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Black History Month 2023

Join the New Orleans Public Library as we celebrate Black History Month with our annual art competition, recommended reads, video celebrations, and more.

Black History Month Art Contest

Every year, we encourage Orleans Parish students in grades K-12 to celebrate Black history through art and creative expression. The theme of our 2023 contest is Black Resistance. There is a long history of Black Americans resisting the many forms of oppression, injustice, and inequality. Orleans Parish students in grades K-12 are invited to share art with their interpretation of a moment in time or leader of Black Resistance. All participants will receive a free book.

Winners will receive an additional book. Elementary school 1st place winners will receive an art prize pack, and middle and high school winners will get an Amazon gift card.

View our entry form for more details on how to participate in this year’s art competition.

Black History Under the Kanopy

Black History Under the Kanopy is a four-part videos series presented by the Library’s African American Resource Collection. Every week this February, Equity & Inclusion Librarian and the head of the AARC Shukrani Gray, will provide two recommendations of what to watch on Kanopy, one of the Library’s two free streaming services. Tune in every week for a new recommendation, or subscribe to the AARC’s newsletter to have them delivered straight to your inbox.

Black History Under the Kanopy Raffle

The AARC is giving away four $25 gift cards, thanks to the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and Capital One Bank.

How to Enter:

  • After watching a recommended movie, comment your review on one of the Black History Under the Kanopy posts on the AARC Facebook page
  • You can enter up to four times, one comment per post.
  • The deadline to comment and enter the contest is March 3, 2023.
  • The AARC will announce the winners in early March.

More Movie Recommendations

Library Events

MAIN LIBRARY | FEBRUARY. 4, 2023 | 2PM – 3:30PM

Toni Jones, a member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and co-founder of the Real Name Campaign, will facilitate a conversation with local African American teens and “new adults” who engage in various forms of local activism. The discussion of their perspectives & experiences will be followed by a Q&A session with attendees.

This is a hybrid event with both virtual and in-person access. Attend in person Main Library, or click here to register for the Zoom event.

Sponsored by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.

Black History Month Blog Posts

Recommended Reads for Black History Month

Black History Month Resources

Featured Database: 

  • HistoryMakers – A digital archive of African American oral histories that enlightens, entertains, and educates the public, helping to refashion a more inclusive record of American history.

Local Organizations & Library Partners:

  • Ashé Cultural Arts Center uses art and culture to support human, community, and economic development. 
  • Community Book Shop focuses on African-centered books, art, fabric, gifts, community events, and more. The shop is located on Bayou Road, a historic hub for Black businesses and commerce.
  • Hidden History Tours is a publishing, research, and touring company that works to uncover New Orleans’ untold stories, with a focus on Black struggle, oppression, and revolution.
  • Know NOLA Tours offers an intimate experience with the “real New Orleans” and specialize in Black Heritage tours and subjects centered around New Orleans African Diasporic culture. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of New Orleans outside of Bourbon St. because “To Know NOLA is to Love NOLA.”
  • Project Butterfly New Orleans is a local group that is devoted to women and girls of African descent in the community. The website offers information about its various culturally-rooted programs and workshops.
  • Sista Midwife Productions is New Orleans-based birth advocacy organization that provides education, training and consultations for communities, birth workers and organizations that work with childbearing families. Their Midwife Directory helps connect patience with Black midwives, doulas, lactation specialists, or wellness practitioners.
  • Our Mammy’s shares the stories of Louisiana’s African Americans through the lens of the founder’s ancestors—what they contributed, how they survived, why it’s important—so that future generations can understand what was sacrificed and be inspired by all the ancestors have accomplished in the face of adversity. 

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