The Orange County Library system (Facebook | Website) has announced their programming for the month of February, which is Black history Month. Events include a step team battle, an African-American Read-In with local authors, personalities, and storytellers performing works by African-American authors, and plenty of writer’s workshops.

For more information about events, call 407-835-7323. You can also check for more library events online at


Step Off

Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Saturday, February 4, 2:30 p.m.

Break the Stage! Step up your game for the 12th Annual Step Off competition! Local teams will put their best foot forward in a battle to be crowned the top step team around. Cash prizes sponsored by McCoy Federal Credit Union. Seating is limited.


What I Didn’t Learn In School: An Intro to Unknown African-American History

Southeast Branch, 5575 S. Semoran Blvd.
Thursday, February 9, 6:30 p.m.

This challenging program seeks to educate participants on aspects of African-American history that are often overlooked. What did Abraham Lincoln really think about African-Americans? Who is William Lynch? And what actually happened in the Red Summer of 1919? Discover the answers to these questions and much more.


Echoes of My Sister’s Voices

Eatonville Branch, 200 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville
Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m.

Join Dr. Naima Bush for an exploration of the lives of women trapped by the bondage of slavery. Using music, poetry, storytelling and narrative, Dr. Bush weaves a masterful historical offering that brings these women’s voices to life!


Deep In My Heart

Orlando Public Library, Albertson Room, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Saturday, February 11, 3 p.m.

This new dynamic musical lecture covers the music and moments of the Civil Rights Movement, while Dr. Naima Bush highlights the historical events that shaped the nation we live in today.


African-American Read-In

Orlando Public Library, Library Central, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Sunday, February 12, 2 p.m.

Celebrate African-American literature in poetry, story and song, performed by local luminaries in conjunction with the 27th Annual National African-American Read-In. For more information,


Black Panther: This World Wakanda

Eatonville Branch, 200 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville
Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m.

From 1970s Afrofuturism to contemporary concerns about black liberation, the Black Panther and his world have served to highlight the concerns of black America. This talk explores the ways writers have used the Black Panther’s fictive world to explore black concerns with the African Diaspora. Presented by author and urban historian Julian Chambliss, Department Chair of Rollins College’s Department of History.


An Evening with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Southwest Branch, 7255 Della Drive
Monday, February 20, 6 p.m.

Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Tuesday, February 21, 7 p.m.

Co-authors of the award-winning All American Boys will read from and discuss their novel about police brutality, racial tension and the power of social media, as seen from the eyes of two teens—one black and one white. Brendan Kiely is also the author of The Last True Love Story and The Gospel of Winter, named one of the Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2015. Jason Reynolds has vowed never to write boring books and has kept his word withWhen I Was the Greatest (recipient of Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent), As Brave as You, The Boy in the Black Suit (Coretta Scott King Honor book) and Ghost, finalist for the National Book Award. The Southwest Branch event will include a book giveaway while supplies last.  The Orlando Public Library event will include a book signing.  Ages 13-18. Registration recommended.


Writer’s Workshop with Jason Reynolds

Orlando Public Library, Albertson Room
Wednesday, February 22, 3 p.m.

Jason Reynolds, co-author of All American Boys and author ofGhost, When I Was the Greatest, As Brave as You and The Boy in the Black Suit conducts a writing workshop for teens. Ages 13-18. Registration required.


Pride, Power and Protest? Luke Cage and the Black Superhero Question

Chickasaw Branch, 870 N Chickasaw Trail
Saturday, February 25, 2 p.m.

From comics in the 1970s to a new Netflix series, the role of Luke Cage as the first black superhero in the United States has been a source of anxiety and aspiration. This talk explores the evolution of the original Blaxploitation heroes from the black power roots to his iconic links to the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement. Presented by author and urban historian Julian Chambliss, Department Chair of Rollins College’s Department of History.


Talbert Gray: Breaking Barriers

Orlando Public Library, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Sunday, February 26, 2 p.m.

When Talbert Gray joined WESH-TV in Orlando in 1969, he became the first African-American newsman on a commercial station in Florida. Gray changed media in the south forever by blazing trails and opening doors during his long career in TV, newspapers, magazines and radio. From interviewing celebrities and Civil Rights legends to publishing the first black magazine to celebrate diversity in Central Florida, Gray has compelling stories to tell from his fascinating life as a change-maker.  Presented in partnership with the Orange County Regional History Center.


The Beat Goes On: Rap and Hip-Hop Culture

Orlando Public Library, Albertson Room, 101 E. Central Blvd.
Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for an ideological, social and historical tracing of rap and hip-hop culture through successive genres of African-American music. Journey from the 19th century to the present-day while endeavoring to extract meaning from this empirical reality. Presented by Professor Don Harrell, University of Central Florida Africana Studies Program.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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