By Alison Robles
YONKERS – February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the history of our nation and to celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans who have created impactful change in our society.
The origins of Black History Month Black History Month can be traced as far back as 1915, when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Dr. Woodson initiated the first “Negro History Week” in February 1926, the same week that included the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. It wasn’t until 1986 that Congress officially designated February as Black History Month.
There are no shortage of stories to tell about influential Black Americans. John Lewis was a dedicated leader during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, participating in the Freedom Rides and being a keynote speaker during the “March on Washington” in 1963. He went on to serve in the House of Representatives for 33 years. Bessie Coleman was the first Black woman and Indiginous woman to earn her pilot’s license in the United States. Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Olympics in Berlin, Germany in 1936 at a time when the Nazi Party and white supremacy were taking hold.
February is also the National African American Read-In (AARI), which encourages communities to come together to read stories focused on African American stories and by African American authors.
You can learn more about Black history and read some impactful stories by Black authors at Yonkers Public Library. Check out some recommendations at the library or ask a librarian for more specific recommendations.
Be sure to check out all of the Black History Month events at Yonkers Public Library.
Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library.