by Brandon B.
February calls us, as a society, to reflect and honor the contributions of Black Americans who made our country. The late, great Carter G. Woodson is considered the father of Black History Month. Woodson is the second African American to earn a Ph.D., after Edward Alexander Bouchet earned one in physics from Yale in 1876. The fight for equality, justice, and humanity for African Americans has always been a topic of discussion.
In the past century, Blacks have had to overcome Jim Crow laws. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Supreme Court cases to desegregate schools helped to change American culture. Thurgood Marshall and a team of NAACP attorneys fought against the “separate but equal” doctrine in Brown vs Board of Education. Signed by Lyndon B. Johnson, the Voting Rights Act strengthened the right to vote that had been granted to Black men with the 15th Amendment. All women had to wait for the 19th Amendment to grant suffrage.
To celebrate Black History, consider a visit to the Equity Resource Center at HCLS Central Branch, which has a great selection of books, movies, and audio materials that showcase many groups. Some classic titles that celebrate Black culture and contributions include James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Consider watching films, such as Selma, that tell the story of Civil Rights leaders and a collective group of individuals, who fought for the right to vote.
Black History Month is a time of reflection, healing, and celebration. In February, take the opportunity to learn about Black culture and history through classes, books, and films.
Art Wars! Black History Month Edition
Tue Feb 7 6:30 – 8 pm
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 11-18. Registration required, drop-in if space permits.
Create artwork in 40 mins! Learn a little about prominent African American artists, then use that inspiration. Enter the Art War contest for a chance to win a prize, or just create and enjoy! Materials provided.
Wiki Edit-a-Thon: A Celebration of Black Authors and Artists
Thu Feb 9 5:30 – 8:30 pm
For adults. Register.
Edit Wikipedia pages of Black authors and artists whose works are found in our library collection. The evening is dedicated to collaborating on research, writing, and editing relevant Wikipedia pages. Participants check pages and cite sources as they work.
Black History of Howard County
Sat Feb 11 1 – 2:30 pm
HCLS Savage Branch
Ages 14-18 and adults. Register.
Learn about the history of African Americans in Howard County and the town of Savage, as collected in History of Blacks in Howard County, Maryland: Oral History, Schooling, and Contemporary Issues. Hear about particular players in local history and learn why Howard County is the way it is today, with historical and personal perspective from Deborah Costley, local historian and genealogist. Share any experiences brought up as part of our Brave Voices, Brave Choices project.
African Experience Tour
Wed Feb 15 4:30 – 5:30 pm & 7 – 8 pm
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 8-11. 60 min. Ticket required. Tickets available at the children’s desk 15 minutes before class.
Learn about the diversity of African culture through hands-on exploration of artwork, videos, and discussion, facilitated by Doris Ligon, director and co-founder of the African Art Museum of Maryland.
Brandon is a Customer Service Specialist at HCLS Central Branch who loves reading, football, and taking nice long walks around his neighborhood.
Cover image by Freepik.