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January 18, 2024

Black History Month at Hamilton East Public Library

By Mallory Easterday, Public Services Librarian

Black History Month is celebrated every February, and a theme is chosen each year by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This year’s theme is ‘African Americans and the Arts.’ To celebrate this year’s theme, HEPL is hosting an African American Read-In (AARI)!

In 1990, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) started sponsoring African American Read-In events as part of Black History Month celebrations. Since then, AARIs have become a great way for communities to come together to celebrate Black authors and promote literacy in communities. Check out this fabulous booklist compiled by NCTE for last year’s Read-In.

Hamilton East Public Library will be hosting two National African American Read-Ins on February 24th.

African American Read-In: Kids’ Edition
Saturday, February 24 | 10:00am – 11:00am | Noblesville Library

At the Noblesville branch, participants can sign up to read excerpts from children’s books through middle-grade books written by Black authors or just drop in anytime to listen at either location. The books for this event can range from picture books to chapter books.

African American Read-In: High School & Adult Edition
Saturday, February 24 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm | Fishers Library

The Fishers branch event will be tailored to high schoolers and adults. Books for this event can range from nonfiction to poetry or novels. Selections for both events should be appropriate for all ages. We will also have books available for those who didn’t prepare a piece but would still like to participate.

Celebrate Black History Month by participating in one of our Read-Ins or check out other Black History Month programs happening at the library.

Black History Month Booklist

Here are some of my favorite books I suggest reading during February or reading aloud at one of our AARI events.

For kids and middle school readers:

Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

Ways to Build Dreams by Renée Watson

Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

For high school and adult readers:

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead