Spotlight on eResources - Black History Month

The library's eResources contain a wealth of information about Black History. Here are a few historical tidbits you may not know about.

Celebrate Black History MonthProminent African American activist Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), a historiographer by training, was the first to suggest setting aside an annual period to recognize the experiences of African Americans.

In 1926, Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History designated the second week in February as National Negro Week; they chose the week because it contains the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two major figures in African American history. (Source: Explora for High School Students),

sculpture of Martin Luther King, Jr.Ask a child “What makes someone great?” or “What makes someone a hero?" to start a discussion on famous and not-so-famous people with admirable qualities. The African American Heritage Themed Guide on Beanstack starts with these questions and includes books, a video, discussion questions and activities to introduce young children (ages 4-8) to the rich heritage of African American people.

Maggie Lena Walker

Maggie Lena Walker was a prominent African American businesswoman and community leader. She became the first woman in the United States to establish and serve as president of a bank. In 1903, she established the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank (Richmond, VA) and became its first president. (Source: World Book Student- an online version of this well-loved encyclopedia).

Arthur SchomburgArthur Schomburg's belief that "history must restore what slavery took away'' led to his collecting one of the world's largest libraries of African American books, prints, and artifacts. Schomburg's private collection became the basis for the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library's Division of Negro Literature, History, and Prints, which opened in 1925. (Source: Student Resources in Context – a research resource for high school students).

Library eBooks are also a great resource for Black History. There are special Black History Month collections on OverDrive and Axis 360 (under February Picks), or do a search in the catalog for African Americans - Biography and then limit to eBooks.

Whatever resources you decide to explore, spend a little time this month learning about the men and women who embody African American history.

Add new comment

Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.