Cleveland Public Library Celebrates Black Excellence

The Library hosts a series of programs and activities to commemorate Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month at Cleveland Public Library. During the month of February, the Library system will host a series of educational and family fun programs and activities about the Black experience. This year’s theme is The Legacy, The Culture, and The Movement

“As the People’s University, Cleveland Public Library’s mission is to educate and celebrate all cultures,” Twyla Turner, Director of Inclusion & Leadership Education at Cleveland Public Library. “During Black History Month, our programming will pay homage to the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout history. We have created a space for thought-provoking conversations on race and privilege and convened a group of inspirational panelists to help Clevelanders see the possibilities for their lives.” 


Our Black History Month programming will feature a speaker series examining the real experiences of Black women entrepreneurs. Hosted by the Memorial-Nottingham Branch, Honest Conversations is a weekly virtual discussion with Black women about how success has changed their lives and the lives of their clients. Participants will gain insight into how to start a business and build a successful brand. All sessions will be held from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Angela Flowers: MSSA, LISW-S, Co-Owner, Making a Difference Consulting, LLCThursday, February 3  
Alannah Harper: Creator PRESS’D Nails, Co-Owner Wolfie White Gel Lacquer Brand Ambassador, Jeanie JewelsMonday, February 7  
Kimberly Lampley-Parr: Co-Owner and Chef of Rainbow Treatz Thursday, February 17  
Haja Tunkara: PMP, CAPP Project Management & Owner at GeMir Project Consulting Corp., Owner of The HIIT FactorThursday, February 24


Another virtual discussion series called The Morning Grind will focus on the pride, power, and privilege of being Black in America. On Monday, February 7, Soul2Soul Events and Communications Consultant Simone Swanson will lead a group of prominent Black men in Cleveland in a conversation on how to preserve Black men and the community. The esteemed panelists are PolicyBridge Executive Director Gregory L. Brown, Judge Michael J. Ryan of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, CLE Consulting Firm Co-Owner and Managing Partner LaRese Purnell, Taussig Cancer Center Program Manager Aqeel Seals, and Nicholas E. Perry who is the Executive Director of the Mount Pleasant NOW Development Corporation. The Morning Grind conversations start at 8 a.m. Registration is required. 

PRIDE: Preserving Our Black Men & CommunityMonday, February 78-9:30  
POWER: Black Women Power DifferentlyMonday, February 148-9:30
PRIVILEGE: Black PrivilegeTuesday, February 228-9:30

On Monday, February 14, The Morning Grind will present author and speaker Tamara Winfrey Harris about the ways Black women power differently in their communities. Winfrey Harris will also read from an excerpt from her book The Sisters are Alright. The first 40 registered attendees will receive a FREE copy.  

The three-part Morning Grind series will conclude on Tuesday, February 22 with an intimate interview and discussion about Black privilege, the local education system, and how COVID-19 has impacted our youth. Cleveland Public Library will provide free resources to support young learners. 


Representation matters is the message behind The Superhero Project exhibit on display until February 15 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch. The exhibit showcases superheroes created by African American, Latinx, Arab American, Native American, and Asian American youth living with serious illness and disabilities. Join The Superhero Project’s Lisa Kollins in a conversation about representation in art and culture on Tuesday, February 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the MLK Branch. Participants will also get a chance to conceptualize their own superheroes.


Our beginnings help to shape us. Cleveland Public Library is a one-stop source for Clevelanders in search of their ancestors. Visit the Center for Local and Global History Department at Main Library for assistance or join us for Uncovering Our Roots: A Three-part African American Genealogy Workshop Series starting Wednesday, February 2 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required. Genealogist expert Dr. Deborah Abbott will provide step-by-step instructions on how to use records to help connect to ancestors and analyze research.

PART 1: Introduction to GenealogyWednesday, February 26-7:30
PART 2: The Importance of Necessary Records & Other SourcesWednesday, February 96-7:30
PART 3: Strategies & Techniques Tracking a Family from Slavery to FreedomWednesday, February 166-7:30

Visit for a helpful list of resources to start the family history journey. 

Looking for a great read for Black History Month? Check out our recommended reading list or join the Tremont Think & Drink Book Club on Monday, February 7 at 7 p.m. for a virtual discussion on Just as I Am: A Memoir by Cicely TysonRegistration is required. 

Cleveland Public Library will provide art and craft activities, scavenger hunts, and more fun for the entire family. Visit for a complete list of Black History programs.