February 2012

Here’s some snapshots of what our Ac library website has looked over the years.































Present day

Americans have recognized Black history annually since 1926, first as “Negro History Week” and later as “Black History Month.”  However, Black history had barely begun to be studied or even documented when the tradition originated.  Although Blacks have been in America since Colonial times, it was not until relatively recently that they gained a notable presence in history books. 

We owe the establishment of  Black History Month, and the study of Black history to Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty.   He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the Black American population-and when Blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Woodson decided to take on the challenge of writing Black Americans into the nation’s history.  He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of  Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.

Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass  and  Abraham Lincoln.. However, February has much more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its significance in black American history. For example:

  • February 23, 1868:  W.E.B. DuBois,  important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born.
  • February 3, 1870:  The 15th Amendment was passed,  granting blacks the right to vote.
  • February 25, 1870:  The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels, (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
  • February 12, 1909:  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
  • February 1, 1960:  In what would become a civil-right movement milestone, a group of black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter.

 Every year there’s a different theme for February’s celebration of African American History Month, also called Black History Month for short.  The 2012 theme for African American History Month, celebrated in February, is “Black Women in America: Culture and History.”  This year’s theme “Black Women in American Culture and History” honors African American women and the myriad of roles they played in the shaping of our nation. The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of their contribution to the nation.  A brief listing of notable African-American woman can be found at:  http://womenshistory.about.com/od/africanamerican/a/black_women.htm

 This theme combines February’s celebration of Black History Month with March’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  The theme is announced annually by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Washington DC, which also offers “theme kits” for every African American History year.   A list of past and future themes for Black History Month is available at:  http://www.asalh.org/blackhistorythemes.html

Come into Dublin Library and see our display of  books and DVDS for Black History Month.  Some suggested books and DVDs available through your Alameda County Library  that pertain to Black History Month and to famous African-American women are:

Carter G. Woodson : father of African-American history / by Robert F. Durden                       B Woodson   B WOODSON

Carter G. Woodson : the father of Black history / by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack                                      JB WOODSON,C

Eyes on the prize : America’s civil rights years, 1954-1965 /  by Juan Williams ; with the Eyes on the prize production team ; introduction by Julian Bond

323.40973 WILLIAMS

The Eyes on the prize : civil rights reader : documents, speeches, and firsthand accounts from the Black freedom struggle, 1954-1990 / general editors, Clayborne Carson … [et al.]

973.04960 EYES

Eyes on the prize. Vols. 1-7, [videorecording] : America’s civil rights movement / by Blackside ; [creator and executive producer, Henry Hampton]

DVD 323.1196 EYES

Rosa Parks : my story / by Rosa Parks ; with Jim Haskins  


Marian Anderson : a singer’s journey / Allan Keiler


African American women writers / Brenda Wilkinson ; Jim Haskins, general editor

 J810.99287 WILKINSON

Female writers / edited by Richard Rennert ; introduction by Coretta Scott King

 J810.99287 FEMALE

Gather together in my name / Maya Angelou


Great African Americans in entertainment / Pat Rediger

J791.08996 REDIGER

Jazz Cleopatra : Josephine Baker in her time / by Phyllis Rose


Let it shine : stories of Black women freedom fighters / Andrea Davis Pinkney ; illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

J323.092 PINKNEY

Mary McLeod Bethune : building a better world : essays and selected documents / edited by Audrey Thomas McCluskey and Elaine M. Smith


Barbara Jordan / by Corinne Naden and Rose Blue ; senior consulting editor Nathan Irvin Huggins


 Classic African American women’s narratives / edited by William L. Andrews

8.30809 CLASSIC

Fabulous storyteller Kirk Waller will be at the Dublin Library this Saturday, February 4 at 3:00 pm to share some amazing tales in celebration of Black History Month. Through music, mime, singing, and of course, storytelling, he will bring African American folktales, stories and legends to life. You won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind, one-time only experience.

Take a look at this short video of Kirk performing at the Springstowne Library in Vallejo; it is an excerpt from The Ballad of Ruby Bridges.