Black History Read-In & Culture Fest

Califa Calloway genealogist

Join OPL staff, community artists, and historians as we celebrate African American History Month with a day full of engaging, creative, multi-generational programming. All events are free and are wheechair accessible.

10:15 am – 11:00 am: Black Heritage Family Storytime   

Come enjoy a lively family storytime that features songs, books, and rhymes that represent people from the African Diaspora. Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be served. 


11:30 - 12:30: Samba Samba Workshop 

Samba Samba is an interactive educational workshop that uses music, rhythm, percussion instruments, and drums as tools for capturing the imagination of the participants. This program is suitable for all ages from children to adults. The creator of this exceptional program is James Henry, who has an extraordinary gift of capturing and holding the attention of his audience and imparting a sense of confidence and joy to all.


2 pm - 3 pm: Verse-atility: from Africa to America

Join us for a performance highlighting the African roots of Hip Hop dance featuring dancer Ebonie Barnett of Dimensions Dance Theater and poetry from Oakland Youth Poet Laureate finalist Siara Edmond.


3:30-5 pm: Writing History: a Creative Writing Workshop

Local author and Oakland History Center librarian Dorothy Lazard will lead a workshop on incorporating history into your writing. Participants will do free writing, work from a variety of prompts, and read (voluntarily) from the work created in the workshop.


6-7:30: "Your Genealogy through the U.S. Census" 

This program aims to inform and empower the undercounted. Genealogist R. Califa Calloway will help you gain a historical perspective about the U.S. Census, learn how genealogy can unfold your personal family story, and ultimately inform your choice of how to respond to the Census.


Light refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. 



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Main Library

Walters Auditorium
125 14th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 238-3134