Picture: Bessie Coleman, first African American pilot
Origin of Black History Month
February is Black History Month, also called African American History Month. Celebrate the history and contributions of African American people with your library!
The study of the history of African Americans originated with Carter G. Woodson, a "prolific scholar" who "systematically democratized, popularized, and legitimized the study of African American history in U.S. educational institutions and popular culture during the era of Jim Crow segregation."
Mildred Jeter Loving - Challenged U.S. laws against interracial marriage along with her white husband Richard Loving.
Although the history of the African American people is about much more than the slave trade, it is important to note that many Americans lack knowledge about the true horrors of slavery and how the past still impacts race relations in our society today.
NPR posted an article about the failure of K-12 schools to teach the full magnitude of slavery's effects on U.S. history, including the secession of the South from the Union during the Civil War. They reference a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center entitled Teaching Hard History: American Slavery that tackles some of the issues of why teachers have found it hard to include this content in their curriculum and recommends how to move forward from here.
The library has resources about this to get you started: