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Black History Month: Home

Celebrating diversity and the African American culture...

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

Desmond Tutu

 

2021 Black History Month Theme

“Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

ASALH

"The Hill We Climb"

Donovan Livingston

Okalani Dawkins

The Roots of Black Music in America with Karlus Trapp

The History of Race in Wheeling

Black Lives Matter

History

The 2021 Black History Month Virtual Festival

Other Events

20 Books to Read

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

In one of 2019's most talked about novels, a 25-year-old journalist in London attempts to recover from a terrible break up with her long-time boyfriend. But while on the path to finding happiness, road blocks, questionable decisions, and more-than-a-few problematic men get in her way.

Between the World and Meby Ta-Nehisi Coates

A 2015 winner of the National Book Award for non-fiction, the renowned journalist and writer pens a profound letter to his son about what it means to be Black in America in the 21st century—a place in which you struggle to overcome the historical trauma of your people while trying to find your own purpose in the world. 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

Adapted from her TEDx Talk of the same name, Adiche uses personal experiences and understanding of sexual politics to define what feminism means in the 21st century. 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

In what is considered a literary masterpiece and Butler's most popular novel, Kindred follows a young Black woman named Dana. Though she lives in 1976 L.A., she's suddenly transported to a Civil War-era plantation in Maryland. Soon, the more frequently Dana travels back in time, the longer she stays, as she faces danger that threaten her life in the future.

Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim

Curated by the founder of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club comes this collection of essays—all written by Black women writers—about the importance of representation in literature.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Written by a legendary writer, civil rights activist, and one of Oprah's greatest friends, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an poetic memoir that captures Angelou's childhood struggles and the freedoms of her adulthood, which allowed her to find strength amidst despair.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi

In this acclaimed nonfiction work, racism scholar Ibrahim X. Kendi explains an array of antiracist ideas to his readers in order to help them understand the depth of discrimination in our society and how they can stand against it.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

In this New York Times bestseller, Alexander explains how the mass incarceration of Black people in the United States is today's version of the Jim Crow era.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Adapted into a 2018 film, this novel that made the National Book Award Longlist, tells the story of a teen named Starr Carter, who's the sole-witness to the fatal police shooting of her her childhood best friend. As the tragedy hits national news, her community becomes divided and Starr must decide whether to remain private or to become the public face of a movement.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Originally published in 1937 and set in Southern Florida, this story follows main character Janie Crawford on her quest to find independence throughout three different marriages. 

Beloved by Toni Morrison

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is arguably Morrison's most well-known. It tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who escaped to Ohio in the 1870s—but despite her freedom, finds herself haunted by the trauma of her past.

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

As one of our country's great Black writers, Baldwin published a slew of books, short stories, and essays in his life time. In his first book, Go Tell It on the Mountain, he penned a semi-autobiographical story of a teen growing up in 1930s Harlem who struggles with self-identity as the stepson of a strict Pentecostal minister. Similarly, Baldwin was raised by a stepfather who served as a Baptist pastor. 

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Now thought of as essential reading in American literature, this novel won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. The Invisible Man is narrated by a nameless main character who details growing up in a Black Southern community. He's eventually expelled from college and then becomes a leader of a Black nationalist group. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple tells the tale of Celie, a young woman growing up in poverty in segregated Georgia. Despite suffering hardship, Celie finds her way back to the ones she loves in a time-tested story.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Officially the best-selling book of 2018, the former first lady tells all in what Oprah called a "vulnerable" memoir, in which she opens up about her marriage, life before and after the White House, and what she feels about our current president. 

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

And now, the second Obama on this list. In his own best selling memoir, number 44 unloads the difficulties of being a biracial American, emphasized by the estranged relationship he had with his late father.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

A Newberry Medal winning children's memoir, Woodson uses poetry to reveal what it was like to live as an African American in the '60s and '70s in the shadows of the Civil Rights Movement.

Answering the Call An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America by Nathaniel R. Jones

Answering the Call is an extraordinary eyewitness account from an unsung hero of the battle for racial equality in America—a battle that, far from ending with the great victories of the civil rights era, saw some of its signal achievements in the desegregation fights of the 1970s and its most notable setbacks in the affirmative action debates that continue into the present in Ferguson, Baltimore, and beyond.

Lift Every Voice The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Patricia Sullivan

Lift Every Voice is a momentous history of the struggle for civil rights told through the stories of men and women who fought inescapable racial barriers in the North as well as the South—keeping the promise of democracy alive from the earliest days of the twentieth century to the triumphs of the 1950s and 1960s.

Thick And Other Essays Tressie McMillan Cottom

In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—is unapologetically “thick”: deemed “thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,” McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work. 

Langston Hughes

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace and a soul generated by love.
Coretta Scott King