Happy Black History Month!

Happy Black History Month! Did you know Black History Month began as Black History Week (then called “Negro History Week”) in 1926? Then in 1976 it was expanded to the month of February!

Rohrbach Library has e-books, video series, and films to help you celebrate. You can also find a resource guide for information on black military veterans at https://library.kutztown.edu/c.php?g=989430&p=7157158!

The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass: In Pursuit of American Liberty (E-book) – “Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent figures in African-American and United States history, was born a slave, but escaped to the North and became a well-known anti-slavery activist, orator, and author. In The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass, Nicholas Buccola provides an important and original argument about the ideas that animated this reformer-statesman. Beyond his role as an abolitionist, Buccola argues for the importance of understanding Douglass as a political thinker who provides deep insights into the immense challenge of achieving and maintaining the liberal promise of freedom. Douglass, Buccola contends, shows us that the language of rights must be coupled with a robust understanding of social responsibility in order for liberal ideals to be realized. Truly an original American thinker, this book highlights Douglass’s rightful place among the great thinkers in the American liberal tradition”

John Edward Bruce: Politician, Journalist, and Self-Trained Historian of the African Diaspora (E-book) – “John Edward Bruce, a premier black journalist from the late 1800’s until his death in 1924, was a vital force in the popularization of African American history. “Bruce Grit,” as he was called, wrote for such publications as Marcus Garvey’s nationalist newspaper, The Negro World, and McGirt’s Magazine. Born a slave in Maryland in 1856, Bruce gained his freedom by joining a regiment of Union soldiers passing through on their way to Washington, DC. Bruce was in contact with major figures in African American history, including Henry Highland Garnett and Martin Delany.”

Artistic Ambassadors: Literary and International Representation of the New Negro Era (E-book) – “During the first generation of black participation in U.S. diplomacy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a vibrant community of African American writers and cultural figures worked as U.S. representatives abroad. Through the literary and diplomatic dossiers of figures such as Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson, Archibald and Angelina Grimké, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Gibbs Hunt, and Richard Wright, Brian Roberts shows how the intersection of black aesthetic trends and U.S. political culture both Americanized and internationalized the trope of the New Negro.”

Reminiscences of an Active Life: The Autobiography of John Roy Lynch (E-book) – “Born into slavery on a Louisiana plantation, John Roy Lynch (1847-1939) came to adulthood during the Reconstruction Era and lived a public-spirited life for over three decades.”

Say Brother Ten Great Black Historical Figure (Film) – “This program weaves historical briefs about men selected as the ‘greatest Black men in history’ with a contemporary discussion of Boston’s current political situation.”

Resources Featuring Black Women

Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers (E-book) – “Shaping Memories offers short essays by notable black women writers on pivotal moments that strongly influenced their careers. With contributions from such figures as novelist Paule Marshall, folklorist Daryl Cumber Dance, poets Mari Evans and Camille Dungy, essayist Ethel Morgan Smith, and scholar Maryemma Graham, the anthology provides a thorough overview of the formal concerns and thematic issues facing contemporary black women writers.”

Justice Leah Ward Sears: Seizing Serendipity (E-book) – “This is the first full biography of Justice Leah Ward Sears. In 1992 Sears became the first woman and youngest justice to sit on the Supreme Court of Georgia. In 2005 she became the first African American woman to serve as chief justice of any state supreme court in the country. This book explores her childhood in a career military family; her education; her early work as an attorney; her rise through Georgia’s city, county, and state court systems; and her various pursuits after leaving the supreme court in 2009, when she transitioned into a life that was no less active or public.”

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper African American Reform Rhetoric and the Rise of a Modern Nation State (E-book) – “A prominent early feminist, abolitionist, and civil rights advocate, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper wrote and spoke across genres and reform platforms during the turbulent second half of the nineteenth century. Her invention of a new commonplace language of moral character drew on the persuasive and didactic motifs of the previous decades of African-American reform politics, but far exceeded her predecessors in crafting lessons of rhetoric for women.”

Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era (E-book) – “In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood.”

Black Women in Politics: Demanding Citizenship, Challenging Power, and Seeking Justice (E-book) – “This book explores how Diasporic Black women engage in politics, highlighting three dimensions–citizenship, power, and justice–that are foundational to intersectionality theory and politics as developed by Black women and other women of color.”

Spectacular Leap: Black Women Athletes in Twentieth-Century America (E-book) – “When high jumper Alice Coachman won the high jump title at the 1941 national championships with’a spectacular leap, ‘African American women had been participating in competitive sport for close to twenty-five years. Yet it would be another twenty years before they would experience something akin to the national fame and recognition that African American men had known since the 1930s, the days of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. From the 1920s, when black women athletes were confined to competing within the black community, through the heady days of the late twentieth century when they ruled the world of women’s track and field, African American women found sport opened the door to a better life. However, they also discovered that success meant challenging perceptions that many Americans–both black and white–held of them.”

Women’s Leadership Online Summit. Black Women Changing the Tides (Film) – “During trying times like the one we’re experiencing now, people push back against the changing tides, and often, black women represent those changing tides. All leaders have challenges and obstacles that they must overcome to lead effectively, but for black women leading legacy organizations in philanthropy, those challenges are unique”

Black Feminist (Film) – “Black Feminist is a feature length documentary film surrounding the double edged sword of racial and gender oppression that black women face in America. This documentary is told through interviews from scholars, lecturers, writers, business owners, veterans, comedians and authors.”

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