Stream Oscar-winners from the past

Movie lovers rejoice! The Seattle Public Library recently added a film streaming service called Kanopy. Kanopy offers a collection of over 30,000 films with an emphasis on classic, independent and international films but also includes award-winning documentaries, selections from The Great Courses lecture series, and a wide ranging sample of some of the finest PBS programing. Continue reading “Stream Oscar-winners from the past”

New African American Fiction

February is Black History Month, so the Reader Services department created a list of recently published African American fiction that we are loving — and we think you will, too. Here is a sampling of some of the books on the list which includes general fiction, mystery, fantasy and romance. Definitely something for every reader!

Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union is a romance set in the Civil War that centers on a young black woman and freewoman, Elle Burns, who goes undercover as a pro-Union Loyalty League spy. Things get complicated for Elle when she falls for another spy of a different race. Library Journal said: “Courageous, passionate protagonists fight for justice, freedom, and the right to love in an exceptional story that both educates and entertains and beautifully launches a unique series.”

Naima Coster’s debut Halsey Street looks at how gentrification impacts one family in Brooklyn, Continue reading “New African American Fiction”

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: Black Radical Feminist

It’s black history month, the perfect time to read about social justice trailblazers both celebrated and forgotten. Margo Jefferson’s wonderful memoir, Negroland, about growing up in a wealthy, elite African American family in the 1940s and ’50s, was my first introduction to Florynce “Flo” Kennedy, an outspoken black feminist who inspired Jefferson and many others. Continue reading “Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: Black Radical Feminist”

NAAM Art Exhibit

~posted by Elizabeth S. and Carl K.

Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, and Romare Bearden are among the notable artists featured in a traveling exhibit of 68 works at the Northwest African American Museum now through April 17th. The Harmon & Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper includes drawings, etchings, lithographs, and watercolors, from The Harmon & Harriet Kelley Collection of African-American Art, which is considered one of the nation’s richest collections of this culturally significant art.

The Library has several books that provide depth to this exhibit, including these three titles to begin. Continue reading “NAAM Art Exhibit”

Black History in Seattle

~posted by Abby B.

At the library, every month is Black History Month. We get questions and requests for African American history, culture and fiction throughout the year. In honor of the nationally recognized celebration, we’re shining a spotlight on Black History in Seattle. Here are some great resources to explore if you want to learn more about African American experiences in the Emerald City from the Victorian era to the present day.

Seattle’s Black Victorians, 1852-1901 by Esther Mumford. Mumford’s landmark history provides a window into the lives of some of Seattle’s earliest African American citizens. Mumford is a leading authority on the history of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest and one of the founders of the Black Heritage Society of Washington State. Continue reading “Black History in Seattle”