President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Since then, every American president has designated February as Black
History Month and endorsed a specific theme.
This year the Association for the Study of African American Life and History has selected Civil Rights in America to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
"The history of civil rights in the United States is largely the
story of free people of color and then African Americans to define and
enumerate what rights pertain to citizens in civil society. It has been
the history of enlisting political parties to recognize the need for our
governments, state and federal, to codify and protect those rights.
Through the years, people of African descent have formed organizations
and movements to promote equal rights. The Colored Convention Movement,
the Afro-American League, the Niagara Movement, the National Council of
Negro Women, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference carried
the banner of equality when allies were few. In the modern era,
integrated organizations such as the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, the National Urban League, and the
Congress of Racial Equality fought for and protected equal rights. The
names of America’s greatest advocates of social justice—Frederick
Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fanny Lou Hamer
— are associated with the struggle for civil rights."
Visit the library and check out Black History Books on display!