Black History Month

Black History month graphic

The Black History Month book display will be available from January 31, 2017 to February 24, 2017 and is located on the First Floor North of Pollak Library. A small display will also be supported at the Irvine Campus library.

About the Curators 

Joy Sage and Joy E. Lambert are Reference & Instruction Librarians in Pollak Library. Patricia Prestinary is the University Archivist in University Archives and Special Collections. Trimaine Davis Coordinator, African American Resource Center.


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About Black History Month

This library-curated display is part of an annual nation-wide event celebrating the history, contributions and leaders of the African American community. "Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history (History:2016)." Black history month is the result of historian Carter Woodson and black leaders working together to bring attention to the contributions of Black Americans. As a result, beginning in 1976, each sitting US president has declared February as black history month.

Carter G. Woodson wanted to raise awareness of the contributions of African Americans, so he created Negro History Week in 1925. It was first celebrated in February of 1926, so as to encompass Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. People enthusiastically embraced this new idea. They wanted more information and materials to teach and forward this effort. In 1950, Woodson died but Negro History Week had advanced and taken on a life of its own. Americans were celebrating, black history clubs emerged, forward thinking Americans were advancing the efforts, creating a celebration. Mayors proclaimed Negro History Week. In the 1960s the Civil Rights movement and the contributions of African Americans in history and culture came to the forefront of people’s consciousness. In 1976, the year of our bicentennial, it became a month long event (Scott, 2016).

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About the Display 

This display includes books about the Civil Rights Movement, African American politics, and activism from the Pollak Library collection. It also presents materials from the library’s Freedom Center highlighting the Civil Rights Movement. Join the Pollak Library as we celebrate the many patriotic African Americans and their tireless work to ensure a more just America for everyone. This selection of books on politicians, activists, and the struggle for Civil Rights is a small sampling of the library’s collection, and all are available for checkout.

Please visit to discover additional books, eBooks, government documents, primary sources, pamphlets, photographs and audio/visual materials. Also take a look at three of our databases : African American Communities, Oxford African American Studies Center, and African American Song.

Both displays will run concurrently from January 31-February 24, 2017 and will be located on the First Floor North of Pollak Library at main campus, and in the library on the First Floor at the Irvine campus. 

Pollak Library Patrons are encouraged to borrow and read any of the books on display.

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The curators wish to thank Trish Campbell, Exhhibit Program Coordinator and students Kamille Torres, Karen Vazquez, Emily Pillai, Renee Jean, and Cristina Omidsalar for their assistance.

Works Cited

Black History Month. . A&E Television Networks. Web. 29 Jan. 2016. <>.

An essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Related Questions

Related Pages

Related Policies & Guidelines

Hours Staffed

All display and exhibit spaces are open during regular library operating hours.

Location & Floor Map

First Floor Library North map

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