Black History Month is a time to recognize the many contributions Black Americans have made to the development of the United States. Started in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson & Jesse E. Moorland and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History as “Negro History Week” in 1926, it was then federally recognized as a full month in 1976 by Gerald Ford.
This year, we celebrate Black History Month through the lens of Black Arts. By looking at the artistic contributions from artists from various mediums, we see how art can be a means of resistance.
At BCLS, we are celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans all month long with events, books, and online resources.
We're connecting you to resources available on our website. You can access these databases from anywhere with a BCLS library card.
Infobase: African American History
Find famous speeches, primary documents, videos, and more in this database focused on the African Americans from slavery to today. Infobase even has a section for this year's African Americans and the Arts.
- Check out these videos on the life and performances by guitarist Jimi Hendrix.
- Read a biography or literary analysis on the works of Zora Neale Hurston, a Harlem Renaissance author.
- Recent developments in the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur can be found in the news section of his page.
- Or learn about the early stages of Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba through an excerpt of his essay, "Cuba Libre" by poet Amiri Baraka.
Infobase: American History
America couldn't have been built without the work of African Americans. Read primary documents, biographies, and more on this database.
- Read "The Ballot or the Bullet" Speech given by Malcolm X in 1964 outlining his vision for a black nationalist movement.
- Discover what life was like for slaves during the Revolutionary War.
- Flip through these slides featuring African Americans in the 1930s that will give you a visual understanding of life.
Infobase: Ancient and Medieval History
Want to learn about ancient and medieval Africa? Discover the many kingdoms, empires, and expansions that occurred on the African continent before the first slaves were transported to North America.
- Filter through this timeline of life on the African continent going as far back as 5 million years ago.
- Learn about the empires and kingdoms of eastern Africa, the West African savanna and the Lower Guinea and Atlantic coast.
- Check out this map detailing the four major language families of Africa to 2500 BCE before the Bantu migrations.
Join BCLS for exciting events celebrating African American lives, culture, and music. Check out the events below!
Ambition the Poet
Saturday, February 3 | 2:30 pm
Ambition is a nationally recognized poet and foster care advocate leaning on his personal history in the foster care system.
The Art of Crowned Head Wrapping
Thursday, February 15 | 2:00 pm
Presented by Latasha Waters, in addition to learning about this traditional garment, a group tutorial will be conducted to teach you different head wrapping styles, tricks and tips. Registration required
Essence of Harmony Choral Society
Saturday, February 17 | 1:00 pm
This Gospel concert, in honor of Black History Month, promises to be uplifting and soul-stirring.
Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Sunday, February 25 | 2:00 pm
Celebrate the sounds of the John G. Coley Jazz Project, featuring Vaneisa, as they perform a tribute to Aretha Franklin through her music and storytelling.