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February Virtual Display

Throughout this guide you will find resources on Black History (mostly in the United States) ranging from books and film to podcasts and websites. These resources will come from within McQuade Library as well as outside of the Merrimack College community.

A Guide to the Guide

Throughout this guide you will find resources on Black History (mostly in the United States) ranging from books and film to podcasts and websites. These resources will come from within McQuade Library as well as outside of the Merrimack College community. Please feel free to email Librarian Gabby Womack (womackg@merrimack.edu) with any information you think would be great to add to this guide.

What is Black History Month?

According to the Salem Press Encyclopedia, "Black History Month is an annual observance period set aside to honor the lives and history of African descendants now living in other parts of the world. The month is honored with historical, cultural, and educational presentations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, Black History Month is observed during the month of February. It is marked by various public and private programs designed to raise awareness about the contributions of African American citizens in the United States as well as the difficulties and challenges faced by Africans and their descendants in the African diaspora.

Some people believe that Black History Month provides an important and necessary framework for exploring the importance of African American history and the contributions of African Americans to modern society. Some further argue that designating a specific month to focus on African American history is a useful tool for those preparing educational curricula on the subject and that the month also provides encouragement for scholars and educators to investigate the lives of lesser-known African American historical figures. Critics of Black History Month and other designated history months, such as Women’s History Month, argue that these observational months serve to maintain divisions between different subsets of society and may marginalize individuals of races that have not received recognition in the form of a designated day or month. Another criticism is that the designation of a single month might perpetuate the idea that African American history can be addressed in an abbreviated fashion, while the actual contributions of African Americans should be appreciated in every aspect of the nation’s history."