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Baltimore County Public Library Celebrates Black History Month With Virtual Events

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- To celebrate Black History Month, the Baltimore County Public Library is hosting multiple events—and this year, they're all virtual.

Through song and lecture, Baltimore-born musician and educator Lea Morris lays out the role music played in the Civil Rights Movement.

"The Civil Rights Movement—this ongoing press; this arc of history towards justice as Dr. King described it—is not a black sentiment," Morris said.

Morris is just one of the many artists and speakers participating in the Black History Month programs that are being offered by the Baltimore County Public Library.

"Black History Month is first and foremost American History, right? And it is something we should be talking about throughout the year," Library director Sonia Alcantara-Antoine said. "But we do honor it during the month of February and it's just a great opportunity for people to learn about our shared history and our past."

All of the events in February will be virtual because of the pandemic, which is only expanding the library's reach.

"Pre-pandemic, you know, we would have been doing in-person programs," Alcantara-Antoine said. "But we've found a way to still offer these programs to the community and to connect, and it's been going extremely well."

Alcantara-Antoine said noted that the library has not experienced any issues with getting people to attend the programs or getting "getting fabulous speakers to come and present."

While the library will not resume in-person programming until March 1, there are plenty of virtual activities and events available to those interested in learning more about the nation's history.

To view a complete list of events, visit the library's event calendar here. Below you'll find a handful of notable upcoming events:

  • Virtual Author Visit: Jason Reynolds
    • Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
    • Participants are invited to take part in a virtual session with Jason Reynolds, a New York Times bestselling author who has written extensively about racial and social justice. His work includes All American Boys (2015) and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (2021).
  • Riding the Rails: The Activism and Service of Pullman Porters
    • Saturday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m.
    • This virtual event explores the coast-to-coast train rides undertaken by Pullman porters, Black men hired after the Civil War to work on passenger trains. The library says this session will inform participants about the porters' lives and efforts to advance their lives.
  • Meet the Authors–Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
    • Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
    • Benedict and Murray discuss the research that went into writing The Personal Library, a New York Times bestseller that chronicles the life of Belle da Costa Greene, an African American woman hired to assemble a rare book collection for J.P. Morgan.
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