Black History Month History • Culture • Perspectives

This month we honor and recognize the diverse and rich history of African Americans. We will be celebrating throughout February through in-person and online events, staff-curated booklists, and a collection of online resources and exhibits.

Online Events

African American Tech Pioneers: Part Two

Thursday, February 3, 2022, 5:30 pm to 6 pm

Celebrate Black History Month with the technological achievements of African Americans. Recommended for all ages.

Collage of African American Tech Pioneers

Dr. Bethune Comes to Life

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 6 pm to 6:45 pm

Ersula Odom’s in-character performance brings Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune to life before your eyes. “Dr. Bethune” shares impactful moments of her extraordinary life. Performance to be followed by live question and answer from the audience. Recommended for all ages.

Dr. Bethune Portrait

Robert W. Saunders: Courage and Sacrifice in the Midst of Jim Crow

Monday, February 14, 2022, 6 pm to 7 pm

Take a critical look at the strategies Robert W. Saunders used in the 1950s and 1960s to stand up against institutional racism and discrimination in Tampa in his role as Florida NAACP Field Secretary. This presentation by Fred Hearns (Curator of Black History for the Tampa Bay History Center) is based on Saunders' 2000 publication Bridging the Gap: Continuing the Florida NAACP Legacy of Harry T. Moore. Recommended for teens and adults.

Robert W. saunders Portrait

Black History Playlist

Watch recordings of previous Black History programs.

Watch playlist

In Person Events


Recommended Books and Films

Black History in the Tampa Bay Area

Our Lives, Our Legacies: The Hillsborough Black Experience

The goal of this online collection is to record and preserve the stories of African American residents in Hillsborough County.

St. Peter Claver 9th grade graduation class of 1948

This project began when the library was awarded a grant from 'StoryCorps @ your library,' a national program designed to encourage multi-format public programming on broad themes of oral narrative, local history and heritage.

View the collection

Black History Month Video Collection

Stream African American cinema.

Watch on Kanopy

Gale in Context: Biography

Explore hundreds of featured Black Americans.

Explore biographies

Black Freedom Struggle

This curated selection of primary sources is designed for learning about the struggles and triumphs of Black Americans.

Black Freedom Struggle

Black Newspaper Collection

An archive of articles essential to the study of American history and African-American culture, history, politics, and the arts, spanning 1893 to 2005.

Black Freedom Struggle

Black Life in America

The experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media.

Black Life in America

African American Heritage

A comprehensive mix of resources, records exclusively devoted to African American family history research, and tools was created in partnership with leading genealogists.

African American Heritage

“If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.”