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Black History Month: home

February is Black History Month

Why February you ask? Well, the precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States when African-American historian Carter G. Woodson (the son of former slaves) and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week." This particular week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglas on February 14 (an escaped slave turned activist and author and one of the Abolition Movement's greatest leaders) and so these two dates had been commemorated by Black communities since the late 19th century. The civil rights movement of the 1960s helped to bring national attention and prominence to Negro History Week and that's how a week became a month-long celebration. Things were made official in 1976 when President Gerald Ford proclaimed February to be Black History Month and the rest they say was history. 

Learn about famous African Americans

African American History

African American Literature-Nonfiction

Works of fiction and poetry by African Americans

Feature Films and Documentaries

A raisin in the sun

Film of the award-winning play about a struggling black family living on Chicago's South Side and the impact of an unexpected insurance bequest. Each family member sees the bequest as the means of realizing dreams and of escape from grinding frustrations, 

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965

Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. Winner of numerous awards, Eyes on the Prize is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America.

Malcolm X

Screen version of the life of Malcolm X, who through his religious conversion to Islam, found the strength to rise up from a criminal past to become an influential civil rights leader. 

Fences

In 1950s Pittsburgh, a Black garage collector named Troy Maxon--bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro leagues--is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones. 

Hidden figures

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. 

Marshall

The Warrior Tradition tells the astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. The film chronicles the accounts of Native American warriors from their own points of view stories of service and pain, of courage and fear. 

Get out

A young Black man meet his white girlfriend's parents at their estate, only to find out that the situation is much more sinister than it appears. 

Glory road

Don Haskins, a future Hall of Fame coach of tiny Texas Western University, bucks convention by simply starting the best players he can find: history's first all-African American lineup. 

Library Databases on Black History