February is Black History Month, also called African American History Month. Black History Month is a time to learn about and celebrate the history and achievements of African Americans. While it is important recognize the long history of contributions African Americans have made to American society and culture, in recent years, some people within the African American community have been critical of Black History Month, saying that African American history is part of American history and shouldn't be celebrated for one month and ignored the rest of the year. Furthermore, some argue, the way that Black History Month is too often presented in schools is a "white-washed" version of history that privileges select black voices that are not threatening to the majority white population while ignoring lesser known or marginalized people, and that it lacks connection to contemporary issues of civil rights and racial justice.
This guide is a minor attempt to present an alternative, broader view of African American by featuring art, oral histories, and archival collections that shed light on the lives of average people, and that share the achievements of historical figures who, while lesser known, also made great contributions to African American culture and/or American society at large.
This is by no means a complete list. If you have a web resource that you think belongs on this guide, please email the library. Share the link with us and let us know why you think it should be included.