The Rosenbach Presents Virtual Black History Month Programming [press release]

For immediate release

PHILADELPHIA, January 22, 2021—The Rosenbach is proud to celebrate Black History Month throughout the month of February with a series of virtual programming. Several programs relate to The Rosenbach’s current digital exhibition “I Am an American!” The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, an exploration of an important, yet understudied, local author and activist. Listed below are highlights of programs related to Black History Month, full details are available at

  • The Long Arc of Survival: A Virtual Discussion Group on Alice Dunbar-Nelson in partnership with Women in Transition on Tuesday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. Monet Timmons and Jesse Erickson, the co-curators of “I Am an American!”, will give an overview of Dunbar-Nelson’s survival of intimate partner violence and her many achievements as an activist, educator, and writer and Blanche Brown of Women In Transition will lead a discussion of some of Dunbar-Nelson’s short stories.
  • Radical Self-care in an Era of Activism: A Virtual Salon Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance in partnership with the Free Library’s Division of Cultural and Civic Engagement on Thursday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. Chef Jena Harris and Professor Pysche Williams-Forson will lead an evening of self-care grounded in the salon-style traditions of the Harlem Renaissance. Chef Jena will use accessible ingredients in a live demonstration and welcome participants to make and enjoy sustaining food and drink using recipes shared in advance. Throughout the event, we will discuss and learn more from Professor Williams-Forson about how the contributions of authors, artists, and activists to American art and politics have built movements which center radical self–love.
  • Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive a four part virtual course beginning on Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m. Alice Dunbar-Nelson is an important, yet understudied, author and activist whose life and legacy is the focus of The Rosenbach’s virtual exhibition “I Am an American!” Her writing is accessible and lovely even without any knowledge of the author herself, but as you dive into her personal history and guiding forces you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of her work as it speaks to modern times. Together we’ll dig into a treasure trove of archival materials including family scrapbooks and personal letters that will elevate your understanding of this remarkable author and her place in history.
  • Black Writers, the Jazz Age, and the Harlem Renaissance at The Rosenbach on Thursday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m. The Harlem Renaissance is the fulcrum for this look “behind the bookcase” at great Black writers in The Rosenbach’s collection. Beginning with Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first acclaimed Black poet after Emancipation, we’ll spend the bulk of our time with letters and first editions of poet Langston Hughes and philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke-including the keystone work of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke’s The New Negro.

After months of closure, The Rosenbach reopened to the public on January 21 with timed tickets and safety measures in place. The museum and library is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. To ensure safe capacity in our building, each 1.5-hour timeslot will accommodate up to four ticket holders per group and only one group will be admitted into the museum at a time. Visitors are strongly encouraged to pre-register for timed tickets with this link, by calling 215-732-1600, or emailing [email protected]. Virtual programming will continue to be presented alongside the museum’s reopening.

About The Rosenbach

The Rosenbach creates unique experiences for broad audiences through programs inspired by its world-class holdings of literature and history. The Rosenbach is located in Center City Philadelphia and is open to the public with growing content available at all times on The Rosenbach is affiliated with the Free Library of Philadelphia.