The Pima County Public Library is hosting a series of events throughout February to honor Black History Month.
The weekly events are organized by PCPL’s Kindred team, which aims to support Tucson’s black community with dedicated cultural and historical programs. Although the Kindred team was established in 2017, this is the first year they have dedicated an entire month of events for the black community.
The events, which mainly focus on history in Tucson, range from local school segregation to the Underground Railroad and take place at multiple locations around town.
“It’s incredibly important that we acknowledge our past and that experience we have,” said Kindred team member Tenecia Phillips. “Our community is so diverse. We’re talking about a range of ages, experiences… It’s incredibly important that our events reflect on that.”
The next Black History Month event is a discussion of “Tucson's Black Community and School Segregation” on Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Dunbar Pavilion, 325 W. 2nd St.
After that, the Nonprofit Library at the Community Foundation Campus will host “Her Story: How Tiffany Nakatani Found Her Purpose in Business and Sisterhood” on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 5049 E. Broadway Blvd. #201.
The schedule even includes events for kids, such as the "Black Storytime" event on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Eckstrom-Columbus Library (4350 E 22nd St), where kids can hear stories both about and written by African American authors.
“We wanted to reach out to the young ones as well and help them see themselves in books which they may not have seen before,” Phillips said.
The small Kindred team decided on these events in November 2019 and met monthly to organize them. Their inspiration arose from PCPL’s Many Nations team, who hosts literacy outreach events for Native communities across Pima County.
“They did a month of focused programming and we wanted to use what they did for Black History month, so we took to them for guidance,” Phillips said. “[The community members] should expect to walk away with at least one piece of information that they hadn’t walked into the room with, as well as feel welcome in the space.”
For a full list of events, visit Pima County Public Library’s website.