Celebrating Black History Month in Henrico

by Patty Conway, Community Relations Coordinator, Henrico County Public Library

Henrico County Public Library (HCPL) is offering many opportunities for you to engage with Black History this February.  We would like to invite our fellow Henrico employees to join us at a lecture, film screening, book discussion, performance, or even a cooking or dance class as we explore Black history and culture. Visit henricolibrary.org/events for the full calendar with complete details and up-to-date listings.

“The Life and Legacy of Miss Virginia Estelle Randolph”

Sat., Feb. 5, at the Fairfield Library at 2:00 PM &

Sat., Feb. 12, at the Glen Allen Library at 2:00 PM

Biographer and filmmaker Elvatrice Belsches will take the audience on a multimedia journey amplifying the extraordinary contributions of Virginia E. Randolph in the areas of education, public health, and juvenile justice reform. Belsches is currently working on a documentary of Randolph’s legacy and is the recipient of a VA Humanities grant for her project.

“Black Film Festival”

Wednesdays in February at 2:00 PM, Libbie Mill Library

Featuring the following film screenings:

2/2 Akeelah and the Bee

2/9 Bad Boys for Life

2/16 Us

2/23 Soul

History in Focus: The Ragged Road of Reconstruction

Sat, Feb 19, 1-4pm at the Virginia Randolph Museum. Tours every 30 minutes.

After the American Civil War ended in 1865, localities around the country began to offer schooling to the public. What were these schools like? What curriculum did they cover? Where were the schools in Henrico County? Join us for a 30-minute, focused-history tour at the Virginia Randolph Museum. This program is recommended for participants 13 years or older. Information: [email protected]

“Soul of a Community”

Sat., Feb.19, at 2:00 PM (virtual)

The Valentine Museum in conjunction with Henrico County Public Libraries presents “Soul of a Community.” From early settlement and the rise of the domestic slave trade to business ownership and thriving communities, explore how Black Richmonders have redefined the River City and inspired a region and nation.

“Never Forgotten: The Legacy of a Historic Black Cemetery”

Tues., Feb. 22, at 6:30 PM, Libbie Mill Library

A presentation by Nathan Burrell, Deputy Director of Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation, who assisted in recovering historic African-American gravestones along the Potomac River in Virginia. In the 1960’s, the headstones were removed from Columbia Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D.C., sold for scrap, then used as an erosion barrier on the banks of the Potomac River in Virginia. Recently, the headstones were rediscovered and this year several dozen were removed and placed in National Harmony Memorial Park in Maryland. Burrell will share the history of the cemetery, the stories of those who were buried, and how descendants have reconnected with their family’s lost memorials.

42 Film Screening”

Tues., Feb. 22, at 6:00 PM, Gayton Library

Commemorate African American History Month with a movie that honors a groundbreaking achievement in professional sports. Celebrate the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and his joining the Brooklyn Dodgers by watching the movie 42, starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, with us.

“The Organ Thieves: Author Talk by Chip Jones”

Thurs., Feb. 24, at 7:00 PM, Tuckahoe Library

Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Chip Jones discusses his book The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South about the circumstances surrounding the death of Bruce Tucker a black man who, in 1968, went into Virginia’s top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart taken out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman.

*This program has a tie-in to the “Tuckahoe Real Stories Book Discussion”. This discussion group will be reading The Organ Thieves, then discussing, and formulating questions for the author at their meeting on Tues. Feb. 15, at 7:00 PM at the Tuckahoe Library.

“An African Cultural Experience”

Sat., Feb. 26, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Varina Library

The Varina Area Library in partnership with The Next Star Arts Program invites you to come get a taste of West African Culture. In celebration of Black History Month, this family event will feature a display of African artifacts, drum circle, storytime, Ghanaian dance instruction, a panel discussion, and so much more! You don’t want to miss this event!

“Bayou Soul: Regional Creole Cuisine”

Sat., Feb. 26 at 2:00 PM, Varina Area Library

Take a journey through the history of Creole Soul Food. Chef Charles Robinson, of Sunday Service Soul Food and Black Folk Food, is back to prepare a handful of Creole dishes, teach us their history, and show us what makes this cuisine so great. Bon Apetit!

Book discussions featuring titles by black authors in February

  • Libbie Mill LGBTQIA+ Book Discussion, Tues. Feb. 1, at 7:00 PM, Libbie Mill Library- 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell
  • Glen Allen Book Discussion, Thurs. Feb. 3, 7:00 PM, Glen Allen Library-The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
  • Savvy Sandston Book Discussion, Wed. Feb. 9, 7:00 PM, Sandston Library – Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  • Tuckahoe Afternoon and Evening Fiction Discussion, Thurs. Feb. 10, at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM, Tuckahoe Library- Home by Toni Morrison
  • Fairfield Black Authors Book Discussion, Tues. Feb.15, 7:00 PM, Fairfield Library- Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Crosby
  • Libbie Mill Afternoon and Evening Book Discussions, Tues. Feb 15 at 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM, Libbie Mill Library- Thick: and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  • North Park Evening Book Discussion, Mon. Feb. 14, 7:00 PM, North Park Library-The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

We hope to see you at the library in February!