UACCM Library Celebrates Black History Month

Here's a note from UACCM Librarian Leroy Gattin regarding the library's celebration of Black History Month:

The E. Allen Gordon Library will celebrate Black History Month during the month of February.  American’s have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as “Negro History Week” and later as “Black History Month.”  What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied, or even documented, when the tradition originated.  Although blacks have been in American at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the twentieth century that they gained a respectable presence in history books.

We owe the celebration of Black History Month and the study of black history to Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at the age of twenty.  He graduated within two years, and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.  The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  However a number of important events in black history occurred in February.  They include:  passage of the fifteenth amendment granting blacks the right to vote and the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in New York in 1909.

The library will have a display of books dealing with famous black Americans and book marks dealing with black history.  We will also have posters displayed dealing with black Americans who have made great contributions to American History.  Please come by the library during February and browse these materials.


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