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Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated every February in the United States to commemorate and celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. Black History Month began in 1915 with “Negro History Week” started by historian Carter G. Woodson. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, and it has been celebrated annually ever since.
The Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

Explore a diverse range of featured items, including People of Prominence from each display category. Click on the links to see online resources, book lists, and People of Prominence posters.

Biography/Memoir Black leaders have influenced all aspects of our culture and world. Reading about their lives allows us to recognize their struggles, celebrate their triumphs, and appreciate their greatness.

Black Joy “Amplifying black joy is not about dismissing or creating an ‘alternative’ black narrative that ignores the realities of our collective pain; rather, it is about holding the pain and injustices we experience as black folks around the world in tension with the joy we experience in pain’s midst. It’s about using that joy as an entry into understanding the oppressive forces we navigate through as a means to imagine and create a world free of them.” – Kleaver Cruz

Cook Books From soul food to BBQ, Black culture has shaped the American (and international) culinary landscape. These books include American Southern, Creole, African, and modern cookbooks from prominent Black chefs, as well as books focused on the nutritional anthropology of Black food culture.

Fiction Fiction helps us relate to people with lives different from our own – whether in a different historical, cultural, or even magical setting. These books represent a diverse range of Black voices in fiction; from books that are considered classics, to contemporary and modern genre fiction.

History Throughout history there have been unsung Black heroes who have made significant contributions to life in the United States, often with little or no recognition for their work. We seek to celebrate these individuals and their works.

Gospel, rap, rock ‘n roll, hip hop, rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, and every other genre of music have been created, shaped, and influenced by Black culture, musicians, and performers throughout history. Without Black creators, we would not have any of the sound we have today in music. Polley Music Library: Black History Month

Poetry With everything from the Harlem Renaissance to spoken word, the Black community has had an undeniable and profound influence on poetry in the United States and around the world.


Oprah : 30 Books By Black Authors You Should Read in Your Lifetime
Shondaland: 25 Must Read Books for Black History Month
Well Read Black Girl: Reading List
New York Times: Ibram X Kendi’s Anti-Racist Reading List
NBC: The Best Black Queer Books, According to Black LGBTQ Leaders
BET:  10 Must Read Books Celebrating the Black LGBTQ+ Community
Penguin Random House: 33 Books By Contemporary Black Authors 12 Poems to Read for Black History Month
The Root: 20 Black Poets You Should Know (and Love)
Black Excellence: 25 Black Poets for Your Soul
Black America Web: The Top 10 Black Biographies
National Book Review: 10 Memoirs Everyone Should Read This Black History Month
Goodreads: Books Sharing the Joy and Love of Black Lives
Strand Books Store: Revolutionary Black Women Authors
Growing Places: 10 African American Cookbooks You Need in Your Kitchen
Delish: 15 Best Cookbooks by Black Chefs and Authors
Comic Years: Top 10 Black Genre Authors
New York Times: Genre Fiction by Black Writers
Publisher’s Weekly: Out of This World: Shining Light on Black Authors in Every Genre
Strand Book Store: Genre Fiction by Authors of Color You Won’t Regret Picking Up
Book Riot: Horror By Black Authors
LAMDA: 25 Black Queer Books to Honor Protests and Pride Month


Young Adult Book List
National Geographic Kids: Celebrating Black History Month
PBS Kids: Black History Month
Reading Rockets: Celebrating and Learning about Black History and Culture
Scholastic: Can Kids Change the World?
Video: Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Doors
Video: Bessie Coleman Story Time
School Library Journal: Poetry for Black History Month
Black Leaders Movement LNK
Black Leaders Movement: Anti-Racism Reading List


Videos featuring Black History topics and people

Video: An Interview with Gwendolyn Brooks
Video: Inauguration Poem ‘The Hill We Climb’
Video: Langston Hughes and His Poetry
Video: Roxane Gay The Selected Works of Audre Lorde
Video: Audre Lorde; Radical Care and Political Warfare
Video: Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks About New Film of His Book
Video: Joe Randall’s Crab Cake Recipe
Video: An Interview with Chef Edna Lewis
Video: Slave Chef to the Washingtons
Video: Leah Chase The Queen of Creole Cuisine
Video: Chef Marcus Samuelsson on Celebrating Black Cooking
Video: Scifi Stories That Imagine a Future Africa
Video: Why Should You Read Sci-fi Superstar Octavia E. Butler? – Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey
Video: How Octavia Butler Discovered Science Fiction |
Video: National Book Foundation Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Walter Mosley
Video: A Conversation with bell hooks
Video: Speaking Freely with bell hooks
Video: Black Female Voices. Who is listening?
Video: Bass Reeves The Lone Ranger
Video: Bessie Coleman First African American Aviator
Video: Remembering the Tuskegee Airmen
Video: The Tenacious Tuskegee
Video: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson
Video: A Look at the History Behind Black History Month
Video: Civil Rights Then and Now