In February of 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves and the founder of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History established Negro History Week to honor and recognize African American achievements to American history. In 1976 the week was expanded into a month by the United States, thereby designating February to be Black History Month. The month of February was chosen because it is the birth month of both the abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) and President Abraham Lincoln. Woodson also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
It’s important to remember that African American history isn’t about just one month, nor is it about dates and a few facts and figures. It’s a celebration, and it’s about acknowledgment and understanding of the contributions made, and about respecting that people matter. And it’s about remembering that Black History is American History, and that this is a nation of many stories, many angles and beliefs, and many colors.
Resources from the internet:
Black History Month at History.com.
African American History Month at the Library Of Congress, National Endowment For The Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institute, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
The National Endowment for the Humanities has a nice collection of resources and lesson plans for Black History Month.
Historic places in the Civil Rights movement.
The origin of Black History Month.
The history of Jim Crow.
Black History Month internet resources for kids.
Articles on Black History and Heritage Month from the Smithsonian.
Black History Month resource center from BlackState.com
A Harlem Renaiisance timeline from the Schomburg Center.
100 Famous African American men and women from the 20th century, a database of African American inventors, a timeline of black political history, and puzzles for all ages from About.com.
We would like to take this month to highlight, suggest, and remind you of the many print and electronic resources here at the library that may be of interest to anyone researching, learning, or just reacquainting themselves with African-American culture and history.