The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is excited to honor the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans to American History during the month of February and beyond.
Black History Month was officially granted national recognition in 1976 by President Gerald Ford as an evolution of Negro History Week, founded in 1926 by American historian and educator Carter Godwin Woodson and celebrated annually during the second week of February. The purpose of Negro History Week was to bring attention to and give everlasting life to the significant contributions of African Americans who have been seemingly underrepresented or omitted from conversations that influenced American history. Carter said, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”
Today, Black History Month lives on as a vibrant commemoration of the excellence and achievement of African Americans past and present.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library invites you to join in Black History Month celebrations in the following ways:
1. Attend a Black History Month event
Enjoy many educational and fun family-friendly events at our branches throughout the month of February. Find an event near you here.
2. Join the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room group on Facebook
The Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's special collection of historical and genealogical resources, is committed to posting daily about lesser known and notable black Charlotteans throughout the month of February. Keep up with their current features here.
3. Just keep reading
Looking for black history reads for children, teens, young adults or adults? We have you covered. At Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, there is a list for everybody, and we challenge you to read one to five African American books this month.
4. Create with books at Jam to Jazz Storytime
Head over to University City Regional Library on February 24, 2020 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. to listen to stories and extend learning through a variety of hands-on activities. Attendees can make their own instruments to play along with the Storytime band! Learn more.
5. Test your Black History Month knowledge (teens only)
No adults allowed! Teens are invited to the new South Boulevard Library on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 6-7 p.m. to enjoy snacks and trivia on famous black inventors, modern icons and popular culture. Register here.
To find a complete list of the Library’s Black History Month events, click here.
“This is How February Became Black History Month” by Julia Zorthian, Time.com