Wednesday, February 1, 2012

African American History Month 2012

Prof. Carter G. Woodson
via Library of Congress
Today marks the beginning of African American History Month, established to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled to achieve full and equal citizenship in American society. The celebration began in 1925 with the creation of Negro History Week, established by Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History).

What began as a week-long event held during the first week of February grew quickly in popularity. In 1976 (the nation's bicentennial), President Gerald R. Ford urged all Americans to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Since then, each succeeding U.S. president has issued yearly proclamations affirming African American History Month. You can read President Obama's 2012 proclamation here:

Making the rounds of the Internet is a letter from a former slave, Jourdan Anderson to his former master, which was published in the New York Daily Tribune on August 22, 1865. The letter was written is response to a message sent by Col. P. H. Anderson to Mr. Anderson - who had since moved to Ohio after being emancipated - asking him to return to Tennessee: "To My Old Master"

To learn more, look here for a list of selected resources about African American history at Carnegie-Stout, or stop by the Recommendations Desk at the library. You can also explore a the links below for an interactive timeline of important events, biographies of important and influential African Americans and much more.

Library of Congress - Links to historical documents, photographs and  in-depth examinations of important events:

History Channel - Videos, photo galleries and interviews:

Smithsonian Education - Events, teaching resources, plus an African American Cultural Heritage virtual tour: - Black History interactive timeline:

National Endowment for the Arts - Teaching resources:

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