February is Black History Month

Feb 05, 2020 · Charles Yier

February is Black History Month (BHM). Since its inception in the mid-70s, many educational institutions and black cultural centers across the nation have engaged in a raft of activities to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and recognize the role played by people of African extraction in the shaping of U.S. history.

This year’s celebration is particularly significant as it coincides with two key milestones, one a centennial and the other a sesquicentennial. The theme – "African Americans and the Vote" – is especially pertinent. Not only is this an election year in the U.S., it marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification, in 1870, of the Fifteenth Amendment, which accorded African Americans the right to vote. The centenary of the ratification, in 1920, of the Nineteenth Amendment, is acknowledged in 2020, which culminated the women's suffrage movement and afforded them the right to vote. A month-long book exhibit has been installed in the lobby in Parks Library. The exhibition highlights titles by African American writers on an array of social justice topics including political movements, voting, and activism. Other notable titles on African American history are on display in a thematic timeline in the Bookends Reading Room. All of these books can be checked out. 

libguide has been created that contains materials related to Black History Month, and more, for those interested in extensive research. On Thursday, February 13, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) committee will screen the film “I am Not Your Negro” from 6 to 9 p.m. in 198 Parks Library. The event is open to the public.

For additional information, email Charles Yier or call 515-294-4681.