Story & Craft Hour: Black History Month

Program Description: Our weekday story hours for families and little ones will center on Black History throughout the month of February. We’ll share picture book biographies focused on Scientists and Engineers, Artists and Musicians, and Politicians and Agents of Change. 

Date/Time: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10-11am

Film Screening & Celebration: I Know A Man…Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan by Robert Shetterly, courtesy KaneLewis Productions

Program Description: In culmination of our month-long celebration of children’s book author and illustrator Ashley Bryan, join us for a screening of “I Know A Man…Ashley Bryan.” Directed by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly, this documentary explores how Bryan has been using art his entire life to celebrate joy, mediate the darkness of war and racism, explore the mysteries of faith and create loving community. This screening is co-hosted with the library’s Tween Advisory Council. Special presentation, before the screening, of work created in our craft hours throughout the month. Fresh popcorn during movie & a sampling of home-cooked food from Kayah Payton of the newly formed Grandma’s House!. 

Date/Time: Thursday, February 28, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Suggested Audience: People of all ages.

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Black History Month and Valentine’s Day in the Children’s Room

In addition to our regularly scheduled children’s programs, February will feature special children’s programs during out-of-school hours to celebrate Black History Month and Valentine’s Day.

In honor of Black History Month, Operation Unite will offer a series of programs celebrating important people and events in African American history. The series will incorporate stories, music, movement, arts, and crafts. Join us Thursdays, February 12 and 19 and Wednesday, February 25, from 4-5pm for this fun and educational program.

Stop by the Children’s Room between 3pm and 5pm Tuesday through Friday, February 10-13 (the week of Valentine’s Day) to make your own unique Valentine’s Day cards with Ms. Kathy. We’ll provide the materials. Just bring your imagination and create a special card for a special someone (or more!) in your life.

Black History Beyond Bars: Community Readings and Conversation

 Marking Black History Month 2014, The Prison Public Memory Project and Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center are sponsoring community readings and conversation in partnership with the Hudson Area Library and Rev Coffeehouse. Members of the community are invited to hear, read (out loud) and join in discussing short historical texts about fascinating characters and events in the history of African-Americans in Hudson and beyond that have happened inside or against the backdrop of prisons.

Each evening, we’ll be reading and discussing short selections from books, poems, letters, and other documents from the 1800’s through the 1970’s on specific themes. Join us for one or more of these sessions featuring readings by and about such well-known figures in Black History as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Satchel Paige, Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Claude Brown, and the not-so-well-known figures who nevertheless profoundly shaped black history locally and beyond such as Dr. M.E. Ross, Shirley Wilder, the Honorable Jane Bolin, and Mary Hughes. Both readings are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 26th, from 6 pm – 9 pm at the Hudson Area Library, 400 State St, Hudson, NY (518) 828-1792
6 pm to 7:30 pm:  Arts/Entertainment/Sports
7:30 pm to 9 pm:  Activism & Social Justice
Thursday, February 27th, from 6 pm to 9pm at REV Coffeehouse, 742 Warren St, Hudson, NY (518) 828-2210
6 pm to 7:30 pm:  Education and Writing in Prison
7:30 pm to 9 pm:  Child-Saving in Hudson and Beyond

Celebrate Black History Through Stories and Art!

In collaboration with Operation Unite, The Hudson Area Library is offering a free Children’s program in honor of Black History Month. The program will integrate creativity, literacy, history, and the arts as participants learn about the history and traditions of Black art, from music to visual art to dance. With featured guest artists, live music, hands-on creative activities, dancing, stories, and presentations made by youth for youth, this program is sure to be fun!

Join us in the Children’s Room Wednesdays from 4-5pm, beginning February 22 and running through March 21. The program is intended for elementary and middle school aged youth but all are welcome.

This special program is made possible with public funds from the Decentralization Program of the NYS Council on the Arts, administered in Columbia County by the Columbia County Council on the Arts through the Community Arts Fund.

Celebrate Black History Month with a Good Read

For those looking for something to read in honor of Black History Month, here are some award-winning titles in our collection:

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

From World War I to the 1970s, some six million black Americans fled the American South for an uncertain existence in the urban North and West. Their leaving became known as the Great Migration. It set in motion the civil rights movement and created our cities and art forms. This is the story of three who made the journey, of the forces that compelled them to leave and of the many others who went as far as they could to realize the American Dream.

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

In 1968 Chicago, it’s not easy for thirteen-year-old Sam to be the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs. Especially when his older brother, Stick, starts keeping to himself. Then, one day, Sam finds something under Stick’s bed that changes everything: literature about the Black Panthers. Suddenly, nothing feels certain anymore. And when Dr. King is shot and killed, Sam’s father’s words are no longer enough to make him believe in change….

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon

Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost — and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after — young Zora’s tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs. Written in the voice of an “Everywoman,” an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history.


Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.

The titles listed above are a small sampling of the books related to Black history in our collection and available throughout the Mid-Hudson Library System. If you’re looking for a book centered around a certain historical figure or a specific time period or event, feel free to ask a librarian for help finding the right book for you!