Events Listings

Continue to follow the AARL events page and social media for ongoing programs and exhibitions.

Black Money: World Currencies Featuring
African, African-American, and African Diasporic History and Cultures
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - Friday, February 22, 2019
6:00 p.m. Wednesday 20, 2019 Closing Event with the Consulate General of Canada, location Gallery & Auditorium
The Auburn Avenue Research Library will host Black Money: World Currencies Featuring African, African-American, and African Diasporic History and Cultures Black Money features banknotes depicting the histories, cultures, politics, and experiences of Africans and peoples of African descent in countries around the world. The exhibition features “money trees” decorated with real money from countries in Africa, Europe, and the Americas, including the United States. It includes rare, obsolete, and currently circulating money and money-related objects, accompanied by the scale and life-size models of historical characters and other images featured on money, promotional money posters, wall-mounted, money-inspired artwork, and other works of art depicted on the money. The Black Money Exhibition is curated by Tracy Murrell, whom Atlanta Magazine awarded the “Rising Curator” honor for the Best of Atlanta 2017 issue. This exhibit is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with her Song
Exhibition of Illustrated Africana Children's Literature
Monday, January 28, 2019 - Sunday, August 26, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in collaboration with the Hammond's House Museum, will host Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song, a compelling new exhibition featuring the illustrated children’s literature of award-winning artist/illustrator Charly Palmer. These vivid paintings pulsing with color, movement, and emotion creating a driving visual narrative that alight on significant events, in the life of Miriam Makeba, such as her flight from her homeland in disguise, her powerful testimony at the United Nations, the horrific Soweto killings, and Nelson Mandela’s release from jail, ending with the singer’s triumphant return home after apartheid is ended. Miriam Makeba, a Grammy Award-winning South African singer, rose to fame in the hearts of her people at the pinnacle of apartheid―a brutal system of segregation similar to American Jim Crow laws. Mama Africa, as they called her, raised her voice to help combat injustice. Charly Palmer is a graphic designer, illustrator, and fine artist who studied art and design at the American Academy of Art and the School of the Art Institute, both in Chicago. Mama Africa! is his first picture book. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Homecoming: The Windows and Mirrors of Black Portraiture
A Historical Photographic Exhibition
Monday, February 24, 2019 - Sunday, May 19, 2019 
In recognition of Black History Month (2019) and its 2019 theme Black Migrations,the Auburn Avenue Research Library (AARL) will host the photographic exhibition Homecoming: The Windows and Mirrors of Black Portraiture, featuring selected images from AARL's archival collection. Homecoming: The Windows and Mirrors of Black Portraiture is a visualized metaphorical extension of the term migration, that emphasizes the use of portrait photography of and by Black people to construct and inhabit new social realities. This exhibition explores Black Portraiture as a transformative tool of self-representation and communal cultural preservation. In addition to mirroring the aesthetic aspirational sentiment within the Black Diasporic experience; these selected portraits also craft a compelling visual window into the radical self-reimaging of Blackness by the descendants of enslaved Africans, liberated from the White Eurocentric gaze. Curated by AARL staff this exhibition is made up of selected images from the African American Family History Association’s (AAFHA) Homecoming: African American Family History in Georgia photographic collection originally curated by Carole Merrit. This collection focuses on images of Black Georgia families from 1750 to the twentieth century. The mission of the AAFHA was "to engage the public in the research and appreciation of the family history of a people whose heritage has generally been unrecognized." This exhibit is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Atlanta: Remembrances Beyond the Veil:
The Art of Mary Parks Washington
Community Workshops and Live Performance
Monday, March 11, 2019 - Sunday, May 26, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library (AARL) is proud to present a fine art exhibition, featuring part of the AARL's archived collection of works by Mary Parks Washington, Atlanta: Remembrances Beyond the Veil, The Art of Mary Parks Washington.   Curated by Charmaine Minniefield, Atlanta: Remembrances Beyond the Veil is a historized semiautobiographical exhibition thoughtfully collaged from the personal ephemera, communal memory and artistic vision of Mary Parks Washington. A familial reminiscence of her coming of age in Atlanta, this exhibition is a compelling visual reconstruction of a vanishing Black Mecca, with a profound contemporary relevance that peers deep into what W.E.B. Du Bois coined the “Black World beyond the veil”. Mary Parks Washington was born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 20, 1924. Her artistic talent was first recognized by her teachers at Booker T. Washington High School. Washington attended Spelman College where she majored in art and studied under three prominent artist; sculptors Elizabeth Prophet, William Artist, and the painter Hale Woodruff. This exhibition is from the AARL Fine Art Collection and the Mary Parks Washington personal papers, etc. and available for public research.
This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Say Her name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
Documentary Film screening
2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 16, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in collaboration with the World Workers Party, will screen the documentary, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland. In 2015, Sandra Bland, a politically active 28-year-old black woman from Chicago was arrested for a traffic violation in a small Texas town. Three days later, Sandra was found hanging from a noose in her jail cell. Though ruled a suicide, her death sparked allegations of racially-motivated police murder, and Sandra became a poster child for activists nationwide, leaving millions to question, “What really happened to Sandra Bland?” Following the film, there will be a discussion led by Monica Moorehead, a former presidential candidate of the Workers World Party. Monica is well known for her active participation in many liberation struggles, especially those impacting the Black community and women. She is a founder and organizer for imprisoned political activist and journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal. WRFG 89.3 FM has been Atlanta’s community radio station, an independent, listener-supported, non-profit media outlet for local musicians, artists, community voices and progressive ideas for over four decades. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
After Wakanda II: Towards Bridging the Middle Passage
Community Engagement Panel
3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 17, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in collaboration with the Baton Foundation Inc., will host a dialogue about contemporary relationships between Black Americans and Africans titled, After Wakanda: Toward Bridging the Middle Passage. For many Black people in the United States and around the world, the 2018 blockbuster movie, Black Panther, was a watershed moment. Seldom had Hollywood portrayed Black people, particularly women, in such positive and empowering ways. Blacks flocked to movie theaters in record numbers not only to see themselves on the silver screen but also to be seen. Many moviegoers wore African garments and Black Power memorabilia from the 1960s. This seemed to be Black Hollywood’s “Barack Obama” moment. Black Panther removed the scab from a centuries-long wound between Black Americans and Africans. Perhaps unknowingly, the movie’s lead characters,and first cousins, T’Challa and Killmonger, brought the relevancy and pain of this wound into relief. Since the movie opened last February, Black people around the country have engaged in conversations about the elusive relationship between Africans born and raised on the African Continent, and those born and raised in the Diaspora–particularly, the United States. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Lighting the Fires of Freedom
African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement
Lecture & Book Signing
7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 21, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in partnership with the Southern Center for Human Rights, will host author Janet Dewart Bell, who will discuss her publication, Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement. In Lighting the Fires of Freedom, Janet Dewart Bell shines a light on women ’s all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism, as Bell vividly captures their inspiring voices. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the  Civil Rights Act of 1968, Lighting the Fires of Freedom is a vital document for understanding the Civil Rights Movement, and an enduring testament to the vitality of women’s leadership, during one of the most dramatic periods of American history. Janet Dewart Bell is a social justice activist with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University. She founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law. An award-winning television and radio producer, she lives in New York City. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free marriage in the Nineteenth Century
Lecture & Book Signing
3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 24, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in partnership with the Baton Foundation, Inc., will host Dr. Tera W. Hunter, who will discuss her publication, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century. Bound in Wedlock is the first comprehensive history of African American marriage in the nineteenth century. Uncovering the experiences of African American spouses in plantation records, legal and court documents, and pension files, Dr. Hunter reveals the myriad ways couples adopted, adapted, revised, and rejected white Christian ideas of marriage. Setting their own standards for conjugal relationships, enslaved husbands and wives were creative and, of necessity, practical in starting and supporting families under conditions of uncertainty and cruelty. Dr. Tera W. Hunter is the Edwards Professor of American History and Professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University. Professor Hunter attended Duke University where she graduated with Distinction in History. She received an MPhil. in history from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Yale. Hunter has received numerous fellowships and grants, including the National Humanities Center Fellowship and a Mary I. Bunting Institute fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.
None of the Above:
The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public School Cheating Scandal
Discussion & Book Signing
6:00 p.m Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Auburn Avenue Research Library, in collaboration with Charis Books & More, will host educator Shani Robinson and Journalist Anna Simonton, as they discuss their newest publication, None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed and the Criminalization of Educators. Writing with journalist Anna Simonton, Shani Robinson offers a personal story of false accusations and a trial gone wrong within a larger story of political machinations and student performance as pawns in a racist game. The author relates her story amid decades of context on the privatizing of both public schools and prisons, the connections between real estate and public education, the racism underlying urban renewal, and the other factors that have left the Atlanta schools where they are. Shani Robinson, an alumna of Tennessee State University, is an advocate for troubled youth and their families. She taught in the Atlanta Public Schools system for three years. Anna Simonton is an independent journalist based in Atlanta and is an editor for Scalawag magazine. Her work has been published by the Nation, In These Times, and AlterNet, among others. This event is free and open to the public at 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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