February is Black History Month and here at the PSC Library we’re devoting our monthly display to books about Black History. One great title is Lift Every Voice by Patricia Sullivan, which chronicles the work of the NAACP to fight against racial discrimination from the early 1900s through the Civil Rights Era. A solid primer on the fight for civil rights, this is a great title for anyone to start with when learning more about the history of black Americans.
The first Black History Month was celebrated in 1926 by historian Carter Woodson. He picked February because it included the birthdays of both the president who ended slavery, Abraham Lincoln, and one of the former slaves who fought hardest to end it, Frederick Douglass. By the 1950s and ’60s, the month-long celebration had been reduced to only a week, but was still observed around the country and used as an opportunity to bring to light the positive contributions of African-Americans to our country. In 1976, for the nation’s bicentennial and the holiday’s 50th anniversary, Black History Month was restored to the month-long celebration that we know today.
Besides books on the Civil Rights Era, we have titles on the Underground Railroad and the fight to end slavery, biographies of famous black Americans, stories of black soldiers who fought for the United States in various wars, and other important stories of the contributions of black Americans to our nation’s history and culture.