Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February is Black History Month

Dr. Carter Woodson, son of former slaves and a pioneer in the study of African American history is often given the credit for establishing a time dedicated to the study of Black Americans and their role in the history and development of the United States.

In honor of Black History Month the library has set up an exhibit that contains some of the outstanding materials we offer about the history and contributions of Black Americans. The following titles are part of the display and highly recommended.

Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, by Gayle F. Wald is the first biography ever of a performer who influenced singers from Elvis Presley to Eric Clapton and Etta James. Tharpe sang it all: gospel, blues, jazz, folk, and rock and roll.

Freedom in My Heart: Voices from the United States National Slavery Museum is an extraordinary look at many “never-before-seen artifacts, images and documents that trace the history of slavery in North America.” [From the fly-leaf.] As Chapter One says, “The story begins in Africa,” and this book goes on from there, with pictures, documents, essays and interviews tracing a history and culture that is dynamic and enduring, despite slavery and its brutalities.

If you are trying to look into your roots – because your planning a family reunion or you are just plain interested – try Finding A Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity. Written by Dee Parmer Woodtor this book is a good starting place for constructing a family tree or just finding out what factors you need to look into when searching for your kin.

"No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you."
Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston is a black writer of incredible talent. Hurston’s most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is about Janie Crawford, a young, Black woman in the 1930’s, determined to be her own person. In addition to reading her fiction, I highly recommend Zora’s Roots, a PBS DVD based on the life of Zora Neale Hurston. I also recommend you come in and check out the display, which will be up all through the month of February. Meg



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