Black History Month is celebrated in February as a way to deepen our understanding of United States history, as well as recognize the contributions that African and Black Americans have made to the country. These contributions are so impressive because the people who made them were, at the same time, struggling for freedom, equality and equity. The first iteration of Black History Month was in February 1926. It was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson and was one week of the month, specifically the week that includes the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. This was the beginning of the annual celebration.

In 1975, President Ford urged all Americans to recognize the importance of African and Black Americans’ contribution to the United States’ life and culture. The next year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History extended the period to a month-long celebration, calling it Black History Month or African American History Month. Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan all issued messages to honor Black History Month.

Since 1996, with very few exceptions, Presidents have issued annual proclamations to the country as a whole to honor the month of celebration.

In our own way, we would like to honor and celebrate this year’s Black History Month with a selection of titles about Black history written by Black and African American authors. These titles cover a variety of incredible contributions, from aviation to medical science and music and are generally wonderful titles.

Place a hold from home by clicking on one of the covers in the carousel below, or visit us in the library to see our other Black History Month displays.

View more Black History content on our blog: BHM Events | One Book, One ‘Brook