Underground Books: Home
Let’s Read Oak Park
Let’s Read Oak Park is presented by St. HOPE for elementary school aged children to explore books and participate in hands on activities with an emphasis on cultural themes. Students will engage in interactive book readings, and select a free book of their choice to take home and encourage reading together as a family!
Each child will receive a FREE book to take home from Underground Books.
Author Talk and Book Signing with Dr. Marilyn Nelson
About the Event
Dr. Marilyn Nelson is an American poet and author or translator of over twenty books and five chapbooks ranging from historical subjects to poetry for adults and children. A former Sacramento resident, Dr. Nelson is a graduate of Hiram Johnson High School and UC Davis, professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut, and the former poet laureate of Connecticut.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
6PM – Author Talk
7PM – Book Signing
FREE – Author talk and book signing
Juneteenth Block Party @ 40 Acres
St. HOPE presents the 3rd annual Juneteenth Block Party at 40 Acres on Saturday, June 17 from 4pm-9pm. Join us for FREE activities for the entire family.
The 40 Acres Art and Cultural Center in Oak Park is a cultural cornerstone in Sacramento and perfect location to celebrate the nationally celebrated Juneteenth holiday. Come on out as we shut down Third Avenue and 35th Streets for a neighborhood block party!
99% of Sac High Seniors Accepted to 4-Year Colleges
Graduation season is upon us and I’m proud to report that 99% of Sac High seniors were accepted into four-year colleges in 2023 including all nine University of California campuses and 20 out of 23 California State University campuses. This is an achievement worth celebrating! We will be congratulating our Sac High seniors as they walk across the stage at their graduation on June 3. I know they have a bright future and I can’t wait to see them succeed in college next year.
Celebrating a Milestone
President's Message - 4.25.23
As we head outside to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, I am reminded how wonderful the city of trees is and all that Sacramento – especially Oak Park – has to offer. The 40 Acres complex which has been a cultural gathering place for two decades is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For 20 years, this landmark has served as a place where families come to enjoy a meal and socialize and be immersed in culture and entertainment.
Celebrating and Advancing Women
President's Message - 3.28.23
Throughout March, I’ve been reflecting on the power of women in leadership. I’m proud that more and more of our elected and business leaders – especially those in the Sacramento region - are female and hope that we can continue on this trajectory.
Scholars Success and Go Dragons!
As we end Black History Month, I wanted to share some exciting news about our Sac High scholars who are shining in both the classroom and on the court. We are proud to be a part of Cal State Chico’s Fulbright Program and Sac High Principal Christina Williams-James shared our scholars’ academic successes in an opinion editorial in the Sacramento Observer. Our boys basketball team had a very exciting season making it to round one of the 2023 CIF State Boys Basketball Championships.
Human Rights Leader Ben Jealous To Speak Locally
Former NAACP President To Host Book-Signing Event At Underground Books
Ben Jealous, one of America’s modern-day advocates for human rights, justice, and the youngest person to serve as NAACP President and CEO, is scheduled to host a book signing event Monday, Feb. 20, at Underground Books. Jealous will be in conversation with OBSERVER publisher Larry Lee, followed by a book signing for his new book, “Never Forget Our People Were Always Free.” The event will start at 6 p.m.
Paving the Way for a Brighter Future
Black History month is an important time of reflection and connectivity. It is a time to honor the past as we recognize how previous struggles connect to the present day and pave the way for a brighter future. An important part of this includes ensuring that our youth are connected to leaders who look like them and are from their communities. Hearing about their life journeys, struggles, career aspirations, and successes shows them that they too can achieve what they set their minds to.
Men who dress up as Black Santa Claus spread joy, diversity and inclusion for the holidays
As Santa Claus jingled up the steps to the Richardson family’s suburban Atlanta home on a chilly evening, two eager little faces appeared behind the opened door to greet him.
A jovial “Merry Christmas!” emerged from the white beard of Andre Parker, a professional Black Santa, as a boy and girl of the same complexion screamed with excitement in their pajamas.
Black Santas such as Santa Andre, as he’s known to children, are growing in popularity amid a rise in diversity and representation among traditional holiday characters.
Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy a Good Film
September 6, 2022
The Inaugural five-day “Oak Park Black Film Festival” kicks off Sept 7 at the Guild Theater.
The first annual Oak Park Black Film Festival is just days away – and it’s a must-see.
Oak Park Juneteenth Block Party Leaves Community Hopeful, Energized
CBS 13 - June 19, 2022
Juneteenth Celebration In Oak Park Promotes Opportunity For Change
8-Year-Old Entrepreneur Finds A Sweet Spot
On a triple-digit heat day in Sacramento, what’s better than an ice cold glass of lemonade?
Answer: supporting Achazia, an 8-year-old entrepreneur.
As the creator of Sippin’ Pretti Lemonade, Achazia has become one of the city’s youngest entrepreneurs. Founded in August 2021, the traveling pop-up business has delighted Sacramentans with homemade lemonade pouches for just $5. There are 25 flavors, including original, black cherry, watermelon, and a mystery flavor that has been guessed by only one customer.
Oak Park’s 1st annual Black Film Festival coming to Guild Theater
The 1st annual Black Film Festival for Oak Park will debut at the Guild Theater in Sacramento.
Sacramento-area bookstores celebrate their day with tour for bibliophiles (April 30)
The Sacramento Bee
Underground Books manager Georgia West, commonly known as “Mother Rose,” of Oak Park, admires a photo of a child with “Black Santa” during the second annual Christmas in Oak Park event Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, at the bookstore and neighboring The Guild Theater. “For kids to see a Santa Claus that looks like them for a change … I mean any Santa is good, but I just think we need some options,” West said. “It’s a diverse community, and so we want diversity, we want everybody to come,” she added, “but I just think, for us, this is a great option and a great event.”
‘A place where we can show Black excellence’: Inside Sacramento region’s only Black-owned bookstore
KCRA - February 3, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
The Sacramento region’s only Black-owned bookstore can be found in the heart of Oak Park.
Underground Books opened its doors in 2003 to fill a need in its community: There are no public libraries in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood.
“If people don’t benefit, if the community doesn’t benefit, then we’re doing something wrong,” Cassandra Jennings told KCRA 3.
Let’s Read Oak Park
Launch of New St. HOPE Reading Initiative
With a new focus on racial injustice, there is a spotlight on the sobering statistics in the reading levels between black and white students. In 2019, The Nation’s Report Card from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that just 15% of Black 8th graders were at or above reading “proficiency.” About half didn’t even reach the “basic” reading benchmark.
Underground Books: Gift Ideas
December 16, 2021
Still need ideas for gift giving? Ashley Williams is in Sacramento at Underground Books giving you great book gift giving ideas.
Colour of Music Festival Debuts in Sacramento November 10-13
We are thrilled to welcome the Colour of Music Festival to Sacramento! Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival has showcased the talents of black classical musicians and composers and highlighted their impact and historical significance on American and world culture. The Festival began with performances in Charleston, South Carolina and is now bringing some of the top black classical musicians, trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories and universities in the world, to Sacramento.
Journey to the Future with St. HOPE’s New CEO, Cassandra Jennings
Dear St. HOPE friends, family and community,
I feel so blessed to be at St. HOPE and back in the Oak Park neighborhood in this season of my personal and professional journey, so I can continue to pour into the community that has been a part of my life for over three decades. My kids attended school in Oak Park; I worship in Oak Park; and both my husband and I worked for many years to improve the lives of Oak Park residents and to support the mission of St. HOPE to revitalize the community. I recall some of the initiatives I worked on over the years, including street clean ups, first time homebuyer programs, the St. HOPE after school program,
To & Through College Starts Today with PS7 Elementary TK/Kindergarten
Your scholar’s journey to and through college starts today with PS7 Elementary’s TK/Kindergarten program. Offering a FULL day program for both TK & Kindergarten, scholars are in school from 7:30AM to 3:00PM. PS7 Elementary also offers an after-school program, which runs until 6:00 PM, and provides enrichment opportunities such as Sac Theatre Company and Music In Motion.