Observed each year in February, Black History Month presents an opportunity to acknowledge important people and events throughout the African diaspora. In the United States, it is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans and the central role they have played throughout U.S. history. Black History Month traces its roots back to 1926 when the organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) established “Negro History Week.” The month of February was selected to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford, and has since spread to several other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Better Together Advisory Board works with the community to make Decatur a more inclusive, compassionate and equitable city, where all feel welcome. Better Together and Little Shop of Stories offer the following selections for young and not-so-young readers to explore the achievements, struggles, and stories of our shared history.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. Charmingly illustrated and chock-full of facts, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison provides a survey of trailblazing black women who have or are currently making American history. Short bios and engaging pictures invite sharing and are certain to foster conversation with young readers and future leaders!
Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson, Illustrated by Andrea Pippins. A quintessential Who's Who in Black History for readers ages 9 and up. Featuring an impressively wide range of figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Nina Simone, W.E.B. Dubois, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this book celebrates the depth and breadth of black excellence throughout history, as well as present day.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight. The first major biography of Douglass in half a century, this is a powerful tome revealing all new insights into one of our nation's most revered orators and writers. An absolute must-read for any history buff, especially those interested in the great abolitionist and his times.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This may well be Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson's crowning achievement, a luminous, imminently readable history of the massive migration of African Americans from the American south westward and northward over the course of the first half of the twentieth century.
You can find these books and many others at the Little Shop of Stories, 133 E. Court Square, or online at littleshopofstories.com/shop-online/. Happy Holidays from the Better Together Advisory Board and Little Shop of Stories.