Celebrating African American Heritage
February 02, 2004
by Steve Horvath,
Young Adult Trainee,
St. George Library Center
February is Black History Month, a month set aside for Americans to focus on the achievements and story of African Americans and the impact that they have had and continue to have on our country's progress and development.
Included below are a few of the best web sites available to us on the African American experience, along with some questions, facts and activities that you may find interesting as well as helpful, depending on the difficulty of your assignments this month.
If you need to know an important historical event in African American history you can visit Blackfacts, enter the month and year and you're in business. InfoPlease is an excellent Black History site that covers all interests and subjects. InfoPlease has timelines, biographies, quizzes and crosswords to browse and search. Try your hand at a Hip Hop crossword puzzle. How well did you do?
Read about the destruction of Tulsa, one of the wealthiest black communities in the country in Tim Madigan's book The Burning. The tragedy of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 is also preserved on their web site, making available photos and newspaper articles of that fateful day.
Visit the CIA archives to read about African American contributions to Union intelligence during the Civil War.
If you've seen the Oscar winning movie Glory starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick you may want to learn more about the most decorated Civil War black Regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers. The 54th helped dismiss the myth that blacks could not function as a viable military force. If you haven't seen the movie go get it.
Need primary sources? Visit the Library of Congress for over 2,300 first-person and 500 photographic accounts of slavery.
You may have heard of W.E.B Dubois' classic The Souls of Black Folk or even Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, but do you know who influenced Dr. Martin Luther King more strongly? There was an ideological battle between Dubois and Washington in the early part of the 20th century for the future of African Americans and their fight for their civil rights. Who won? Read the article and find out. It's only half as long as it looks. Things to think about: Has the chosen strategy run its course? Is it time for new strategies? What are the consequences of its success?
InfoPlease Black History Celebration
InfoPlease Hip Hop Crossword Puzzle
Tulsa Race Riots of 1921
54th Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers
Library of Congress
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois