Celebrating Black History Month

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The Benicia Public Library and the We Are ALL Related Coalition proudly announces a series of dynamic and inspiring events in celebration of Black History Month throughout February, honoring the rich heritage, contributions, and resilience of the Black community.

The Library is committed to fostering awareness, education, and unity through a diverse range of activities that highlight the achievements and cultural impact of African Americans. Our Black History Month programming is designed to engage the community, promote dialogue, and celebrate the profound influence of Black leaders, thinkers, artists, and activists.

All events begin at 2pm and will be presented in the Doña Benicia Community Room.

FOR THE FAMILY: Celebrating Black Ballet

Date: Sunday, February 11

Join us for a celebration of National Ballet Day and Black History with a film double feature for the entire family! At 2pm we will screen DANCING IN THE LIGHT. The film, narrated by Chris Rock, tells the inspiring story of the first African American prima ballerina, Janet Collins. Then at 2:30 we will screen A BALLERINA’S TALE, the story of iconic ballerina Misty Copeland who made history when she became the first African American woman to be named principal dancer of the legendary American Ballet Theater. Rated TV-14.

FOR ADULTS: The Story of Fred Hampton

Date: Sunday, February 18

Join us for a screening of the film JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH. This highly acclaimed, award-winning 2021 film is described by Rotten Tomatoes as “an electrifying dramatization of historical events.” The movie is based on a true story including archive footage, starring Daniel Kaluuya—who won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Fred Hampton. Rated R.

FOR THE FAMILY: Meet Author & Illustrator Cozbi A. Cabrera

Date: Sunday, February 25

February 25th is the beginning of Black Children’s Book Week! Join award-winning author and illustrator Cozbi A. Cabrera for a special presentation about her books and her process. Cabrera won Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honors for her book Me & Mama in 2021. Both prestigious, national awards are given annually for illustration. Cabrera will also lead participants in an art activity. Books will be available for purchase and signing via Bookshop Benicia.

All events are free and open to the public, and we encourage community members to join us in commemorating Black History Month. Through these activities, the Library aims to inspire a deeper understanding of the Black experience, foster inclusivity, and celebrate the diversity that enriches our society.

About We are ALL Related

We Are ALL Related is a program series conceived by a group of community volunteers dedicated to promoting equity, cultural diversity, and inclusion in our community. The series is cosponsored by Benicia Black Lives Matter and the Parent Teacher Group of Robert Semple Elementary School.

Funding for this program is provided in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.