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Black History Month at Ann Arbor District Library

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The Ann Arbor District Library recognizes Black History Month in February with a number of in-person and online events, as well as videos from past events and content for all ages. 

Check out these in-person events for 2024: 


Film Screening: There Goes The Neighborhood: The Closing of Jones School
Sunday, February 4, 2pm at the Michigan Theater

Join the Ann Arbor District Library and 7 Cylinders Studio (7CS) for the premiere of a documentary film about the closing of Ann Arbor's Jones School. In 1965, concerned citizens urged the Board of Education to close the majority-Black school. Ann Arbor joined a nationwide trend of school desegregation during the Civil Rights Era. But for these young students, the loss of a neighborhood school foreshadowed changes to their close-knit community. Gentrification came to Ann Arbor on the heels of desegregation.

Good Black History: Black Business Owners of the 1800s, with Anthony Brogdon
Tuesday, February 6, 6:30pm at the Downtown Library
In this lecture, Detroit-based historian Anthony Brogdon will focus on what he calls "Good Black History": the stories of Black business owners in the 1800s. Learn who they were and how they did it during this presentation and discussion.

Film Screening: The League
Wednesday, February 7, 1pm at the Downtown Library
Film synopsis: The dynamic journey of Negro League baseball's triumphs and challenges is told through previously unearthed archival footage and interviews with legendary players. Rated PG, 103 minutes.

Film Screening: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Saturday, February 10, 6pm at the Downtown Library
Film synopsis: Author Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition. Rated PG-13, 120 minutes.

The African American History of Detroit
Thursday, February 15, 6:30pm at the Traverwood Branch
Join us for a presentation by Professor Peter Boykin on the African American History of Detroit, beginning with illegal slavery in the city, as well as the city becoming a haven for the Underground Railroad. Other topics explored will be the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to Detroit, the election of Coleman Young as mayor, and the economic and political power of the African American population in the city during the latter half of the 20th century.

Film Screening: A Ballerina's Tale
Monday, February 26, 6:00pm at the Downtown Library

Film synopsis: Black ballerina Misty Copeland is profiled in this documentary, which explores her career, her recovery from a serious injury and the lack of diversity in the world of dance. Not rated, 85 minutes.

Please visit the website for more information and ways to learn more about the area's Black history.