Black History Month Virtual Events

February 1 – 28, 2022

Virtual Events | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Celebrate Black History Month with the Grand Rapids Public Library!

Join us online February 1 – 28, 2022 for programs for both kids and adults that highlight and celebrate our Black community.

Special thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation and the Wege Foundation for their support of this program.

Programs can be enjoyed after their premiere date on GRPL’s YouTube Channel.

​Music (NOT) in the Stacks: Debra Perry and Majestic Praise

Premiers Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Join us for a virtual performance featuring local musicians on the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

Debra Perry & Majestic Praise is a close knit group who shares the common thread of their faith. The members are from various ministries in the greater Grand Rapids area including Vanessa Allen, Robert Kelly, Kelvin Jackson, Dorcas Jones, Marie Matthews, and Carolyn Allen. Debra Perry has utilized her record label, Joint Heir Music Group, and her recording studio to produce the unique sound and blend of this group.  The successful debut project entitled Forever He Reigns produced many hits, which were written and arranged by Debra and her brother Gerald Perry.

​It’s Not All Downhill From Here: Change at Any Age
An Evening with Terry McMillan

Virtual Event | Zoom
Thursday, February 3, 2022, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Registration required. 

Join GRPL for a special virtual conversation  with #1 New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan.

Terry McMillan is bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, The Interruption of Everything, I Almost Forgot About You, and the editor of Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction. Four of Ms. McMillan’s novels have been made into movies: Waiting to Exhale (Twentieth Century Fox, 1995); How Stella Got Her Groove Back (Twentieth Century Fox, 1998); Disappearing Acts (HBO Pictures, 1999); and A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime, 2014). 

In her presentation, Ms. McMillan will dive into the many themes of her newest book, It’s Not All Downhill From Here and will share her own personal journey through challenges, relationships, addiction and health issues. With signature sass and disarming authenticity, she connects to audiences through powerful storytelling and a constant credo: It’s never too late to become the person that you want to be.

A Zoom link will be sent to the email address used to register for this event. Use the link to join us on the date and time of this event.

Black History Month Storytimes

Premiering Saturdays, February 5, 12, 19, 26, 2022, 10:00 am
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Enjoy books featuring Black characters or that are by Black authors. Participate in sing-alongs, and early literacy tips from a GRPL librarian. Tune in weekly on GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel during the month of February.

Music (NOT) in the Stacks: Hey, Marco!

Premiering Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Join us for a virtual performance featuring local musicians on the
Grand Rapids Public Library’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel. 

Hey Marco is a jazz/pop ensemble from Grand Rapids who specializes in weaving intricate rhythm, melody and harmony together with soaring vocals. Musical influences including Sting, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, D’Angelo, The Clark Sisters, and Motown have been spun together into an excitingly original blend on Hey Marco’s 2014 album Give Love. The record captures the band’s sound–smooth grooves that dance under layers of intricate harmonies and soulful singing. Whether in the studio or on stage, the tight, playful spirit of the band shines through.

CANCELLED – Music (NOT) in the Stacks: Kathy Lamar

Premiering Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Due to unforeseen events, this program has been cancelled.
Please join us for other Black History Month events scheduled throughout February.

​An Evening with Author Nikki Grimes

Thursday, February 17, 2022 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Virtual Event | Zoom
Registration required.

Join us for a virtual author visit with award-winning author Nikki Grimes, who will talk about her book Glory in the Margins, followed by a Q&A session. 

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2020 ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature, the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the much-honored books Garvey’s Choice, ALA Notable book Southwest Sunrise, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and five Coretta Scott King Author Honor books, Printz and Siebert Honor winner Ordinary Hazards, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor One Last Word, its companion Legacy:Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and NYT Bestseller Kamala Harris:Rooted in Justice. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel, Bedtime for Sweet Creatures, and Off to See the Sea, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California. 

A Zoom link will be sent to the email address used to register for this event. Use the link to join us on the date and time of this event.

Taste of Soul Sunday

Premiering Sunday, February 20, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

We’re taking our popular Taste of Soul Sunday event online! Enjoy a series of free virtual events highlighting members of our community.

The History of Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA)
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Join us for a virtual talk with George Bayard about the history of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA) and its continued work on preserving African American History in Grand Rapids.

Mr. Bayard is the founder of GRAAMA and has worked extensively in the Grand Rapids community as a business owner and preservationist. A GRAAMA-designed archival display will be available for viewing at the Main Branch throughout the month of February.

CANCELLED – Cooking with Daddy Pete’s BBQ
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Virtual Event |GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Due to unforeseen events, this program has been cancelled.
Please join us for other Black History Month events scheduled throughout February.


Learn how one of Grand Rapids’ best-rated Black-owned barbecue restaurants keeps customers coming back for more with this immersive cooking session. Virtual program attendees will earn a Buy One, Get One free offer from Daddy Pete’s BBQ that is good until February 27, 2022!

The Storytellers
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Virtual Event |GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Join The Storytellers for a dynamic virtual experience combining stories, music, humor, and music. 

Enjoy lively Brazilian melodies, familiar American songs, Caribbean music, Australian didgeridoo tunes, West African rhythms, original compositions and much more! This event is designed for all ages. 

Music (NOT) in the Stacks: Asamu Johnson

Premiering Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

Join us for a virtual performance featuring musicians on the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel.  

Unique and captivating, Asamu Johnson and his band have performed across the nation at various festivals, night clubs, and other venues. They opened for Blues legend Koko Taylor and have played at notable venues including the Chenango Blues Fest in Norwich, New York; Teddy’s Juke Joint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and the Pee Dee Blues Bash in Florence, South Carolina.