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Black History Month: Books

February Black History Month

About Black History Month

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson's death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all colors on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first Black History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued Black History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

(Excerpt above is posted on, and originates from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History)

Books on Black History and Culture Available in Begley Library

Books of Local Interest Available in Begley Library

eBooks Available Through Begley Library

Local-Based Reference Materials Available through Schenectady County Library

The Schenectady County Public Library has a selection of local-interest biographies and historical works.  


A visit to the library will allow you to read more about the incredible life of Dr. Georgetta Dix, who made a tremendous impact to the city of Schenectady. During her lifetime, Dr. Dix and her husband led the Refreshing Spring Church, which later included a Child Care Center for which she received several accolades and proclamations of outstanding community service.   The church would eventually grow and include a food pantry, drug counseling program, and women's support group.  Many of Dr. Dix's accolades include, but are not limited to:

1. Being credited with breaking the poverty cycle through the care she provided to families and children.

2. Multiple City of Schenectady proclamations dedicated to her and the day care center.

3. Recommendations issued by high ranking members of the community and political advocates

4. Recognition from the Mt. Pleasant High School, who had been presented an award for their advocacy in human rights, by the NYS Division of Human Rights.  The high school cited community members like Dr. Dix for their contribution to human rights efforts.

4. Deemed a "Schenectady Patroon" by the City of Schenectady.


Discover more through the Schenectady County Public Library via:

Call Number: Schdy R B Dix Qui


Fiction Books by Black Authors - Available at Schenectady County Library

             Guide to more books by this author:

             SCPL Link to Books by Author Jasmine Guillory

             Guide to more books by this author:

             SCPL Link to Books by Author Talia Hibbert

             Guide to more books by this author:

             SCPL Link to Books by Author JK Jemison