Since 1976, the United States has recognized February as “Black History Month,” a month to highlight the achievements of African Americans to the country’s history. The national theme for Black History Month this year is “African Americans in Times of War,” commemorating the end of World War I and the role that African Americans played in defending the US in times of armed conflict.
Here at Terrebonne Parish Library, we are proud to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to American history. Whether you are working on a school project with your child, or you simply want to know more about African American history and culture, our library system provides a variety of sources to educate and inform.
In addition to print resources, the library has an expansive collection of high quality, always available online reference resources. These encyclopedias and reference books are exact duplicates of the ones that are on the shelves at the library. They can be used by multiple patrons at a time, and don’t need to be “checked out” like a traditional book or ebook. All you need to access these from home is an active Terrebonne Parish Library card.
Salem History, which can be found on our website under the “Databases” tab, has multiple resources useful for researching African Americans in war. Some of the most useful are Great Lives from History: African Americans, Defining Documents in American History, both Civil War and World War I, and the Decades series, which examines the history of the country with a volume highlighting each of the decades of its existence. For a more contemporary look at the African American experience, Current Topics: Civil Disobedience, Social Justice, Nationalism & Populism, Violent Demonstrations and Race Relations offers selected essays from Salem Press exploring the issues affecting American communities today.
Also available through our database subscriptions is the Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale features titles on biography, history, science, and the arts on a broad range of subjects. Particularly interesting to those studying African American history are the Contemporary Black Biography series Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, American Social Reform Movements, and Americans at War. All feature extensive information on the African American experience.
In addition to these reference materials, our collection includes popular biographies and autobiographies featuring a range of African American lives, available both digitally and in print, as well as other non-fiction books by and about African Americans. From historical narratives, such as Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave, to powerful modern stories like The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs and Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, these books tell stories of heartbreak and courage in the face of adversity.
During Black History Month and all year round, Terrebonne Parish Library is here to educate, entertain, and inform by providing quality sources of information and high quality programming for our patrons to enjoy. Stop by your local branch today, and let us help you find your next great read!