Untold American Stories: Black History Month


February vacation week at The Mary Baker Eddy Library

We are all capable of more than we do. The influence or action of Soul confers a freedom, which explains the phenomena of improvisation and the fervor of untutored lips.

—Mary Baker Eddy


For further information on educational offerings in connection with this program:
Marie Palladino, Educational Programs Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 617-450-7203

Tuesday, February 18 to Friday, February 21
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join us for a fun-filled week of educational programming, as we explore true and inspiring stories of achievement. In collaboration with Sweet Blackberry® and local artists, the Library will offer morning and afternoon activities centered on aviation, invention, dance, and artmaking. These will complement short film screenings. And don’t forget to explore the Mapparium®—it’s free all day for everyone 17 and younger!

Schedule of workshops

Each day will feature a morning and an afternoon interactive workshop, as well as drop-in art activities and Mapparium® tours. Workshops require advance registration. Other activities do not.

For questions about registration, please contact Teddy at [email protected].

Tuesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 20
10:30 a.m.– 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story (dance workshop)

Hear the motivational story of Janet Collins (1917–2003), the first African
American prima ballerina—and learn some inspiring dance moves. When the world-renowned Ballets Russes held auditions in 1934, Janet could hardly wait for her moment to shine. But she soon learned that in order to share her gifts she would have to blaze a new path through the barriers of discrimination. Narrated by Chris Rock. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Coretta Scott King Book Award winner.

Tuesday Teaching Artists:

Thursday Teaching Artists:

Registration is required.

Wednesday, February 19
10:30 a.m.–12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Garrett’s Gift (invention workshop)

Learn about the remarkable life of African American inventor Garrett Morgan (1877–1963). As a young boy, Garrett didn’t know what he was good at. After moving to a big city, he saw a series of automobile collisions, which spurred him to invent the three-position traffic signal. Then create something fun and new with creative challenges provided by the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s Camp Invention (Morgan is an inductee). 

Registration is required.

Friday, February 21
10:30 a.m.– 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

Flying Free: The Bessie Coleman Story (aviation workshop)

Hear the true story of Bessie Coleman (1892–1926), the first African
American woman to obtain a pilot’s license. Bessie grew up during a time when US aviation wouldn’t let her learn to fly, because of both her gender and race. But that didn’t prevent her from accomplishing her dream. Then learn about other aviation heroes and make your own flying contraption with our staff and guest educators from the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.

Registration is required.


Every day at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.:  “The Journey of Henry ‘Box’ Brown” (28 minutes) 

Tuesday and Thursday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon: “Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story” (17 minutes)

Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon: “Garrett’s Gift” (20 minutes) 

Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon: “Flying Free: The Bessie Coleman Story” (19 minutes)

Registration is not required.


All days: 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m

Crafts inspired by artists Nick Cave, Whitfield Lovell, Ekua Holmes, Faith Ringgold, and Howardena Pindell.

Registration is not required. Last projects for the day begin at 2:40 p.m.



All days: 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m
First come, first served.

World of Ideas (Grades 6–12 and adults): 10:20 a.m.–4:40 p.m., except for 12:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.

What’s In A Map? (Grades K–5): 12:20 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.

The Mapparium is free for visitors ages 17 and younger.


Sweet Blackberry

Bringing little known stories of African American achievement to children everywhere!

sblogo1-150x150Sweet Blackberry’s stories illustrate the concept that tremendous obstacles are actually opportunities for greatness. Youth of all races and ethnicities feel a sense of shared history when they learn about the real people whose lives and work impact their everyday lives.

Session registration

  • To inquire about registration for groups, wait-listing, or cancellations, please contact Teddy Crecelius, the Library’s Group Tours Coordinator, at [email protected] or 617-450-7330.
  • All children must be registered to participate in daily workshops.
  • Although all children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone, session registration is for children only—please do not include adults in your final registration count.
  • All registration is on a first-come, first served basis. Spaces fill quickly and have limited seating.


Visiting the Library

  • Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early for a workshop session. This will ensure we can accommodate all our visitors. All workshops meet in the Library’s Book Nook, near the 200 Massachusetts Avenue entrance.
  • All workshops meet in the Library’s Book Nook, near the 200 Massachusetts Avenue entrance.
  • Art activities do not require registration. Please feel free to join them at your convenience. They meet in the Publishing House Lobby.
  • All activities, including Mapparium tours, are free for everyone ages 17 and younger.



  • We suggest that all chaperones review our Chaperone Guide. before visiting.
  • We strongly suggest that groups of 10 or more (including chaperones) sign up in advance for a Mapparium tour.
  • To register groups of 10 or more, please contact Teddy Crecelius, the Library’s Group Tour Coordinator, at [email protected] or 617-450-7330.
  • Free bus parking is available for up to three hours on Huntington Avenue westbound, adjacent to the Christian Science Plaza. Drop-off is at the Library’s 200 Massachusetts Avenue entrance. Please do not idle buses on Huntington Avenue.

Directions and parking

  • Find driving and public transportation directions to the Library here.
  • Limited garage parking for $17 is available to Library visitors with ticket validation. You must validate your parking ticket at the reception desk when you leave the Library and exit the garage within 20 minutes.
  • The entrance to the underground parking garage is near the intersection of Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues, next to Horticultural Hall.

For further information on educational offerings in connection with this program, please contact Marie Palladino, Educational Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] or 617-450-7203.

All images are used by permission of Sweet Blackberry © 2020. All rights reserved.


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