Local libraries recommend books, programs for Black History Month

April Helms
Kent Weeklies

The local libraries have scheduled programming to mark Black History Month. In addition, the staff shared their reading recommendations for honoring the accomplishments of Black individuals and authors.

Cuyahoga Falls Library

Reading Recommendations

For adults:

  • “Roots,” by Alex Haley.
  • “The Color of Compromise : The truth about the American church’s complicity in racism,” by Jemar Tisby
  • “Their Eyes were Watching God : A Novel,” by Zora Neale Hurston

For teens:

  • “The Hate u Give,” by Angie Thomas
  • “Dear Martin,” by Nic Stone
  • “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiel

For children:

  • “28 days : Moments in Black History that Changed the World,” by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Shane W. Evans
  • “The ABCs of Black History,” by Rio Cortez; illustrated by Lauren Semmer
  • “A Girl Like Me,” by Angela Johnson

Movie Recommendations

  • “The Color Purple”
  • “Hidden Figures”
  • “Fruitvale Station”
  • “42”
  • “Selma”
  • “Loving”
  • “The Wiz”

For more suggestions, visit https://cuyahogafallslibrary.org/2021/01/29/black-history-month-2021/

Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library

Reading Recommendations

For adults:

  • “Barack before Obama : life before the presidency,” by David Katz
  • “Black girl baking : wholesome recipes inspired by a soulful upbringing,” by Jerrelle Guy
  • “Black man in a white coat : a doctor's reflections on race and medicine,” by Damon Tweedy, M.D.

For teens:

  • “African American inventors,” by Otha Richard Sullivan
  • “Between the Lines,” by Nikki Grimes
  • “Blood brother : Jonathan Daniels and his sacrifice for Civil Rights,” by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace

For children:

  • “A ride to remember : a Civil Rights story,” by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • “All Because You Matter,” by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier
  • “Curls,” by Ruth Forman, illustrated by Geneva Bowers


“Fighting for Double Victory: African Americans in WWII,” Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.

For details, visit www.smfpl.org online.

Tallmadge Branch Library, Akron-Summit County Public Libraries

Reading Recommendations:

  • “Color of Water,” by James Mcbride
  • “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson
  • “The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas


Black History Month Event - In Concert Each Week

Started Feb. 8: All Day

 Main Library

Use a library card to stream a pre-selected musical performance each week in February using RBdigital - Qello Concerts by Stingray.

Odom Reads: Black History Month Read-a-thon

Started Feb. 8: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

 Odom Boulevard Branch Library

Celebrate Black History Month by participating in our month-long Teen Read-a-thon. Details available at the Odom Boulevard Branch or by email at rtobias@akronlibrary.org.

Project Ujima Book Discussion - "Guerrilla Dread," by Mwatabu Okantah

Feb. 11: 7- 9 p.m.

 Maple Valley Branch Library virtual program - Zoom

“Guerrilla Dread” is a book that reveals the quest of Mwatabu Okantah. The poet was inspired to research the painful history of people of color. Register to receive a Zoom link.

Poetry as Social Activism With Dionne D. Hunter

Feb. 18: 6 – 7 p.m.

 Kenmore Branch Library virtual program - Zoom

Poet Dionne D. Hunter will explore poetry as social activism. Poems will include one on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and others related to Black History. Includes discussion of process.

A History of Motown with Bill Brauning

Feb. 24: 6:30- 7:30 p.m.

 Ellet Branch Virtual Program - Zoom

Motown was a distinct sound of music out of Detroit that was developed by one man: Berry Gordy. Learn about many great artists and that distinct Motown sound. Register to receive a Zoom link.

African American Genealogy For Beginners

Feb. 24: 6:30- 7:30 p.m.

 Maple Valley Branch - Zoom

The Special Collections Division offers this virtual presentation for genealogy beginners. Advanced registration is required.

African American Read-In: A Virtual Family Event

Feb. 27: 2 – 3 p.m.

 Maple Valley Branch - Zoom

Celebrate diversity and literacy by participating in a Virtual African American Read-In. Picture books by African American authors will be highlighted. Register to receive a Zoom link.

For more information, visit www.akronlibrary.org online.

Hudson Library and Historical Society

Reading recommendations

For adults:

  • “So You Want to Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo
  • “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” by Douglas A. Blackmon
  • “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates,” by Wes Moore

For more suggestions, visit https://www.hudsonlibrary.org/race-racism-and-inclusion/

For children:

  • “Be A King : Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream And You,” by Carole Boston Weatherford
  • “Piecing Me Together,” by Renee Watson .
  • “Ella: Queen Of Jazz,” by Helen Hancocks

For more suggestions, visit:  https://www.hudsonlibrary.org/children/inclusivity-resources/


Virtual “Get To Know Harriet Tubman,” Feb. 20, at 2 p.m. Contact the children's desk at 330-653-6658, ext. 1020 or email mail.child@hudson.lib.oh.us.