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Join the Oakland Public Library in this week's Black History Month events

February is National African American History Month. Celebrate African American culture and history with the Oakland Public Library through a series of events and activities throughout the entire month. Beginning this weekend, these celebrations range from storytelling, poetry, music and more.

Below is a list of the upcoming events for National African American History Month for the week ahead.

Friday, Feb. 7
African American Heritage through Storytelling
Description: Meet and join Kirk Waller, as he shares compelling stories of African American culture with a lyrical and rhythmic tone.
Location: Diamond Branch
Time: 1:00 p.m. Contact: (510) 482-7844

Saturday Feb. 8
23rd Annual African American Celebration through Poetry
Description: Pay tribute to one of the most monumental leaders of all time, Nelson Mandela. Community members are invited to join the West Oakland branch in poetry readings, performances, dance, and art displays.
Location: West Oakland Branch
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Contact: (510) 238-7352

Monday Feb. 10
Celebrate Black History Month with the Oakland Youth Chorus
Description: Join OYC music instructor, Michelle Jacques in a music workshop for 5th graders and their families. Attendees will learn and sing “freedom songs” related to African American history.
Location: Golden Gate Branch
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Contact: (510) 597-5023

Thursday, Feb. 13
African and African American Tales and Songs
Description: Presented by Paula Maria Parker, this event involves tales from “The People Could Fly” and songs about the first black female aviator, Bessie Coleman.
Location: Asian Branch
Time: 10:30 p.m. Contact: (510) 238-3400

According to, National African American History Month celebrates the accomplishments and culture of black Americans during the month of February, formally beginning in 1976 when it was first recognized by President Gerald R. Ford. Today, countries around the globe like Canada and the United Kingdom celebrate National African American History Month in addition to the U.S.

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