Focus on Black History Month: Library Announces February Events

Black History Month

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- February is Black History Month, and the Park Forest Public Library is ready with a variety of books and projects to help commemorate the event as well as other material of interest to patrons.

The library is offering two free books associated with the New York Times’ recent 1619 Project, which examines the consequences of slavery and contributions of Black Americans over the past 400 years. Both books are available while supplies last with no registration required. The books are available for pick-up from February 7 through February 11.

The first book is “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, which expands on the original 1619 Project. It includes 18 essays discussing the legacy of slavery in America as well as 36 poems and works of fiction, which highlight the struggle and resistance of Black Americans through the ages.

Images of Black History Month
Black History Month Events (PFPL)

The second book tells the story of a student who receives an assignment to construct a family tree and discovers that her family was stolen and brought to America as slaves. “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water” is a picture book which chronicles the life of the student’s ancestors and the challenges they faced over the years. While children (suggested ages 7-10) are the target audience, it is a book that the entire family will learn from and enjoy.

Pictures of two books on the 1619 Project
1619 Project Books Available at Park Forest Public Library (PFPL)

February’s No Pressure Community Read book is “As the Wicked Watch” by Tamron Hall. The debut novel by the talk show host and former news correspondent, is the first of a three-book series featuring fictional investigative news reporter Jordan Manning. When Jordan becomes frustrated by the lack of coverage and follow-up when a series of Black women are sexually assaulted and murdered, she sets off to investigate the most recent murder of 15-year-old girl. The novel has received glowing reviews from Oprah Daily, Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, and many others.

Two books feaatured in Community Read
No Pressure Community Read Books for February (PFPL)

Along with Hall’s novel, the library is offering a bonus free book, “We Are the Brennans: A Novel” by Tracey Lange. After causing a drunk driving accident in Los Angeles, Sunday Brennan returns to her home in New York to rebuild her life after a five-year absence. There she faces new challenges that threaten to ruin the family’s pub business and forces her to expose secrets that the family has kept for generations.

Registration for both books will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 24 with pick-up beginning 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 1.

The Life Ripples Book Club will be meeting on February 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah will be read and discussed. For information, call 708-748-3731, extension 16.

In keeping with Black History Month, the library is sponsoring two events. The first event for ages 12 and under is a giveaway bag of items celebrating Black men and women throughout history. Only the first 25 patrons will be eligible when registration opens on January 28. Pick-up begins Friday, February 18.

The second event, for those 50 and over, offers patrons a diamond painting kit of singer and songwriter Ray Charles Robinson Sr. For those unfamiliar with diamond painting, it is similar to a paint by numbers kit only using small resin “diamonds” affixed to a coded adhesive canvass. Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, February 18, with pick-up beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 21.

Image of Ray Charles
Ray Charles Diamond Painting (PFPL)

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, an additional project, offered to those 12 and under, is a DIY Ceramic Heart Kit. All materials needed are included in the kit. Registration opens on January 14 with pick-up starting on February 4.

Four images of ceramic hearts
DIY Ceramic Heart Kits for those 12 and under (PFPL)

Finally, the library is offering a virtual presentation (via Zoom) on February 16 at 7 p.m. with romance author Jasmine Guillory who will be discussing her newest novel “While We Were Dating” and the modern romantic comedy genre. Joining Guillory is Morgan Rogers, author of “Honey Girl.” Registration opens on January 21.

Additional details on all February events and projects can be found on the library’s monthly water bill insert (shown below) or at pfpl.org/calendar. Information on the remaining January events can be found here.

The library is open for all services from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Curbside services are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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