SAPL celebrates Black History Month

As a community gathering place and setting for engaging discussion, the San Antonio Public Library strives to produce fun and educational programming that celebrates the diversity of the Alamo City. During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month, a time to recognize and honor the central role of Black Americans in U.S. history. The San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) will host a variety of events and discussions throughout the month at various branch locations that offer a contemporary look at Black History Month while addressing the historical narrative. In addition to the events below, many branch locations will feature Black History Month programs and activities for all ages. Visit for a complete list.


Black History Month Events will take place at the following Library locations: 

Back to My Roots Series- Natural Hair Texas is exploring the past, present and future of natural black hair and organic skin care at SAPL locations across the city as part of the Library’s Black History Month events.

Founded in 2007, the “naturalistas” of the San Antonio Natural Hair Meetup are the premiere black hair resource in South Texas, with 1,400 members and more than 200 events to their credit.

Thur., 2/12 | 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Carver Branch Library (3350 E. Commerce, 78220)

Natural Styles Workshop- Natural and loc stylists, product creators and bloggers will assemble for a discussion of natural curls: healthy hair, products, extensions and additions, transitioning, styling, locs, straightening, coloring and, of course, hair don’ts.

Thur., 2/19 | 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Semmes Branch Library (15060 Judson Rd., 78247)

Curly Kids- If your child has curly or wavy hair, grooming and styling can be confusing, daunting and—as your kid’s tears and winces may suggest—painful. Learn the how-to’s, how-come’s, why-not’s, and oh-no’s of children’s styling.

Sat., 2/21 | 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Igo Branch Library (13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy., 78249)

Natural Locs for the Sexes- Natural looks and cultural styles—cornrows, dreadlocks and fros—are trending with both genders. We’ll cover styles, techniques, products, trends and care. Men, this session will also focus on your skin concerns and solutions.

Sun., 2/22 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Central Library (600 Soledad, 78205)

Natural Hair in America: Experience & Discussion- Share this journey together in a conversation with professionals, scholars and next-door-neighbors to get the big picture of natural hair—its influence on public and self-perceptions; effects on careers, relationships and home environments; creamy crack addicts and pet peeves. Contribute your thoughts to the discussion, or just join in for the experience. And please… please, don’t touch my hair.

Thur., 2/26 | 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Semmes Branch Library (15060 Judson Rd., 78247)

DIY Organic Hair & Skin Care- Your body is 100% natural, so treat it right. We’ll talk homemade hair and skin products and cosmetics for anyone interested in effective, natural living.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Exhibit- Forest Hills Library proudly presents an exhibit in celebration of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a service sorority of predominately Black, college educated women founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC.  Since its founding, more than 200,000 women have joined the organization.  The San Antonio Alumnae Chapter was chartered in 1933 by one of the sorority’s twenty-two founders, Myra Davis Hemmings. The exhibit will include a historical journey reflecting the sorority’s rich history and its accomplishments.

Thur., 1/29 – Fri., 3/27| Forest Hills Branch Library (5245 Ingram Rd., 78228)

Sun., 2/15 | 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.- “12 Years a Slave,” Rated R and intended for mature audiences, is a 2013 historical drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. “12 Years a Slave” is the Spring Mayor’s Book Club pick.

Sat., 2/21 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.- “42: The Jackie Robinson Story,” rated PG-13,  is the story of Jackie Robinson, who broke the professional baseball race barrier to become the first African American MLB player of the modern era. “42” tells the life story of Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.

Sat., 2/28 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Disney’s “Ruby Bridges, a real American Hero” tells the remarkable story of six-year old Ruby who is chosen to be the first African-American to integrate her local New Orleans elementary school. Her strength and dignity during the 1960’s helped change history.

 Black History Cinema- Visit Carver Branch Library for movies that celebrate Black History Month. Carver Branch Library (3350 E. Commerce, 78220).

Tues., 2/10 | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. – A showing of the documentary of the last days of one of pop music’s greatest figures. The film will follow the gloved one’s concert tour preparations right before his untimely death in 2009.

Tues., 2/17 | 5:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – The true story of the famous baseball player who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.


Africa & the Slave Trade- Beverly J. Harris & Bro. Nias I will give a presentation discussing Africans and the slave trade. Topics to be discussed will include: the African diaspora, the African slave trade, Africans in European Art, Africans in Ghana and forgiveness/atonement. Come and join us to discuss these topics and view genuine artifacts from their amazing journeys to Africa.

Sat., 2/14 | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Carver Branch Library (3350 E. Commerce, 78220)


Teen Time-Celebrate Black History Month in 3-D- Celebrate Black History by honoring the inventor Kenneth J. Dunkley. He is the inventor of 3-D glasses (anaglyph eyeglasses). Dunkley is also a leader in the field of holography. Come and join us in the library as we create 3-D glasses and watch a short 3-D film.

Tues., 2/17 | 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Pruitt at Roosevelt High School Branch Library (5110 Walzem Rd., 78218)


The Legacy of the Venus Hottentot in Contemporary Rap Culture- UTSA Assistant Professor Kinitra Brooks will discuss the subject of Black women’s bodies in pop culture.  This talk will specifically examine the fantasy and realities of Black women’s bodies and how profitable misperceptions affect the lived realities of Black women’s everyday lives.

Sat., 2/21 | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Igo Branch Library (13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy., 78249)


Frederick Douglass: His Life & Legacy- Join us on the 120th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ death for this panel discussion about the important role of this former slave, abolitionist and U.S. ambassador. Douglass’ handwritten eulogy (by I.C. Wears) and a letter written by Douglass during his role as Counsel General to the Republic of Haiti will be displayed.

Tues., 2/24 | 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Central Library (600 Soledad, 78205)


For more information on these and other events, visit or call 210-207-2500.

February 28 in San Antonio history…

1915 – World War I
German forces bombard Soissons and Reims Cathedral in France.

Travis Park United Methodist Church is dedicated.

Just 24 hours after a 140-116 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Spurs get revenge in Convention Center Arena, 134-122.  Before the game, Nuggets coach Larry Brown is presented the ingredients for guacamole by Karen Cox of Deluxe Super Markets in response to his comment on Feb. 18 that all he liked “about San Antonio was guacamole salad.”

Construction begins on the Main Plaza Redevelopment Project with the closing of Dwyer Ave.

February 27 in San Antonio history…

“It’s A Wonderful Life” debuts at the Majestic Theater, two months and six days after its national premiere.

Sultry actress Mae West performs in person in the play “Diamond Lil” at the Texas Theater.

Jimmy Dorsey performs at the Municipal Auditorium, two days before his 53rd birthday and less than four months before his death from cancer on June 12.  At the time of his death, his final recording, “So Rare,” was #5 on the Billboard charts.  It would reach #2 and be named the #5 song for all of 1957.



February 26 in San Antonio history…

The cornerstone of Paine (Travis Park) Methodist-Episcopal Church is laid.

Sixty-six college students, both African-American and white, stage a second peaceful demonstration at the Majestic Theater.  The demonstration fails to change the theater’s policy on segregation, however.

The USFL’s San Antonio Gunslingers play their first game, a home game at Alamo Stadium, against the New Orleans Breakers…   and lose, 13-10.

February 25 in San Antonio history…

Trinity University, a Presbyterian institution in Waxahachie, agrees to relocate to San Antonio and merge with the University of San Antonio, a Methodist university.

Jack Handey, of Deep Thoughts fame, was born in San Antonio on this day.

Kool & the Gang, Tierra and Con-Funk-Shun perform at the Con-Ven-Shun Center Arena.

February 24 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1915
An American steamer, The Carib – with a valuable cargo of cotton, along with two British steamers have been sent to the bottom of the sea by German submarines.

The Texans in the Alamo are summoned by Santa Anna to surrender. His demands are answered by a cannon shot.

San Antonians are given their first look at the newly refurbished Municipal Auditorium after completion of a two-year renovation project.  The building was gutted in 1979 by a fire started by a workman’s cigarette.

February 23 in San Antonio history…

Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo is founded by Father Margil de Jesus, who names it in honor of San Jose, San Miguel and Governor Aguayo (Jose de Azlor y Virto de Vera, the Marquis de Aguayo, appointed Governor of Texas and Coahuila in 1719).  Olivares protests its closeness to Mission San Antonio.  Captain Alazar lays out the 10 leagues distance between the missions required by the Laws of the Indies in order to give it the protection of the presidio.

Fire, apparently started by defective wiring, threatened mail and federal records and did $30,000 damage to San Antonio’s historic federal building in Alamo Plaza.

Trinity University presents a free public lecture, “An Evening with Walter Cronkite,” in Laurie Auditorium.  Mr. Cronkite anchored the “CBS Evening News” for 19 years and became America’s most trusted journalist.

February 22 in San Antonio history…

Santa Anna‘s advance troops arrive in San Antonio.

Old 794 was offically handed over to the city.  The last of Southern Pacific’s steam locomotives will be a permanent display at Maverick Park. (It will remain there until 1999, when it was moved to Sunset Station. – Ed.)

San Antonians watch the tape-delayed prime-time coverage of the highly-anticipated Olympic hockey match between the USSR and USA, on KSAT Channel 12.  The underdog Americans stun the highly-favored Russians, 4-3.
“Do you believe in miracles?  YES!”

February 21 in San Antonio history…

Colonel Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant Colonel of 2nd Cavalry Regiment arrives at San Antonio to take charge of the Department of Texas.

Staying one step ahead of the law, the Washington Theater closed its doors tonight to avoid being officially closed by the district attorney.

Alderman Lockwood objects to the suggestion that Avenue C and River Avenue be changed to Broadway.

February 20 in San Antonio history…

The Lasso girls, the Jefferson High School girls cheering section, was formed this week in a drum and bugle corps.  The 37-piece group will hold their first meeting at the school, which will furnish instruments.

After 88 years in business, Wolff and Marx closes their downtown department store in the Rand Building at Soledad and Houston along with North Star Mall location (later reopened as Joske’s).

RiverCenter Mall holds its grand opening festivies.

February 19 in San Antonio history…

The first passenger train (Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio) arrives in the city.  The public celebrates with a torchlight parade.  

Hagy-McCollum-Murray announce the purchase of their newest addition to their ambulance fleet – the first air-conditioned ambulance in the city.  The vehicle is 20 feet long with a custom body by Sayers and Scoville mounted on a LaSalle chassis.  The interior “is done in mahogany wood, chromium trimmed and rich red Spanish leather.”

Mrs. Mamie Bradley, mother of Emmett Till, speaks at the Carver Library (now the site of the Carver Community Cultural Center) on the murder of her son and subsequent murder trial.


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