Black History Month events in Chicago. All events are virtual this year. Register via the links and get an email with info on how to join. There are events for all ages.
How to Attend all Zoom Events
Register for any event you are interested in through the links below. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting approximately 24 hours before the meeting. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.
Film Screening: Head to Head – Friday, January 29, 2021 10:00AM-4:00PM, Monday, February 1, 2021 10:00AM – 7:00PM, Monday, February 8, 2021 10:00AM – 7:00PM Registration required
The documentary Head to Head by Amelia Street Studio is a raw and honest look at the lives of women facing the trauma of hair loss, who must choose to either hide the elephant in the room or live outside the norms of beauty.
This event provides you access to watch the film on Vimeo. You’ll receive an email with a link and password that will give you access to the film about 24 hours in advance of the screening time posted here. The password expires at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 9.
Panel Discussions Join us for live panel discussions drawing on the film’s themes:
- Panel Discussion with the Women of Head to Head: Beauty, Identity and Hair Loss, 6 p.m. Monday, February 1
- Hair and Health: Showing the Link Between Self-Image and Wellness, 2 p.m. Thursday, February 4
Let Mama Edie take you on a journey to Ghana, the Caribbean and Cuba through stories and songs. Bring your maracas, shakers and drums and get ready to dance! All ages are welcome!
Hair and Health: Showing the Link Between Self-Image and Wellness Thursday, February 4, 2021 2:00PM – 3:00PM Registration required
Hear a panel discussion featuring Meenakshi Jolly, MD, MS, and Kali Patrice, two women featured in the documentary Head to Head. They will be joined by moderator Dr. Cheryl Burton, president/CEO of Cheryl A. Burton Consulting.
Music and Social Justice Artist Fyütch will perform songs about African-American pride and culture to educate, entertain, and empower the next generation. Topics include black hair and notable black women throughout history.
Black History Month events in Chicago – Chicago Public Library
How To: Make Loc Jewelry Tuesday, February 16, 2021 12:00PM – 12:15PM
Celebrate your natural hair during African American Heritage Month and join us for a how to video on making loc jewelry. Typically associated with Jamaica, locs as a hairstyle can be traced to civilizations throughout the world, including the Maasi in Eastern Africa and ancient Egypt. Now you can create your own loc decorations using fun and simple jewelry techniques. This video is a partnership between the Maker Lab and the African American Heritage Committee.
How to Attend
This event will be broadcast live on CPL’s YouTube channel. Can’t make it to the live stream? We’ll archive the video on YouTube to watch later as well.
Braiding with Cydni Tuesday, February 16, 2021 12:00PM – 1:00PM, Tuesday, February 23, 2021
12:00PM – 1:00PM Registration required
Interested in learning how to braid hair? Join us at Cydni’s hair braiding event, where she demonstrates box braids and cornrow hairstyles.
You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops Wednesday, February 17, 2021 3:00PM – 4:00PM Registration required
Multi-media artist Chris Saint Martin will interview and converse with emerging visual artist and author of You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops, Antonio Johnson.
Langston Hughes Poetry Hour with Pullman Branch Wednesday, February 17, 2021 4:00PM – 5:00PM Registration required
Join Pullman Branch Library as we celebrate African American History Month and the writing of poet Langston Hughes. From “Motto” to “Harlem” (commonly known as “Dream Deferred”), Hughes’ writing exemplified the Harlem Renaissance and remains influential today. Bring your favorite Hughes poem to read and discuss!
Heritage to Hustle Wednesday, February 17, 2021 5:30PM – 6:30PM Registration required
Join artist, writer, and consultant Dantá Williams for a lecture and workshop focused on the inventions and innovations created by Black people over the centuries, from enslaved Africans in the US, through the digital age. In addition to highlighting the importance of Black men, women, and children throughout history, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with local entrepreneurs and business owners after the lecture.
See Yourself Mirror Craft Thursday, February 18, 2021 4:30PM – 5:15PM Registration required
Join us in celebrating African American Heritage Month with a mirror craft to reflect our beauty both inside and out. Materials will be available for the first 15 participants at the Avalon branch beginning Saturday, February 13th. For kids 2 to 12.
Panel Discussion: Black Women, Hair, Comics and Graphic Novels Thursday, February 18, 2021 6:00PM – 7:30PM Registration required
Hear from a panel of creators, featuring moderator Carrie McClain, editor and writer for Blacknerdproblems; Ebony Flower, cartoonist, ethnographer, teacher and author of Hot Comb; Stephanie Williams, freelance journalist and writer of webcomics; Mildred Louis, illustrator and webcomic creator and Jamila Rowser, writer and publisher, as they discuss hair and the representation of Black women in comic books and graphic novels.
Teen African American History Open Mic! Saturday, February 20, 2021 2:00PM – 3:15PM Registration required
Show up and show off your poem, rap, spoken word or story at the Teen African American History Open Mic! Your performance can be up to 4 minutes long, must be clean of profanity and appropriate for a general audience.
Paint & Chips Saturday, February 20, 2021 2:00PM – 3:00PM Registration required
Join the Thurgood Marshall Branch for a Black History themed Paint & Chips Celebration. A limited amount of art supplies will be available for pick-up at the Thurgood Marshall Branch. Please call ahead to confirm availability.
On the Topic of Hair Monday, February 22, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Registration required
Hear a conversation featuring Tiffany M. Gill, professor of black studies and history at Rutgers University and author of Beauty Shop Politics, and natural hair and entertainment vlogger Ta’les L. Love as they discuss the beauty industry and modern-day Black female identity.
Black History Month events in Chicago
DIY: “Celebrate Our Crowns” Grab & Go Paint Kits Monday, February 22, 2021 6:00PM – 7:00PM Registration required
The South Chicago Branch is offering Grab-N-Go Paint Kits, complete with supplies and instructions. Paint on your own schedule and share your masterpiece with us! Please register for your bag, and you will be contacted to pick up your kit at the South Chicago Branch as supplies are limited.
Panel Discussion: Social Media Influencers Tuesday, February 23, 2021 3:00PM – 4:30PM Registration required
Join us for this panel discussion featuring Patrice Grell Yursik, founder of Afrobella; moderator Michelle Thames, Social Media Strategist and CEO of Thames Media Solutions; Aisha Beau Johnson, self-care writer and digital content creator; and Nikki Walton, author of Better Than Good Hair, as they discuss what it takes to become a natural hair and lifestyle influencer.
Representation Matters: Black Hair in Books for Kids and Teens Wednesday, February 24, 2021 3:00PM – 4:30PM; Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:00PM – 4:30PM Registration required
Hear a panel discussion on how Black hair is portrayed in children’s and young adult literature. Panelists are:
Candice Washington, CEO and founder, Brown Books and Paintbrushes, Tamela Chambers; CPL children’s librarian, Cymonique Jackson, CPL children’s librarian, Tiffeni Fontno, head librarian, Educational Resource Center at Boston College, Cierra Kaler Jones, social justice educator, writer, scholar and artist based in Washington, D.C., Rosalie Reyes, coordinator of teacher engagement and professional development at Teaching for Change, Washington, D.C.
African American Heritage Month Bingo Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:00PM – 5:00PM Registration required
Join Ms. Cheryl as she celebrates African American Heritage month with some Bingo. Join us for some fun and prizes. Register early to make sure you get your digital bingo cards in a timely manner. Prizes won can be picked up at the library at the South Chicago Branch Library. (9055 S Houston Ave, Chicago, IL 60617).