February is Black History Month, and Peoria Public Library is celebrating all month long.

Black History Month: Dr. Charles Bell

Saturday, February 17 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Lincoln Branch

Join us for an in-depth conversation with Author/Speaker Dr. Charles Bell on how out-of-school suspension, seclusion, restraint, and school safety measures impact students, parents, and teachers.  Dr. Bell’s book Suspended: Punishment, Violence, and the Failure of School Safety was a finalist for the 2021 C. Wright Mills Book Award.  Dr. Bell is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences, and his work has been published in several scholarly and public engagement outlets such as Urban Education, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Crime and Justice, The Conversation, Kappan, Sociology Compass, and others.  He has also served as an expert witness in state and federal school punishment cases.

Author Event: Dr. Tristen Johnson

Tuesday, February 27 at 4 p.m. at Lincoln Branch

Join us for an author visit from Peoria native Dr. Tristen Johnson. Dr. Johnson has written an amazing book titledBlack History Explorer: My Name, Our Power! Follow the main character, DeWayne, AKA Peanut, as he learns about the origin of his name as well as how other Black people in America got their names. This book hopes to encourage young Black children to embrace their uniqueness by learning the history of names and embrace the power their names hold in relation to who they are. Children of all ages.

Black History Month Library Challenge

Celebrate Black History by participating in this library challenge.  Submit your completed challenge sheet by February 29 to be entered into a prize drawing for a $20 gift card to a local black-owned business of your choice.

Craft-to-Go Color Scratch Black History Ornament

(Available at Lincoln Branch)

Scratch off the color, and it will reveal a quote!  Ages 6 to 11. While supplies last.

Black History Month Teen Activity Book

(Available at Lincoln Branch)

Celebrate Black History Month with an activity book filled with educational exercises for kids including word scrambles, puzzles, mazes and more. This interactive book teaches all about inspiring leaders and major milestones in Black history.  Ages 12 to 18. While supplies last.

Black History Month STEM Activities

Thursday, February 8 & 22 at 5 p.m. at Lincoln Branch

Celebrate Black History Month by learning about two iconic Black scientists through STEM activities like a Mae Jemison rocket experiment (2/8) and Benjamin Banneker astronomy craft (2/22). Ages 6 to 11.

Black History Month Movie Series

Every Saturday in February at 2 p.m. at North Branch

Experience these critically-acclaimed movies depicting the experience of black Americans throughout our nation’s history.  All are based on true events.

February 3: Judas and the Black Messiah

February 10: Hidden Figures

February 17: Just Mercy

February 24: Till

After Hours Adult Paint Night

Friday, February 23 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Branch

Celebrate Black History Month with an after-hours adult paint night under the guided direction of the Peoria Guild of Black Artists, with great music from DJ Spiller.  Come eat, sip and socialize as you paint your own masterpiece.  All art supplies and appetizers will be provided.  Sign-Up is Required! Please call 309-497-2600 to register.

Black Children’s Book Week

February 25-March 2 (Lakeview Branch)

Celebrate Black Children’s Book Week by checking out books written by black authors or starring black children. Visit our display of books and also take part in a scavenger hunt. Ages 0 to 10.

Read On Book Club

Monday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Branch

Join us as we celebrate the Black History Month with The Queen of Sugar Hill: A Novel of Hattie McDaniel by ReShonda Tate.  The author presents a fascinating fictional portrait of Hattie McDaniel, one of Hollywood’s most prolific but woefully underappreciated stars and the first Black person to win an Oscar for her role in the critically acclaimed film classic Gone with the Wind.  Snacks will be provided!