Observe Black History Month

February is Black History month, defined as “an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.” Below are a selection of new books and videos in our collection that will help us observe Black History Month. Click on the title to check availability in our catalog.

Some books cover the entire spectrum of Black contributions to American history

American Founders: How people of African descent established freedom in the new world by Christina Proenza-Coles
Defining Moments in Black History: Reading between the lies by Dick Gregory
Strange Fruit, Volume 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill

Other books tell us about the Black experience at a specific point in time

The Black Cabinet: The untold story of African Americans and politics during the age of Roosevelt by Jill Watts
The Last Negroes at Harvard: the class of 1963 and the 18 young men who changed Harvard forever by Kent Garrett
Making Our Way Home: the Great Migration and the Black American dream
River of Blood: American Slavery from the People Who Lived It: Interviews and photographs of formerly enslaved African Americans
Vanguard: How Black women broke barriers, won the vote, and insisted on equality for all

Sometimes the best way to learn about history is through one person’s life

Binga: the rise and fall of Chicago’s first Black banker by Don Hayner
Black Radical: the life and times of William Montoe Trotter by Kerri K. Greenidge
The World According to Fannie Davis: My mother’s life in the Detroit numbers by Bridgett M. Davis
The Heart of a Woman: the life and music of Florence B. Price by Rae Linda Brown
Howard Thurman and the Disinherited: a religious biography by Paul Harvey
Invisible: The forgotten story of the Black woman lawyer who took down America’s most powerful mobster by Stephen L. Carter

If you learn better or prefer to explore through movies, try these titles:

Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History
Black History Activators: the most prolific figures and events of Black history
John Lewis: Good trouble
Slavery and the Making of America
The Woman in the Iron Coffin: the life of a free Black woman in 19th century New York

And if you want to learn more about Black History month, take a look at these informative websites:

African American History Month beautifully curated by the Library of Congress and other governmental organizations
Origins of Black History Month. Did you know there was a Chicago connection?

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