Black History Month

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It’s February, and you guys know what that means! It’s the month of love. So let's spread some love for Black History Month! Black History Month began with Harvard historian Carter Woodson, his founding of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), and the start of Negro History Week in 1925. From there, it grew and expanded into what it is today. The first Black History Month was celebrated in 1976, fifty years after the first celebration. It was its founder’s hope that by celebrating black heritage, people would learn and understand about the contributions of African American and other black individuals to civilization and history.

Below, you will find a list of things to do around town to celebrate Black History Month and what it means for our community. You will also find a list of books that look at different avenues of black culture and history, both then and now. History is always happening around us. Yesterday is history today, and today will be history tomorrow. With this in mind, we included some newer books about more recent historical events as well. 

Events in the Community to Celebrate:

  • One City
    • Black History display, open Mondays through Wednesdays from 9am-2pm during the month of February.
  • Cape Girardeau Public Library
    • Black History Dial-a-Story titles read by our Youth Services staff
    • Virtual Let's Talk Graphic Novels book talk featuring black authors
    • Book display in Youth Services featuring titles that celebrate Black History Month

Other Things You Can Do to Celebrate and Learn:

  • African American Read In 2023
    • This literary movement focuses on African American books and authors and encourages the community to read these materials together. In 1990, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers in English founded this effort to make literacy an important part of Black History Month. According to National Today, more than 5.9 million people have participated world wide in this event. So get with your friends and family and let’s make it 6.9 billion! If you are like me and just learning about this movement, that is okay! I hope to incorporate more library programming around this in the future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be reading and incorporating more materials on our own. There is always so much to learn about the people that make up our community! 

Books - Both Then and Now:


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