a slave for life.” Currently, volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are trying to trace her genealogy to hopefully find her descendants.

African American Genealogy

  • When: Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Carnegie History Center in Historic Downtown Bryan

Learn how to navigate pre-emancipation records like bills of sale for enslaved people, Freedman Bureau records, and other integral resources to help you advance your family’s history.

Activities and displays

Art as a Platform for Social Justice: Black History Month

  • What: Interactive craft display
  • When: All February
  • Where: Youth Services, Second Floor, Clara B. Mounce Public Library in Historic Downtown Bryan

Learn, Empower, and Create! Visit Mounce Library in February and do a new new art craft project each week. The crafts are inspired by five Black artists.

  • Week 1: Faith Ringgold – Story quilt
  • Week 2: Elijah Pierce – Folk art
  • Week 3: Alma Thomas – Dot inspired abstract
  • Week 4: Jacob Lawrence – Primary color bold statement
  • Week 5: Jean-Michel Basquiat – Mixed media cut out collage
Promotional image of 5 children's books about black artists and art as a platforms for social justice. To celebrate Black History Month, the youth librarians at Mounce library are holding a weekly craft project called "Learn, Empower, and Create!" for kids at the library based on these 5 black artists and their stories.

All libraries

Visit our libraries and check out the many displays about Black authors, Black history and Black characters in both the juvenile and adult areas. Explore the past, present, and future featuring titles that highlight the history and culture of African Americans.

A few Black History Month facts

  • Black History Month originated in February 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson to deepen the study and scholarship of African American history.
  • In 1975, President Ford issued a message urging all Americans to “recognize the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by black citizens,” in observance of Black History Week.
  • In 1976, Association for the Study of African American Life and History expanded the commemoration of Black history from a week-long observance to a month.
  • Black History Month became an official holiday when President Ford issued a message on February 10, 1976 urging all to join in the tribute in observance of Black History Month.
  • Congress passed Public Law in 1986 designating February as “National Black History Month,” and in the same year, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation “to celebrate the many achievements of African Americans in every field from science and the arts to politics and region.”