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Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements of African-Americans and the important roles they have played throughout American history. We celebrate Black History Month every February because it is the birth month of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two important figures in the abolitionist movement.
Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History chooses a theme for Black History Month. This year’s theme reflects two important anniversaries in the history of black Americans and of the United States: the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which set the United States on the path to ending slavery and inspired many enslaved people to strike for their freedom. One hundred years later, in 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans marched to the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The March on Washington was a vital step toward ending legal segregation in the United States.
In honor of Black History Month, we are showcasing some library materials about the end of slavery and the civil rights movement. In addition to the nonfiction titles listed below, check back next week for a selection of fictional works.
“A Slave No More” by David W. Blight
Wallace Turnage was a field hand on an Alabama plantation. John Washington was an urban slave in Virginia. Both men saw an opportunity to seize their freedom during the chaos of the Civil War, and, later, wrote down their extraordinary stories to share with their children. These two recently-discovered narratives, along with biographies of both men, are collected in this powerful book. Their stories reveal extraordinary courage and self-determination, helping modern readers understand the human face of slavery and the great lengths people went to for freedom.
“Forever Free” by Eric Foner
In “Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction,” historian Eric Foner re-examines many of the prevailing assumptions about a pivotal period in American history. He argues that Reconstruction represented the first effort to form a multi-racial society, which was aborted as a result of racist backlash. And, rather than concentrating on white sources as many historians have, Foner draws on a wide range of documents, including congressional documents, black newspapers, army reports and plantation records. The picture that emerges is not one of black people passively receiving freedom from the Union Army and the Federal Government, but of black people as active agents in ending slavery, winning the Civil War and creating the postwar society.
“Walk in My Shoes” by Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal
Andrew Young is a politician, pastor and diplomat. He was a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, a congressman, mayor of Atlanta, and ambassador to the United Nations. In “Walk in My Shoes,” Young shares his hard-earned wisdom on civil rights, race, faith, love and leadership with his godson, Kabir Sehgal. His voice is never pedantic, but witty, irreverent and challenging. We should all be so lucky as to have a mentor like Andrew Young, but, in the meantime, we can all learn a lot from this highly enjoyable book.
Image Credits (Clockwise from top left):
- Juneteenth day celebration in Texas. Date: 19 June 1900. Source: PICA 05476, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., half-length portrait, facing left, with left arm raised, at freedom rally, Washington Temple Church / World Telegram & Sun photo by O. Fernandez. Date: 1962. Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c11157
- Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during the 1963 March on Washington. Photo by Warren K. Leffler.
- Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service. Date: 8/28/1963.
- Thomas Le Mere (1863). By Smithsonian Institution from United States (Abraham Lincoln Uploaded by Meisam) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
- Portrait of Taylor, a black drummer boy, 78th Regiment, US Colored Infantry, during Civil War. http://images.google.com/hosted/life/1826fa62fa51dd54.html
Every January the American Library Association hosts its annual Youth Media Awards Press Conference. At this time, authors of children’s and young adult literature are recognized for the amazing works they have published in the last year. We as YA lit lovers consider this the Academy Awards of teen books. And this year’s winners are…
- Award Winner: “In Darkness” by Nick Lake
- Honor Book: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Honor Book: “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein
- Honor Book: “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett
- Honor Book: “The White Bicycle” by Beverley Brenna
William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.
- Award Winner: “Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman
- Honor Book: “Wonder Show” by Hannah Barnaby
- Honor Book: “Love and Other Perishable Items” by Laura Buzo
- Honor Book: “After the Snow” by S. D. Crockett
- Honor Book: “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” by Emily M. Danforth
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults.
- Award Winner: “Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin
- Honor Book: “Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different” by Karen Blumenthal
- Honor Book: “Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95” by Phillip Hoose
- Honor Book: “Titanic: Voices From the Disaster” by Deborah Hopkinson
- Honor Book: “We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March” by Cynthia Levinson
Alex Award Winners are the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.
- “Caring Is Creepy” by David Zimmerman
- “Girlchild” by Tupelo Hassman
- “Juvenile in Justice” by Richard Ross
- “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan
- “My Friend Dahmer” by Derf Backderf
- “One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard
- “Pure” by Julianna Baggott
- “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich
- “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt
- “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adult.
- Award Winner: “The Fault in Our Stars” written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd
- Honor Book: “Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian” written by Eoin Colfer and narrated by Nathaniel Parker
- Honor Book: “Ghost Knight” written by Cornelia Funke and narrated by Elliot Hill
- Honor Book: “Monstrous Beauty” written by Elizabeth Fama and narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Pura Belpré (Author) Award honors a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
- Award Winner: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Honor Book: “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano” by Sonia Manzano
Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.
- Award Winner: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- Honor Book: “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier
- Honor Book: “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Hannah Moskowitz
- Honor Book: “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard” by Lesléa Newman
- Honor Book: “Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie” by S. J. Adams
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.
- Middle School Award Winner: “A Dog Called Homeless” by Sarah Lean
- High School Award Winner: “Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am” by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States.
- Award Winner: “My Family for the War” by Anne C. Voorhoeve, translated by Tammi Reichel. Originally published in Germany in 2007 as “Liverpool Street.”
- Honor Book: “A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return” written and illustrated by Zeina Abirached, translated by Edward Gauvin
- Honor Book: “Son of a Gun” written and translated by Anne de Graaf
Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. Tamora Pierce is the 2013 Edwards Award winner. Pierce was born in rural Western Pennsylvania in 1954. She knew from a young age she liked stories and writing, and in 1983, she published her first series, Song of the Lioness. She continues to write and even record her own audiobooks. She currently lives with her husband (spouse-creature) and a myriad of animals in Syracuse, New York.
February 2: How to True/False 11 a.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
February 2: Third Goal International Film Festival at the MU Student Center, free. Program features “Kinyarwanda,” “Feast & Sacrifice,” “My Village, My Lobster,” “Hijos de Kennedy,” and “Last Train Home.” Kinyarwanda director Alrick Brown in attendance. (via)
February 5: ”Battle: Change from Within,” 5:30 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
We recently added “The Boy Mir” to the DBRL collection. The film has played at various film festivals and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
Tracks the irrepressible and lovable Mir from a naive eight-year-old to a fully grown adult. Over the decade, it not only is a journey that follows Mir as he journeys into early adulthood in one of the toughest places on earth, but it’s a film that is unmatched in mirroring and revealing the vitally important story of modern Afghanistan.
In January 1853, Peter Nichols built the first home in what is known today as the town of Ashland in Boone County, Missouri. In celebration of the town’s 160th birthday, Marjory Johnson, Pat Nichols, Larry Rice and myself, all of the Southern Boone County Historical Society, presented images and stories of the town’s early years. Much of the information presented came from W.F. Switzler’s “History of Boone County, Missouri” (originally published in 1882). You can visit the Columbia Public Library’s reference collection on the second floor to browse this book and other county histories.
Here are a few fun facts about Ashland’s history.
Farmer’s Corner was the first business established in Ashland. Owned by D.M. and A.M. Burnam, this general mercantile was located on the southeast corner of Broadway and Main. The most well known store on the north side of Main was called The Trade Center, started by Lawrence Bass, Joseph Waters Johnston, a Mr. Brooks and a Mr. Harris in 1881. The Trade Center sold everything a rural family would need to take care of farm and home, and its great success was due in part to its location–less than one block south of the stockyards where farmers brought their livestock for sale.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was Ashland’s first established church and was built in 1854 on the south side of Broadway. The Ashland Baptist Church was established in 1879 with its house of worship being constructed in 1880. The Christian Church was started in 1881 and built its first building in 1882, just west of the Ashland Mill Company. The mill pond was used for baptisms in the early days of the church. Ashland’s first black church appears on a 1922 Sanborn Insurance Map, but the exact year of its establishment is unknown.
Churches and service clubs, along with their auxiliaries, provided this rural community’s social opportunities. Service clubs included the Masons who formed in 1858 and built the Ashland Lodge No. 156, Patrons of Husbandry (formed in 1873) and the Ashland Order United Workmen (1880). The Ashland Debating Society formed in 1875 and would orate on the streets of town. Hot topics included the US Centennial Celebration, politics and the importance of church. July fourth was a very big day in Ashland when political candidates did their stumping. This continued well into the 1950s.
For more Boone County history, see the list in our online catalog of resources for historians and genealogists.
Images courtesy of Larry Rice and the Southern Boone County Historical Society.
Be sure to register online by Friday, February 8 if you plan to take the March 9 SAT exam. If you would like to know more about testing costs, locations, and resources to help you prepare, check out our SAT Test Prep guide. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular email reminders of upcoming SAT and ACT registration deadlines!