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Author to help celebrate Black History Month

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    Meet author Don Tate at the PHPL.

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the many achievements of African Americans in our nation’s past. Black History Month has its origins in 1915, when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History to celebrate the achievements of black people.

The group went on to sponsor a national Negro History Week in 1926, to be celebrated the second week of February, a week marked by the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Decades later, in the 1960s, Negro History Week expanded to Black History Month on many college campuses. In 1976 a presidential degree proclaimed February as Black History Month. Our Youth Department strives

Our Youth Department strives to both honor and celebrate our nation’s black history throughout the year, not simply in February. Our collection reflects the black experience both past and present.

We firmly believe that children of color benefit enormously from books that mirror their image and experiences and the experiences of those who have gone before them. Such books were not always available for children.

When Don Tate was a little boy in Des Moines, Iowa, he saw only white people in children’s books. The world beneath the cover of every story was white, with no place for a little black boy like him. Don remembers that only when he read the encyclopedia did he discover a multicultural world.

When Don grew up, he strove to change the face of children’s books so that children of color could see and be inspired by others like themselves.

Today he is an award-winning author and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children. He is also one of the founding hosts of the blog The Brown Bookshelf – a blog designed to push awareness of the myriad African American voices writing for young readers, with book reviews, author and illustrator interviews.

Don frequently speaks at schools, public libraries and writing conferences and has participated in book festivals throughout the country.

Don’s books often spotlight little-known, yet fascinating black people who persevered against seemingly insurmountable challenges during the period of American slavery.

He has stated that “children’s books needed to show a range of experience, including suffering and enduring.”

Books Written and/or Illustrated by Don Tate include:

“Carter Reads the Newspaper,” written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Don Tate. Readers of all ages will be inspired by this biography of Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month.

“Hope’s Gift,” written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Don Tate. Hope, an enslaved child during the Civil War, keeps her faith that her father will return after he runs away to join the U.S. Colored Troops and that freedom will come at last.

“It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw,” written by Don Tate, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This New Voices Award Honor book introduces us to Bill Traylor, considered to be one of the important self-taught American folk artists. Readers will find his story of humility and perseverance deeply moving.


Our library is honored to welcome Don Tate on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 10:30 a.m. for a highly engaging and entertaining presentation.

Copies of Don’s books will be available for purchase and he will be happy to autograph them for you!


Are you unable to come to our weekly baby and toddler storytimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays? Now you can enjoy storytime from the comfort of your home!

In partnership with Boerne Radio (KBRN FM 103.9 and AM 1500) our library now offers a radio storytime every Saturday at 9 a.m. Tune in to enjoy a dramatic reading of a quality story suitable for the whole family.

We are most grateful to Boerne Radio for this opportunity to bring the wonder of literature to the community.


The library is so fortunate to be supported by two amazing groups.

The Boerne Public Library Foundation is providing $10,000 for our library exhibits in the gallery and $12,000 to the BOOST afterschool children’s programs, plus a new AWE Early Literacy computer station. We’re so grateful!

The Friends of the Boerne Public Library have contributed $22,875 to go toward our ESL classes, digital magazines and comics, “Wonderbook” read-alongs and more books for the adult section. Way to go, Friends! We really

Way to go, Friends! We really couldn’t accomplish as much as we do without their generous help.


We are always delighted to welcome families and help you find that perfect book. And remember too that outreach

And remember too that outreach visits continue all year long. Do please contact me if you would like a visit to your school or daycare center.(keremes@boernelibrary. org)


You can call us at 830-249-3053 or visit our website at Email us

Track us down on Facebook, where you can like the Library or Patrick Heath Public Children’s Corner. We are also on Pinterest and Instagram.

To maintain your library account, go to and click on My Account on the lefthand side of the website.