Black History Month

blackhistoryTo commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.  Every year, U.S. presidents issue annual proclamations proclaiming February as National African-American History Month.  President Obama issued his proclamation on Friday February 1st, and in it said “During National African American History Month, we honor the men and women at the heart of this journey – from engineers of the Underground Railroad to educators who answered a free people’s call for a free mind, from patriots who proved that valor knows no color to demonstrators who gathered on the battlefields of justice and marched our Nation toward a brighter day.”

The Library has many biographies of renowned African Americans in its collection.  Below is a selected list.

Black revolutionary : William Patterson and the globalization of the African American freedom struggle

Thurgood Marshall : race, rights, and the struggle for a more perfect union

Becoming King : Martin Luther King, Jr. and the making of a national leader

Stepping up : the story of Curt Flood and his fight for baseball players’ rights

Rebels in law : voices in history of Black women lawyers

Clarence Thomas : a biography

Journey to justice

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007