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Learn About Black History Month

Black History Month

The United States honors the sacrifices and contributions of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month is meant to celebrate the cultural heritage, adversities, and triumphs of our country’s history. 

In 1926, the celebration began as “Negro History Week,” created by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was an African American Scholar, historian, educator, and publisher. This week was designated to promote and educate people on Black history and culture. It was meant to encourage the teaching of Black history in public schools. This idea expanded in the late 1960s and gained support and acceptance which led to this week turning into a month full of learning known as Black History Month. 

Did You Know?

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Each year also receives a theme. The 2024 theme for Black History Month is “African Americans and the Arts.” This theme is about exploring the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary, and other forms of cultural expression. 

Why February?

February was chosen because the second week of the month coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. These two played a role in shaping Black history. President Lincoln was influential in the emancipation of slaves and Douglass was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery. 

Related Books

Publisher's Summary: From A is for Advocate to Z is for Zest, each letter of the alphabet is paired with inspirational historical concepts in this 9x9-inch board book. Along with the upbeat, rhyming text covering both well-known and more obscure topics, are colorful illustrations that promote excitement and curiosity about Black American history. Covering trailblazers from A to Z but also chronologically, this book features a visual timeline with additional information for more in-depth learning on the people, places, and events discussed. From Harriet Tubman and Fanny Jackson Coppin to Amanda Gorman and Ketanji Brown Jackson, ABC Black History and Me covers more than 170 years in a short board book appropriate for the little ones. This book is not only perfect for getting toddlers comfortable with their ABCs but also for reflecting on how we are all affected by this history and how even the youngest of children will affect the future.

Publisher's Summary: Learn the incredible history of black men and women around the world, and their struggles to be free. What was a typical day for a slave? Get an in-depth look at a history that is all too often left untold.

This post was written by Faith, CPLD's BSW Student Social Worker. You can make an appointment with a social worker to discuss getting connected to community resources, applying for aid programs, or finding local, state, and federal services to help with housing, shelter, utilities, medical, family planning and family services, and much more. Schedule an appointment HERE.


A Note from CPLD Librarian, Eleka: Don't forget you can explore Black History on our many eResource applications and sites accessible from our website. Discover the Black Life in America database that is full of investigative information on social justice, politics, arts, literature, key people, and more ranging from the 1700's to present day. You can also check out the many applications, databases, and resources on our Ebooks & Databses page.


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