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Black History Month: Reedley College Library

Discover print and online resources celebrating Black culture, history, literature, and art.

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Black History Month

"Negro History Week was initiated in 1926 as a time to celebrate and commemorate African American leaders. Because Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Booker T. Washington all had birthdates in February, a week was selected that was in close proximity to those dates. Materials were published by the association to support lectures, exhibits, and curriculum development for Negro History Week. The celebration was so well received that it gained national acclaim. In 1976, during the nation's bicentennial, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month."

Bracks, L. L., & Bracks, L. L. (2009). Black History Month/Negro History Week (est. 1926). In J. C. Smith, & L. T. Wynn, Freedom facts and firsts: 400 years of the African American civil rights experience. Visible Ink Press. Credo Reference.

For more information on the history of Black History Month, view the Origins of Black History Month on the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) website.

Featured Databases

Campus Associations

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Black Faculty & Staff Association

Black History Month Theme

2021 - The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity

Announced by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”).

"The black family has been a topic of study in many disciplines—history, literature, the visual arts and film studies, sociology, anthropology, and social policy.  Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time. The black family knows no single location, since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents. Not only are individual black families diasporic, but Africa and the diaspora itself have been long portrayed as the black family at large. While the role of the black family has been described by some as a microcosm of the entire race, its complexity as the “foundation” of African American life and history can be seen in numerous debates over how to represent its meaning and typicality from a historical perspective—as slave or free, as patriarchal or matriarchal/matrifocal, as single-headed or dual-headed household, as extended or nuclear, as fictive kin or blood lineage, as legal or common law, and as black or interracial, etc. Variation appears, as well, in discussions on the nature and impact of parenting, childhood, marriage, gender norms, sexuality, and incarceration. The family offers a rich tapestry of images for exploring the African American past and present."

History of Black History Month

Black History is American History - TedxYouth


This research guide was originally created by Shivon Hess in 2021. It is currently updated by Alissa Gonzalez.


Reedley College Library

Reedley College
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