Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month and the Alexandria Campus celebrated with a batch of recommended books.

We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents of former slaves and enrolled in high school at age twenty, he graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. In his studies he was disturbed to find that history books largely ignored the black American population, and it was not until the 20th century that they gained respectable presence in history books. Woodson determined to write black Americans into the nation’s history. In 1915 he established an organization to promote the scientific study of black life and history, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. However, February has much more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its significance in black American history; each day of the month has its own accomplishments. After launching Negro History week (which became Black History Month), Woodson chose to provide a theme for each year to focus the public’s attention.

Barber, John T.  Black Digital Elite: African American Leaders of the Information Revolution. E185.615.B297 2006

Brodie, James Michael.  Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators. E185.96.B835 1993

Edmonds, Anthony O.  Muhammad Ali: A Biography.  GV1132.A4 E43 2006

Fritts, Ron and Ken Vail.  Ella Fitzgerald: The Chick Webb Years and Beyond.  ML420.F52 F74 2003

Gates, Jr., Henry Louis and Cornel West.  The African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country.  E185.96.G38 2000

Gibbs, C.R.  Black Inventors: From Africa to America.  T39.G458 1999
Haber, Louis.  Black Pioneers of Science and Invention.  Q141.H2 1991
Hughes, Langston.  I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiography.  PS3515.U274 Z466 19

Kremer, Gary R. George Washington Carver: A Biography.  S417.C3 K736 2011

Kessler, James H.  Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century. REF Q141.D535 1996

Lobb, Nancy.  16 Extraordinary African Americans. ESL E185.L83x 1995

Mabee, Carleton.  Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend. E185.97.T8M32 1993
Nightfighters: The True Story of the 332nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegee Airmen. AV D790.N54x 2003
Sluby, Patricia Carter.  The Inventive Spirit of African Americans.  T39.S57 2004
Wilkinson, Brenda.  African American Women Writers.  ESL PS153.N5 W49 2000

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