Boston Public Library Celebrates Black History Month with Annual “Black Is…” Booklist & Special Events

Toni Morrison, Kwame Alexander, Common among Featured Authors; Kellie Carter Jackson to Speak on Abolitionist Movement

BOSTON, February 6, 2020—The Boston Public Library (BPL) honors Black History Month with its annual “Black is ...” booklist of 60 recent works that relate unique aspects of the African American experience. Copies are available at all library locations and the list also appears on the BPL website at

Cherry-picked by staff librarians from the Central Library and South End, Roxbury (formerly Dudley), Codman Square, and Lower Mills branches, the 2020 list features books for adults, teens, and children by authors like Toni Morrison — the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature — Feminista Jones, Kwame Alexander, Common, and Colson Whitehead. It includes a brief summary of each title and the BPL call number. See previous “Black is ...” booklists at

Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson headlines this year’s BPL Black History Month events. On Tuesday, February 25, she will speak on her new book, “Force & Freedom,” which examines the conditions that led some Black abolitionists to believe slavery might only be abolished by violent force. See more at Other programs include screenings of award-winning films like “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Hidden Figures,” and a music and history performance by Castle of Our Skins. See a full listing of events, including children’s programs, at

The Boston Public Library also produces curated booklists for Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), LGBT Pride Month in June, and — new this year — Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.


About the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library provides educational, cultural and civic enrichment free to all through its collections, services, programs, and spaces. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room.

The Boston Public Library of today encompasses the Central Library in Copley Square, which includes the newly-renovated and vibrant Johnson Building, 25 branches, the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, the Kirstein Business and Innovation Center, and an archival center. The Library provides access to world-class special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints, along with rich digital content and online services.

BPL hosts thousands of free educational programs and exhibitions, and provides free library services online and in-person to millions of people each year. To learn more, visit