- Black Resource Center
- Black History Month
- Living Legends
- Living Legends Selected Images
Celebrating Black History Month
History of Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance in February,
celebrating the past and present achievements of African Americans. In
February 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for
the Study of African American Life and History, proposed the
establishment of "Negro History Week" to honor the history and
contributions of African Americans to American life. Dr. Woodson, known
as the "Father of Black History", chose the second week of February
because it commemorates the birthdays of two men who greatly affected
the African American community: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and
Frederick Douglass (February 14). Negro History Week became Black
History Week in the early 1970's. In 1976, the week-long observance was
expanded to a month in honor of the nation's bicentennial.
Black History Month is sponsored by the Association for the Study of
African American Life and History (ASALH). The Association
was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter Woodson--historian, teacher, author
and publisher. Each year the Association designates the national theme
for Black History Month. The 2016 theme is “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.”
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"Lift Every Voice and Sing" Anthem
Often referred to as the "Negro National Anthem", this song
was written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson
in 1900 for the celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. It was
originally performed by children at its premiere in Jacksonville,
Florida. James W. Johnson was a notable poet who later went on to
become one of the founders of the National Association for Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP). Rosamond Johnson was a successful composer
of music for Broadway.
Lift evry voice and sing,|
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.
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"I Have A Dream" Speech
of most indelible speeches of the Civil Rights Movement is Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr's eloquent speech "I Have a Dream" from the August 28,
1963, rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Dr. King and other Black ministers formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 to
expand the struggle against racism and discrimination. By early 1963, Dr. King
and the SCLC launched non-violent demonstrations to protest racial
discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama, then one of the most segregated cities in the
United States. In reaction to the violent police actions, President John F.
Kennedy proposed a wide-ranging civil rights legislation to Congress.
Dr. King along with other civil rights leaders then organized a massive march on Washington, D.C., to
urge Congress to pass Kennedy's bill. On August 28, 1963, nearly a quarter
of a million people gathered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to hear
King and others. The highlight of the rally was Dr. King's "I Have a
Dream" speech which has since defined the civil rights movement, not only for
African Americans but for all people.
The civil rights movement won a significant victory in 1964 when Congress passed The Civil Rights Act
of 1964, prohibiting discrimination in public places and promoting
equal opportunities in education and employment. Dr. King received the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered today for his vision and his
For more information:
Have a Dream" Speech
Provides the text and audio of the speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial on August 28, 1963.
Dedicated to the preservation
and advancement of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work, the King Center
offers a wide range of informationbiographical information on Dr.
King and Coretta Scott King, the King Holiday and other historical information.
The Seattle Times: Martin Luther King
Contains stories and photos from the Seattle Times as wells as time lines for Martin Luther King
and for the Civil Rights movement. Click on the "His Words" to hear excerpts from King's most famous speeches, including
two excerpts from "I Have a Dream" and one from the speech Dr. King gave
the day before he was assassinated in 1968.
King Papers Project (Stanford University)
The project is a major research effort to assemble and disseminate information about Martin Luther King
and the social movements he worked for. The Frequently Requested Documents
include the "I Have a Dream" speech which can be viewed in multiple languages
by clicking on the flag icons. The site also includes biographical information,
King's sermons and other material.
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Celebrating the Cultural Heritage of African American Writers
Selected Resources for the Study of African American History and Culture
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- Black Resource Center, County of Los Angeles Public Library
Located at the A C Bilbrew Library, the Black Resource Center (BRC) was established in 1978 to support
research and study on the social, historical, musical and cultural aspects unique to the "Black Experience."
There are links to general African American websites and topics such as Juneteenth and Kwanzaa.
The A C Bilbrew Library and the Black Resource Center are currently closed for a library renovation.
If you have a question for the BRC while it is closed please fill out this form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
- U.S. Census Bureau, Black History Month Feb 2016
Facts and statistics about African Americans.
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Black History Month Events
- Sat, Jan 30, 2:00 PM: February One: a Film Screening - at the Walnut Library
- Mon, Feb 1, 5:00 PM: The Voice of King - at the Lancaster Library
- Wed, Feb 3, 3:30 PM: Michael McCarty Storytelling Program - at the Gardena Mayme Dear Library
- Wed, Feb 3, 6:30 PM: Film Screening: In Remembrance of Martin - at the Sunkist Library
- Sat, Feb 6, 1:00 PM: African American Achievers Film Series - at the Compton Library
- Sat, Feb 6, 2:00 PM: African Dance Rhythms Program - at the Claremont Library
- Sat, Feb 6, 2:00 PM: Storyteller Ina Buckner-Barnette - at the Hawthorne Library
- Tue, Feb 9, 3:30 PM: Teen Tuesdays- Celebrating Black History Month - at the Sunkist Library
- Wed, Feb 10, 4:00 PM: African Drums - at the Lancaster Library
- Wed, Feb 10, 6:00 PM: Black History Month: Documentary Screening - at the Leland R. Weaver Library
- Thu, Feb 11, 11:00 AM: Celebrate African American Achievers - at the Compton Library
- Fri, Feb 19, 3:30 PM: Drum Circle and Stories - at the Woodcrest Library
- Sat, Feb 20, 11:00 AM: Black History Month Authors Panel - at the Compton Library
- Sat, Feb 20, 1:00 PM: PBS Documentary: February One - at the Manhattan Beach Library
- Sat, Feb 20, 2:00 PM: African Drum Circle With CHAZZ! - at the Artesia Library
- Wed, Feb 24, 6:30 PM: Film Screening: The Tuskegee Airmen - at the Sunkist Library
- Fri, Feb 26, 3:30 PM: Friday Film: Red Tails - at the Carson Library
- Sat, Feb 27, 12:00 PM: African American Achievers Film Series - at the Compton Library