Black History Month 365: Celebrating Beyond February

This is a guest blog post by Melissa Santosa.

What is Black History Month? 

Black History Month blossomed from the advocacy work done by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an educator, historian, and author who wanted to document the contributions of African Americans to the United States. As a teacher, he saw that school curriculums excluded the history of Black Americans. He was committed to teaching his students about their legacy in order to guide them towards a brighter future.  

In 1915, he co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now named the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, whose mission is to "to promote, research, preserve, interpret, and disseminate information about Black life, history, and culture to the global community."  

In 1926, he created Black History Week to take place in February to commemorate the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. On the 50th Anniversary of Black History Week, it was expanded into Black History Month in 1976 with national recognition. To learn more about Carter G. Woodson, please check out this booklist.  

Black History in Alameda County

Black history is living history. We all benefit from the current contributions of African Americans in music, politics, sports, art, transportation, food, healthcare, and culture in our community. Alameda County is one of the most diverse counties in the U.S. and it demonstrates our values to recognize the achievements of the past while working towards full equity and inclusion in the present. 

Black History Month Programs at AC Library

  1. Bring Your Own Book Club on February 18 - Choose a book by a Black author or Black subject to share and discuss with others in the virtual program. 
  2. Listen Inn - Dial 1-833-990-BOOK (2665) at anytime of day or night to listen to recordings that celebrate Black History Month. 
  3. Storytime - Children and families are welcome to participate in an online program that shares fun and uplifting stories. 
  4. Craft kits - Create art that celebrates Black culture and invention with our free craft kits.

Check Out Recommended Books by AC Library Staff 

Black Freedom

List created by ACL_JennyR

Historical, creative, and theoretical writings centered on Black lives.

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Notable Nonfiction

List created by ACL_AshleyM

Take a deeper dive into Black history and experiences in the U.S. with this collection of modern titles.

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Black YA Realistic Fiction to Get Lost In

List created by ACL_RachelB

Check out a few of these fictional YA #OwnVoices books, most are also available digitally!

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How to Celebrate Black History Month Beyond February

One month is not enough time to learn all that we need to know about Black history. So, how do we expand our learning and celebration throughout the year? Here are some ideas: