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Black History Month


Black History Month
Hand tinted portrait of Pauline C. Cookman in uniform.

The PCC Library continuously selects materials related to African American history as well as contemporary Black American culture. Explore our collection, and suggested materials from the web, to learn more about the contributions and achievements of Black Americans as we celebrate Black History Month.

About Black History Month

Established in 1926 by noted African American historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month evolved to become a month-long event in 1976. February was selected because Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln have birthdays during the month. The annual event provides an opportunity to learn about the history, traditions, and contributions of Black Americans. The theme for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.  Read more about this year’s theme at Asalh: Black History Themes.

PCC Events

In celebration of Black History Month, PCC Cascade is hosting the 31st Annual Cascade Festival of African Films from February 5 – March 10, 2021.  Visit the festival website for additional information.

Recommended videos

African American Studies
A collection of 332 videos on topics including the era of slavery, the civil war, and the end of slavery and the achievements of reconstruction in the fight for African American rights.

Boss: The Black Experience in Business
Examines more than 150 years of African American men and women who have embodied the qualities that are the heart of the American entrepreneurial spirit.

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality
This video introduces the dynamics of systemic racial inequality.

In Search of the Dream: A Story of the African American Experience
This video series covers the story of African Americans from the arrival of the first slaves in 1619 through the civil rights movement.

Let Freedom Ring: Moments from the Civil Rights Movement
This NBC news program shows original coverage from America’s civil rights era.  Includes the Greensboro sit-ins, the Freedom Rider phenomenon, the March on Washington, and other events.

Voices of Women: African American Women
Alice Walker, bell hooks and others examine the emergence of African American women as popular and powerful voices of social conscience.

Recommended ebooks

The Blues
by Michael V. Uschan (2012)

The Civil Rights Movement: A Documentary Reader
edited by John A. Kirk (2020)

Chocolate Cities: The Black Map of American Life
by Marcus Anthony Hunter (2018)

Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America (2010)
by Gibran Muhammad Khalil

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
An online resource that includes biographies, essays and more to cover aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day.

Fannie Lou Hamer: America’s Freedom Fighting Woman
by Meagan Parker Brooks (2020)

The Freedom Rides
by Anne Wallace Sharp (2012)

From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family
by James H. Johnston (2012)

The Illustrated Souls of Black Folk
by W.E.B. Du Bois (2016)

Lucent Library of Black History
A series of ebooks designed to help readers understand the connection between black history and the sweep of America’s story. Covers topics from the civil rights movement to the evolution of the blues, the Harlem Renaissance and more.

Represented: The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined African American Citizenship
by Brenna Wynn Greer (2019)

Recommended websites

African-American Odyssey
Produced by NPR and PBS, this site contains profiles of prominent African Americans, historical events, racial and societal issues, and contributions to arts and culture.

Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Equality
This website features selected primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history.  Especially useful for those studying or interested in the history of racial injustice in the United States and the fight against it.

Black Past
An online reference center with a wealth of materials on African American history. Maintained by the University of Washington. Includes a section on African American History in the West.

Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials
Presents full-text Library of Congress resources and links to the external website on the Harlem Renaissance movement.

A Hidden History: Oregon Black History Timeline
Reveals the stories and struggles of Oregon’s African American communities.

History.com – Black History
Includes this day in history, TV shows, video clips, interactive timeline, important speeches and more.

Library of Congress: African American History Month
Includes speeches, images, collections, and audio/video of outstanding African Americans who have helped pave the way for ethnic multiculturalism.

New York Public Library Digital Schomburg Collection
Includes exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio and video streams and selected external links for research on the global black experience.

Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Surgeons
Learn about the history of medical education for African Americans, the pioneering African American surgeons who formed their own medical institutions and teaching hospitals and new frontiers in academic surgery.

Oxford African American Studies Center: Women and Literature
A collection of short articles, essays and photo collections exploring the contributions of African American women to American literature. This site also links to features on other topics, such as African American Artists during the Twentieth Century, African American Women and Photography, Blacks in Film and Television and much more.

Voices of Civil Rights
A Library of Congress exhibition that features personal narratives of people who experienced the events.