Black History Month

This month, the Ross Pendergraft Library highlights some of our newest acquisitions in books, DVDs, and databases to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and document the struggles they have overcome to help make America truly great.

The March: Book One, Book Two, & Book Three
march

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award, the March graphic novel trilogy (Book One, Book Two, & Book Three) tells the story of the Civil Rights movement from the first-hand accounts of Representative John Lewis.  Lewis, now a congressmen serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, was a member of the “Big Six” Civil Rights leaders and helped organize and lead many of the important events of the Civil Rights movement, including the Freedom Summer, the Selma voting rights campaign, the Nashville lunch counter sit-in movement, bus boycotts, and more.  He was an original member of the Freedom Riders, and endured imprisonment, tear gas, and physical beatings so severe that he still bears physical scars to this day.

Selma. As significant as it was, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made NO provision to ensure the rights of African-Americans to register to vote. In more than two years of SNCC-Led work organizing and protesting in Selma, we registered fewer than 100 new voters. And thanks to Judge Hare's Injunction against public gatherings, SNCC's operations in Selma had ground to a halt. Dr. King met with President Johnson in December, shortly after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. They discussed the need for a voting rights act, but president Johnson said it was impossible. The votes in Congress were simply not there. Johnson said, in effect: If you WANT a voting rights act, MAKE me do it. When Dr. King returned to Atlanta, he accepted an invitation from an organization called the Dallas County Improvement Association, requesting SCLS to help the people of Selma.

The March trilogy details many of these events with co-author Andrew Aydin and stunning visual illustration from best-selling artist Nate Powell.   Immerse yourself in this moving, richly drawn and sometimes shocking first-hand account of the Civil Rights Movement from a man who lived in the center of it.  This trilogy and other books are available for check-out at the Black History Display table, just across from the elevators on the first floor.

Kehinde Wiley : A New Republic

Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, a painting by Kehinde Wiley.

Lose yourself in the beauty and detail of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic–a collection of nearly 60 paintings and sculptures published as a retrospective of his work to coincide with his touring exhibit.  Specializing in naturalistic portraiture of contemporary African Americans in the style of Old Master paintings, Wiley’s works have been shown in the National Portrait Gallery, the Columbus Museum of Art, and in galleries around the world.  Included in the volume are critical essays and full-color paintings and sculpture of African American figures, as well as people from Africa, India, South America, Israel and around the world.

Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps, a painting by Kehinde Wiley

It is a book worth checking out.   Look for it at the Black History Month Display table, just across from the elevators on the first floor.

Race : The incredible true story of gold medal winner, Jesse Owens

Cover of Race DVD featuring Jesse Owens running against a backdrop of Nazi flags

Based on the true story of Jesse Owens, Race is a historical film documenting the life of the most famous track and field athlete in world history.  His four gold medal wins during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin dealt a staggering blow to Hitler’s propaganda of the superiority of Aryan white supremacy, and the world records he set there remained intact for decades after.   The Race is directed by Stephen Hopkins and stars Stephan James as Jesse Owens.  It is available for check-out in the New DVD section on the first floor of the library.

Selma

Cover of Selma featuring actors portraying MLK Jr., Coretta Scott King, and more.

Selma portrays the true story of the 1965 historic voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during the heart of the Civil Rights movement.  Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelwo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Oprah Winfrey and Carmen Ejogo, the film focuses on the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to organize a protest march for the voting rights of African Americans in the segregated South.  This march, and the nationally-televised violent response to it, highlighted racial injustice and helped earn broader support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  The film itself has been criticized for its inaccurate portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson, but has also received wide-spread critical praise including four Golden Globe nominations, and a Best Picture nomination from the Academy Awards.  It is available for check-out in the New DVD section on the first floor of the library.

African American Newspapers Collection

Looking for primary sources in African American History?  Look no further than the African American Newspapers Collection, a database featuring African American newspapers from the nineteenth century.  Read first-hand accounts of major events published in black-owned newspapers.  Titles include The Christian Recorder, The Colored American, Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Freedom’s Journal, and more.  Articles range in scope from eye-witness accounts of the Civil War and the horrific conditions of slavery to more mundane announcements like obituaries, personal notices, and poetry. You can search using keywords or browse issues online through our A-to-Z list of Databases or at this direct link.

The masthead for the Frederick Douglass' Paper, November 6, 1851

For more books, films, and databases celebrating Black History Month, ask your friendly neighborhood librarians at askalibrarian@atu.edu.

A picture of a librarian saying, "My Dear Children, Read. Read Everything". From The March, Book One, p. 4

 

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