Black History Month

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Greetings from ALASC, Melony here! 

This month, as you may know, is Black History Month, a time where we can all join together as allies in equality and justice efforts for African American communities in the United States. This month’s dedication was originated by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who organized the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1915. 

This month aligns with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln* – which is the reason why this month was chosen for Black History Month. Both of these men are renowned for contributing to the abolitionist movement as well as for being literary/political figures in their own right. Through their life’s work, these men contributed paramount, rhetorical texts and speeches to counter the horrific rationales that were used by pro-slavery individuals and institutions that were the dominant systems of power of the time.

By proposing “radical” ideas that called for the emancipation of slavery and the rights of those enslaved, abolitionist thinkers were able to start a social and political movement. These movements led to the cessation of slavery and further sparked the beginning of further civil rights movements. As we now know, the fight is all but over. And so this month, by celebrating the advancement towards true equality in America, we can look forward to brighter horizons for all marginalized communities. 

By dedicating February to the recognition, remembrance, and appreciation of the hard work that pivotal individuals contributed to the equality of African American communities, we share powerful information, great for becoming allies in the fight for equality, ourselves! 

Librarians and our libraries play an important role in the enthusiastic sharing of writers, agencies, resources, quotes, art, and more, that uplift the fight for equality and move steadily towards the reparations that are still needed for racial and social justice. 

We hope you’ll join ALASC in appreciating some of our favorite Black History Month-related resources, found below!

Emily Espanol’s new favorite library website, Programming Librarian, features an amazing collection of resources to use in your library!

Samantha Harteau, who works primarily in the youth section of her library, recommends books for young readers by various authors, such as: Vashti Harrison, Tami Charles, Grace Byers, Roda Ahmed, and Nathan Bryon!

Learn more about the aforementioned founder of Black History Month, Dr. Woodson, who himself had an incredibly inspiring life! 

For information about the Harlem Renaissance from a poetry-focused angle.

An adorable children’s titled A is for Activist, to visually and poetically inspire the budding activist in your little ones!

*Note from 2nd paragraph: While I am not alone in reserving some skepticism regarding Lincoln’s advocacy of African American communities during his time, and am much more in favor of recognizing Douglass with more ferocity than Lincoln this month – the fact remains that these two men’s birthdays provided the foundation for Dr. Woodson having devoted February to Black History Month.