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Celebrate African American History Month!

Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) was one of the first scholars to study African American history and the founder of Negro History Week, first celebrated in 1925. President Gerald Ford expanded the celebration to Black History Month in 1975, famously reminding Americans to “Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

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Conversations and Perspectives

A convention at Washington

Honor and celebrate Black History Month by exploring the Daniel A.P. Murray collection at . Check out “African American Perspectives,” which presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture, spanning from the early 19th - 20th centuries. Access online collections of photographs, letters, newspapers, and more:

Honor w/ historical pamphlets on African American perspectives

YouTubeConversations with African Poets and Writers

Join the Library of Congress for “Conversations with African Poets and Writers: Ms. Chinelo Okparanta” as we discuss inspirations for her writings and read selections from her work.
youtu.be/-COSvY2UjII

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Did you know? has the papers of abolitionist Frederick Douglass! Explore his online collection this Black History Month. It contains approximately 7,400 items, including Douglass's diary, family papers, correspondence, legal files, and much more!

Historians! has Frederick Douglass's papers!

Share on Pinterest Explore history today and celebrate Black History Month with resources and items from the Library of Congress collections!

Heroic Women

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and then risked her life again and again to help hundreds of others escape to freedom. Use online resource guide to learn more about Harriet Tubman through manuscripts, photographs, and books this Black History Month.

YouTubeRosa Parks: Beyond the Bus

The act of courage that sparked a movement! Three associates of Rosa Parks give first-hand accounts of Mrs. Parks' life and legacy after her historical arrest.
youtu.be/6pJ6mGl4StU

Civil Rights History Project

The day they changed their minds

Explore the Civil Rights Oral History Project with this Black History Month! The activists interviewed for this project belong to a wide range of occupations, and the video recordings of their recollections cover a wide variety of topics within the civil rights movement, such as the influence of the labor movement, nonviolence and self-defense, religious faith, music, and the experiences of young activists.

YouTubeCivil Rights History Project: Mildred Bond Roxborough

Longtime secretary of the NAACP Mildred Bond Roxborough (b. 1926) discusses the achievements of the NAACP and her experiences in the Freedom Movement in an interview conducted by Julian Bond (1940-2015) for the Civil Rights History Project in 2010.
youtu.be/v4LUWgtNR3E

African American Veterans

African American Veterans

Did you know? has more than 2,500 collections from veterans who self-identified as Black or African American. This February, remember the contributions, service, and sacrifice of African American veterans. Learn more at:

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Honor African American Veterans this Black History Month and discover more stories from the Library Of Congress!

Baseball Icon

Jackie Robinson Comic

Students - Want to learn about an amazing athlete for Black History Month? Visit collection: “Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s!” This collection describes Robinson’s achievements as the first African American man to join the major leagues. The online collection provides information on Robinson’s life and the history of baseball:

YouTubeThe Man Who Discovered an Icon

Do you know the story of how baseball legend Jackie Robinson was discovered? Brooklyn Dodgers' manager Branch Rickey wrote two letters illustrating his ability to identify and grow talent – and particularly how he did so with Jackie Robinson!
youtu.be/hJuYfjQf2p8

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Students: This Black History Month commemorate Jackie Robinson and his breakthrough in the major leagues with collections from the Library of Congress!

All That Jazz

Fort Valley State College Folk Festival

Musicians - Ever wonder how some of your favorite music genres began? This Black History Month, explore web presentation “Now What a Time!” This resource includes a unique perspective into early blues and gospel music from the Fort Valley Music Festivals of 1938-1943:

Musicians: Check out musical web series this !

YouTubeThe Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers

Hailing from Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers are among the very few present-day gospel quartet-style groups that still perform in the old-school a cappella fashion.
youtu.be/I6XHj96dzVw

Federal Writers' Project

A black man and a black woman

Commemorate Black History Month with ! Search through the Federal Writers' Project online collection which includes more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs collected in the 1930s from former slaves:

Observe by viewing narratives of former slaves online:

YouTubeTraveling the Freedom Road

In "Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War through Reconstruction" author Linda Barrett Osborne draws from the Library of Congress' collections to offer insight into life as a slave. Learn of former slaves' hopes, sorrows, and courage in this 2010 discussion of Osborne's book.
youtu.be/QclxgduuAP8

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: “Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938” contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery.

Free Lesson Plans

Students Marching

Teachers - use free lesson plans from to teach your students about Black History Month! These are teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Check them out today:

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Teachers: check out Primary Source Sets from the Library of Congress, available to help you teach your students about the Harlem Renaissance, just in time for Black History Month!

Civil Rights Act 1964

Planning the March on Washington

Celebrate Black History Month with an online exhibit from : “Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom!” This exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act and explores the events that shaped the civil rights movement, as well as the far-reaching impact the Act had on a changing society. Check out the documents, photographs, and audiovisual material here:

Teachers: has a free Idea Book on Act '64 for

YouTubeCivil Rights Act Exhibition Opening Program

Witness the opening ceremony of the Library exhibition, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom." The Act is considered the most significant piece of civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
youtu.be/BCQ7NkN00OA

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Teachers: Check out the Library of Congress’ Primary Source Set "The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom" for the story of America's oldest and largest civil rights organization, as told through letters, photographs, maps, and more.

Song and Dance

Katherine Dunham, dancer, three-quarter length studio portrait, facing front

Katherine Dunham changed the face of American modern dance. Known for incorporating African American, Caribbean, African, and South American styles into her ballets, Dunham also made a study of these styles, pioneering the field of dance anthropology. This Black History Month, learn more about her triumphant career by visiting online collections:

YouTubeAfrican American a Capella Sacred Music

The Singing and Praying Bands of Delaware and Maryland belong to an African American devotional/musical tradition, probably the oldest living African American musical tradition in Delaware and Maryland.
youtu.be/9XKNzUwx0jcL

Share on PinterestRe-Pin: Billie Holiday had a long, fruitful career of 30 years as a jazz musician, check out her items at the Library of Congress.

African American Odyssey

Group of African Americans and whites holding hands in the street at the March on Washington

Help us celebrate Black History Month by visiting virtual exhibition “African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship.” This exhibition showcases the Library's African American collection from the beginning of the Atlantic Slave Trade through the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This explore virtual tours of exhibits!

Share on Pinterest Celebrate Black History Month with resources and items from the collections of the Library of Congress!