The Mid-Continent Public Library system has several programs to highlight Black History Month.
A display, “They Were All Stars: Negro Leagues Stars Became Major League All-Stars,” is from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and tells the stories of 20 players.
“There’s a great opportunity to provide access to cool experiences by having static displays,” said Dylan Little, Mid-Continent’s community programming manager.
It’s at the Blue Ridge branch, 9253 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Kansas City through Feb. 15, then will be at North Independence, 317 West U.S. 24, from Feb. 21 to March 6. Then it moves to the Woodneath Library Center March 8-23 and the Platte City branch March 26 to April 11.
Little said this creates a more immediate connection for library patrons to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and helps tell the broader story of America and baseball.
“You can’t tell the story of Cooperstown (home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame) without telling the story of Negro Leagues baseball,” he said.
The library has lined up other programming as well. For instance, not only is George Washington Carver one of history’s most famous Missourians – “kind of the Tesla of peanut butter,” Little said – but he also has Kansas City connections and his childhood home in Diamond, Mo., is one of the state’s handful of national monuments. Staff from the George Washington Carver National Monument are coming to the area for a series of presentations.
“Who Was George Washington Carver,” for ages 7 and older, is at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 at the South Independence branch, 13700 E. 35th St.
“George Washington Carver: America’s Leonardo da Vinci,” is at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee’s Summit Road in Independence; at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Oak Grove branch, 2320 S. Broadway; and at 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at Blue Springs South branch, 2220 S. Missouri 7.
Also, the Midwest Genealogy Center, which has a wide range of family resources and classes, and is offering “African American Genealogical Research for Beginners” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 and “An Enduring Legacy: Researching Your History to Tell Your Story” at 1 p.m. Feb. 24.
Also coming up at Mid-Continent and elsewhere:
• The Tuesday Night Film Series at the Kansas City Public Library Central Branch, 14 W. Tenth St., has these, all at 6:30 p.m.: Feb. 6, “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary about writer James Baldwin; Feb. 13, “13th,” director Ava DuVernay’s look at the prison system; Feb. 20, “Spanish Lake,” a documentary about white flight set in the St. Louis area; and Feb. 27, “Dope,” about the adventures of a young man growing up in a tough neighborhood.
• A film series, “Struggle and Victory,” is being held at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Mid-Continent Liberty branch, 1000 Kent St. Upcoming films are “Glory,” (Denzel Washington won an Oscar) Feb. 8, “42” (the story of Jackie Robinson) Feb. 15, and “The Help” (Octavia Spencer won an Oscar).
• “Race and Meaning: The African-American Experience in Missouri,” presented by Gary Kremer, director of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the author of “Race and Meaning.” Reception at 6 p.m., program at 6:30 Feb. 8 at the Plaza branch of the Kansas CIty Public LIbrary, 4801 Main St.
• Dance Theatre of Harlem, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Kansas City. Tickets start at $31.50.
• “A Tribute to Kansas City Jazz: From Basie to Bebop, featuring Bobby Watson,” 8 p.m. Feb. 9, 8 p.m. Feb. 10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $46.50.
• “Brother John” Anderson and Rick Cole, who are Kansas City storytellers and musicians, explore the history and sounds of swing jazz at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Plaza branch.
• “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” a 2017 documentary, 2 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Plaza branch.
• “Tales from the Black West,” an interactive musical for ages 7 and up, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Mid-Continent Antioch branch, 6060 W. Chestnut Ave., Gladstone.
• “The Story of the Buffalo Soldiers,” for ages 7 and up, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Mid-Continent North Oak branch, 8700 North Oak Trafficway, Kansas City.
• “Underground,” performed by the Storling Dance Theater, telling the story of the Underground Railroad, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $25.
• Michael Dinwiddie, a professor at New York University, discusses the career of James Reese Europe and his impact on jazz in Europe. It’s the 17th annual Spencer Cave Black History Month lecture. It’s free, and it’s at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., in the 18th and Vine district of Kansas City.
• “Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayon,” and exhibit through April 29 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City.