Black History Month

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In celebration of Black history, heritage, and culture, enjoy Santa Ana Public Library’s collection of special programs, books, movies, and e-resources.

Celebrate Black History Month with a conversation with Jayne Allen. She is the author of the series, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, and is the creator of the online book marketing and author branding course, Book Genius. Join us as we discuss Jayne’s passions, both for writing and furthering diversity in book publishing.

In honor of Black History Month, the Santa Ana Public Library will be screening Disney/Pixar’s “Soul.” Come enjoy the film and receive a Jazz themed craft to take home.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Santa Ana Public Library will be screening the movie: Harriet. Snacks and drinks will be provided while supplies last. Arrive early for best seating!

Books for Adults

Recitatif : A Story

by Morrison, Toni

In this 1983 short story--the only short story Morrison ever wrote--we meet Twyla and Roberta, who have known each other since they were eight years old and spent four months together as roommates in St. Bonaventure shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only later to find each other again at a diner, a grocery store, and again at a protest. Seemingly at opposite ends of every problem, and at each other's throats each time they meet, the two women still cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them.

Another work of genius by this masterly writer, Recitatif keeps Twyla's and Roberta's races ambiguous throughout the story. Morrison herself described Recitatif, a story which will keep readers thinking and discussing for years to come, as "an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial." We know that one is white and one is Black, but which is which? And who is right about the race of the woman the girls tormented at the orphanage?

A remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, and how perceptions are made tangible by reality, Recitatif is a gift to readers in these changing times.

Black Hamptons

by Weber, Carl

It's old money versus new money, and neither family seems willing to compromise. Will the tension between them shatter any hopes of a peaceful summer? Hidden away near the end of Long Island, New York, is a community where affluent African Americans, their friends, and the wannabes have secretly vacationed for more than 75 years. Unlike the bluffs of Martha's Vineyard, Black folks here own five miles of prime beachfront. With a mix of legacy families, new money, hangers-on, and thirsty developers, drama can never be far behind in a place called the Black Hamptons. The Brittons are the owners of Amistad Bank, the nation's largest minority-owned bank. They consider themselves the 'First Family' of the Black Hamptons and have owned their estate home for three generations. Their matriarch, Carolyn Britton, and her two sons, Malcolm and Martin, are not to be played with. They truly embody the Black Hamptons' old guard and will do whatever they feel is necessary to maintain their place.

The Monsters We Defy

by Penelope, L.

Washington D. C., 1925:  Clara Johnson can talk to spirits--a gift that saved her during her darkest moments, now a curse that's left her indebted to the cunning spirit world. So when a powerful spirit offers her an opportunity to gain her freedom, Clara seizes the chance, no questions asked. The task: steal a magical ring from the wealthiest woman in the District.

Clara can't pull off this daring heist alone. She'll need the help of an unlikely team, from a handsome jazz musician able to hypnotize with a melody to an aging actor who can change his face, to pull off the impossible. But as they race along DC's legendary Black Broadway, conflict in the spirit world begins to leak into the human one--an insidious mystery is unfolding, one that could cost Clara her life and change the fate of an entire city.

Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future

by Collins-Dexter, Brandi

In Black Skinhead, Brandi Collins-Dexter, former Senior Campaign Director for Color Of Change, explores the fragile alliance between Black voters and the Democratic party. Through sharp, timely essays that span the political, cultural, and personal, Collins-Dexter reveals decades of simmering disaffection in Black America, told as much through voter statistics as it is through music, film, sports, and the baffling mind of Kanye West.

While Black Skinhead is an outward look at Black votership and electoral politics, it is also a funny, deeply personal, and introspective look at Black culture and identity, ultimately revealing a Black America that has become deeply disillusioned with the failed promises of its country.

God is a Black woman

by Cleveland, Christena

In this timely, much-needed book, theologian, social psychologist, and activist Christena Cleveland recounts her personal journey to dismantle the cultural "whitemalegod" and uncover the Sacred Black Feminine, introducing a Black Female God who imbues us with hope, healing, and liberating presence.

For years, Christena Cleveland spoke about racial reconciliation to congregations, justice organizations, and colleges. But she increasingly felt she could no longer trust in the God she'd been implicitly taught to worship--a white male God who preferentially empowered white men despite his claim to love all people. A God who clearly did not relate to, advocate for, or affirm a Black woman like Christena.

Yo tengo un sueño

by King, Martin Luther

Presentamos la biblioteca Martin Luther King Jr.

Con un nuevo prólogo de Amanda Gorman.

Una hermosa edición coleccionable del legendario discurso del Dr. Martin Luther King Jr en la Marcha en Washington, parte de los archivos del Dr. King publicados exclusivamente por HarperCollins. El 28 de agosto de 1963, el Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. se presentó ante miles de estadounidenses que se habían reunido en el Lincoln Memorial en Washington, D.C. en nombre de los derechos civiles. Incluyendo las palabras inmortales, "Tengo un sueño", el discurso de apertura del Dr. King dinamizaría un movimiento y cambiaría el curso de la historia.

Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters

Romantic love has been one of the most essential elements of storytelling for centuries. But for Black people in the United States and across the diaspora, it hasn't often been easy to find Black romance joyfully showcased in entertainment media. In this collection, revered authors and sparkling newcomers, librarians and academicians, and avid readers and reviewers consider the mirrors and windows into Black love as it is depicted in the novels, television shows, and films that have shaped their own stories. Whether personal reflection or cultural commentary, these essays delve into Black love now and in the past, including topics from the history of Black romance to social justice and the Black community to the meaning of desire and desirability.

Exploring the multifaceted ways love is seen-and the ways it isn't-this diverse array of Black voices collectively shines a light on the power of crafting happy endings for Black lovers.

Jessica Pryde is joined by Carole V. Bell, Sarah Hannah Gomez, Jasmine Guillory, Da'Shaun Harrison, Margo Hendricks, Adriana Herrera, Piper Huguley, Kosoko Jackson, Nicole M. Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Christina C. Jones, Julie Moody-Freeman, and Allie Parker in this collection.

Books for Teens

Getting Away with Murder

by Crowe, Chris

The kidnapping and violent murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in 1955 was and is a uniquely American tragedy. Till, a black teenager from Chicago, was visiting family in a small town in Mississippi, when he allegedly whistled at a white woman. Three days later, his brutally beaten body was found floating in the Tallahatchie River.

Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era

by Taylor, Diane C.

Sitting In, Standing Up: Leaders of the Civil Rights Era tells the story of one of the most tumultuous and important eras in American history through the lives of five major figures of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s: Thurgood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, and John Lewis. Hands-on activities, essential questions, text-to-world connections, and links to online resources encourage readers ages 12 to 15 to explore how the work of these people sparked the passion of a nation and helped change the tide of social injustice in a way that reverberates to this day.

Run. Book one

by Lewis, John

From the #1 New York Times bestselling, graphic novel series March comes the continuation of the life story of John Lewis and the struggles seen across the United States after the Civil Rights Movement.

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults)

by Obama, Barack

A revealing portrait of a young Black man asking questions about self-discovery and belonging—long before he became one of the most important voices in America. This unique edition includes a new introduction from the author, full-color photo insert, and family tree.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

by Theoharis, Jeanne

Rosa Parks is one of the most well-known Americans today, but much of what is known and taught about her is incomplete, distorted, and just plain wrong. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks shatters the myths that Parks was meek, accidental, tired, or middle class, instead, Parks is revealed as a lifelong freedom fighter whose activism began two decades before her historic stand that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and continued for forty years after.

The Book of Awesome Black Americans

by Jones, Monique

Black Americans who have shaped their country and beyond. We are familiar with a handful of African Americans who are mentioned in American history books, but there are also countless others who do not get recognized in mainstream media. Their biographies vary greatly, but each one contributes to the course of Black history and its influence on America and the greater world. Their stories encourage teenage boys and girls, to find their own path to change.

Dear Justyce

by Stone, Nic

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce--the protagonist of Dear Martin--Quan's story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there's a dead cop and a weapon with Quan's prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

When You Look Like Us

by Harris, Pamela N.

When you look like us--brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades--everyone else thinks you're trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing black girl from public housing because she must've brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend--a drug dealer--and his friends. But she's been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

The Black Kids

by Hammonds Reed, Christina

With the Rodney King riots closing in on high school senior Ashley and her family, the privileged bubble she has enjoyed, protecting her from the difficult realities most black people face, begins to crumble.

A Sitting in St. James

by Williams-Garcia, Rita

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family's objections, to sit for a portrait. While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved, come to light to reveal a true portrait of the Guilberts.

Free Movies and Documentaries on Kanopy

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American Experience: The Abolitionists

Directed by Rob Rapley

Vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who fought to end slavery, THE ABOLITIONISTS tells the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. Fighting body and soul, they led the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists tore the nation apart in order to form a more perfect union. The series, which tells the story largely through period drama narrative, airs 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in January 1863.

I Am Not Your Negro

Directed by Raoul Peck

An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

America After Ferguson

Directed by Max Schindler

This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores events following Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri. The program, recorded before an audience on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will include national leaders and prominent thinkers in the areas of law enforcement, race and civil rights, as well as government officials, faith leaders and youth.

Woman in Motion

Directed by Todd Thompson

Nichelle Nichols' daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, recruiting 8,000 of the nation's best and brightest, including the trailblazing astronauts who became the first African American, Asian and Latino men and women to fly in space.

Subjects of Desire

Directed by Todd Thompson

SUBJECTS OF DESIRE explores the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing Black female aesthetics and features while exposing the deliberate and often dangerous portrayals of Black women in the media. From society’s new fixation on the ‘booty’, fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment. But others, primarily Black women, argue that traditional Black features and attributes are seen as more desirable when they are on White women.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Directed by Joe Talbot

Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.

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