African American History Month

Almost every year since 1975, it has become customary for the President to issue a message recognizing the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by its African American citizens. This year, the President issued a Proclamation designating February as National African American History Month 2012. The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to African American History Month.

Every year, the theme changes and this year, it is “Black Women in America: Culture and History” to honor African American women and the roles they played in the shaping of our nation. The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
(ASALH), urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of their contribution to the nation. This theme combines February’s celebration of Black History Month with March’s celebration of Women’s History Month. The theme is announced annually by ASALH in Washington DC, which also offers “theme kits” for every African American History year. A list of past and future themes for Black History Month is available at this page of the ALALH website.

The Brooklyn Law School Library has in its collection a book by Monica Parker, an African American lawyer, Harvard graduate and renowned career coach titled What It Takes: How Women of Color Can Thrive Within the Practice of Law (Call #KF299.A35 P37 2010). The book is in three parts with 11 chapters: Part One: How Did We Get Here? Chapter 1 Our Glorious History, Chapter 2 Our Not-So-Glorious Present: The Intersection of Race and Gender, Part Two: The Potential Minefields and Time-Tested Strategies for Getting Around Them, Chapter 3 It’s All About the Work, Chapter 4 Relationships at Work, Chapter 5 Relationships with Clients, Chapter 6 I Can’t Be Being Discriminated Against, Can I? Chapter 7 Assimilate or Not? Part Three: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Chapter 8 The Imposter Complex, Chapter 9 Is It Our Responsibility to Uphold the Race? Chapter 10 On Becoming a Golden Child Chapter 11 Counting the Hours, Minutes, and Seconds.