Black History Month Spotlight: Library Announces February Events


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 materials of interest to customers.

The library offers two free books associated with the New York Times’ recent 1619 Project, which examines the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans over the past 400 years. Both books are available while supplies last with no registration required. Books can be picked up from February 7 to February 11.

The first book is “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, which expands on the original Project 1619. It includes 18 essays dealing with 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 (PFPL) Events

The second book tells the story of a college student who receives an assignment to build a family tree and discovers that her family has been robbed and brought to America as slaves. “The 1619 Project: Born on Water” is a picture book that chronicles the lives of the student’s ancestors and the challenges they faced over the years. While children (suggested ages 7-10) are the target audience, this is a book the whole family will learn and enjoy.

Photos from two books on the 1619 Project
1619 project books available at the Park Forest Public Library (PFPL)

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

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

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

Registration for both books will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 24, and pickup will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1.

The Life Ripples Book Club will meet 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 more information, call 708-748-3731 ext. 16.

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

The second event, for 50+, offers customers a diamond painting kit by singer and songwriter Ray Charles Robinson Sr. For those unfamiliar with diamond painting, it’s similar to a kit of paint by numbers using only small resin “diamonds” affixed to a coded adhesive canvas. Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Friday, February 18 and pickup begins at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 21.

Image by Ray Charles
Ray Charles Diamond Painting (PFPL)

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, an additional project, offered to ages 12 and under, is a ceramic heart-shaped craft kit. All necessary materials are included in the kit. Registration opens January 14 and pickup begins February 4.

Four images of ceramic hearts
DIY Ceramic Heart Kits for Ages 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 discuss her latest novel “While We Were Dating” and the modern romantic comedy genre. Morgan Rogers, author of “Honey Girl”, joins Guillory. Registration opens January 21.

Additional details on all February events and projects can be found on the Library’s monthly water bill insert (see below) or on 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. Friday and Saturday. Curbside services are available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.



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