February is Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance,” which recognizes and celebrates the resistance of Black people, organizations, and institutions to racism in the past and present.
The History of Black History Month
Black History Month started in 1925, when historian Carter G. Woodson wanted to raise awareness of the contributions of Black Americans to U.S. society. According to blackhistorymonth.gov, the event was first celebrated in February 1926.
The week was met with an overwhelmingly positive response by Black Americans. The article from blackhistorymonth.gov said, “Black history clubs sprang up; [and] teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils.” By the 1950s, it “had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration.”
The celebrations continued during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Finally, in 1976—200 years after the founding of the United States—Black History Month was officially recognized. President Gerald R. Ford said of the historic event, “Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Stop by all three YDL branches and take a look at our displays:
Youth Department at the Whittaker Branch:
Make a quilt square in the style of quilter and artist Faith Ringgold to add to a quilt on the wall. We’ll have a storywalk based on one of Ringgold’s books. You can also learn about the history of quilting around the world and its importance to Black artists.
Also, visit our Black History Month display to find books and resources for learning about Black History month.
Michigan Avenue Branch:
Stop by the youth department and take a look at our bulletin board highlighting Black leaders and icons.
Stop by the Youth Department and check out our book display for Black History Month!
Use these resources to learn more about local Black History:
The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired curiosity and action, and our librarians and library staff have worked hard to make sure we’re living up to our mission. We’ve created lists of books, movies, and activities for adults, children, and families that are designed to elevate the conversation and promote learning.
This project chronicles the lives and struggles of Black Ypsilantians in their own words. Recorded by historian A.P. Marshall in the 1980s, these interviews span several generations and help to tell the rich and varied story of African-American Ypsilanti.
Listen to the Ypsi Stories podcast. Many episodes focus on the histories of Black Ypsilantians and their contributions to the city.
You can also find more information about Black History Month at these websites: