black history month

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Does your child want to write about Beyoncé, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or LeBron James for their Black History homework assignment? Are you a bit dismayed about this? If you are, the librarians of OPL want to reassure you not to worry. Many present day Black icons in American Culture are living history!

For example:

The Rock won his first undisputed WWF (not WWE yet) Championship on February 13, 1997, 23 years ago. He won his seventh and final championship on July 21, 2002, just 18 years ago. Beyoncé’s first solo album was released June 24, 2003, almost 17 years ago, and LeBron James was drafted to the Cleveland Cavilers that same year! Relatively speaking, 20 years ago is a long time ago for a kid, so consider allowing them to study those who inspires them.

Of course we understand many parents are not convinced children should be studying current celebrities for Black History month. Appreciating this perspective, allow us to recommend some pioneers in Black History who paved the way for those we enjoy today.

Before

   

There was

Before 

There was

 

Before 

 

There was

 

 

Black History Read-In and Heritage Fest Events for Children and Families on February 4th at the Main Library

January is almost over, which means it's just about time for Black History Month. 

The Main Library is celebrating the achievements of Black Americans with a day-long Black History Month Read-In and Culture Fest for community members of all ages.

At the Oakland Public library, we strive to incorporate the work of people of African descent as part of our programming all year long, but appreciate the opportunity to highlight and celebrate Black history and culture as part of Black History Month.

Black History Month's origins date back to 1926, when Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week, a time set aside for studying the achievements and contributions of African-Americans. 

In 1990, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) established the African-American Read-In to encourage literacy during Black History Month.

Join us at 10:15 for a lively storytime that will feature songs, books, and rhymes that represent people from the African Diaspora. 

An example of a book that will be featured is This Jazz Man, by Karen Ehrhardt. 

Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be served. 

At 11:30, we'll host the Samba Samba Workshop, an interactive educational workshop led by James Henry, that uses music, rhythm, percussion instruments, and drums as tools for capturing the imagination of the participants. This program is suitable for all ages from children to adults. 

The full schedule of events can be found here.

If you miss the Samba Samba workshop at the Main Library on the 4th, he'll also be performing at four other branches throughout the system throughout February and once in March. For more information about his performances, check out the library's website or call 510-238-6844

African Drumming and February Favorites

Happy Birthday Bob!  Today is the Bob Marley’s birthday.

During  Black History month  we also wish a happy birthday to:

February 1 - Langston Hughes 

February 14 - Frederick Douglass 

February 16 - Levar Burton 

February 17 - Michael Jordan 

February 18 - Toni Morrison 

February 21 - Nina Simone 

February 27 - Marian Anderson

 Who are some of your favorites?

 

For those of you who like to focus on historical events rather than people, I invite you to revisit a February favorite- this awesome blog post by Nichole from Eastmont : Black History Homework Re-Imagined!

This month at OPL you can enjoy African drumming with Tacuma King

 

Tuesday, February 19th, 11am 

MAIN LIBRARY, CHILDREN’S ROOM 
125 14th Street |510-238-3615 

Wednesday, February 20th, 3pm 

EASTMONT BRANCH 
Eastmont Town Center 7200 Bancroft, Ste 211 | 510-615-5726 

  

 

 

 

 

Black History Homework Re-Imagined!

Yesterday while talking to my friend who is a teacher she was bemoaning how bored she was with Black History and how she wished she could just "cancel the whole thing." 

To say I wasn't thrilled with her comments was an understatement.

But trying to give my soon to be ex-friend the benefit of the doubt, I asked her to clairify her statements. She continues by saying that although she enjoys celebrating Black History and loves the oratorical  competitions, she absolutely HATES reading 25 biographies about President Obama, 5 about Michele Obama and maybe 3 about a current Black celebrity or athlete. 

And just when I was about to shout 

she finished her diatribe with a very interesting statement: "I want to encourage the children to learn about someone or something  new when completing the Black History reports, not go with the easy topics just to get the homework done."

Let's just say I had a 

 and asked my new BFF a follow-up question: "You want your students to become engaged in the homework assigment as a part of celebrating Black History?" 

"YES!" She exclaimed. "And learn about someone they never heard of, and become inspired and ...."

"Well I'd love to help you with that." I told her. She looked at me skeptically and asked "How? I can't ditch the written report requirement, I have curriculum standards to adhere to ya know."

My reply was simple,

 

After brainstorming several ideas my Bestie's 5th grade Black History report assignment has been modified. Instead of writing about a biographical report about a historically significant Black American person, they will be writing about a significant EVENT or ORGNIZATION in Black  history. Some of which include:

  • Negro Baseball League
  • Port Chicago Mutiny
  • NAACP
  • Pullman Porters
  • Freedom Rides
  • Black Panther Party
  • Tuskegee Airmen
  • Tuskegee  Experiment
  • Buffalo Soldiers 
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Divine Nine
  • The Great Migration
  • HBCUs
  • 1968 Olympics

Once we were done she said, "hey, you are really good at this!" And I'm like " uh yeah! I'm a librarian, it's what I do."  

So if you need help with your student's Black History reports come to any branch of the OPL library and we will help you too. It's what we do!