WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 28 – February is Black History Month; it’s a time to reflect on the nation’s African-American communities, and America’s diversity.
“As a matter of fact,” says author, publisher, and education advocate, David Bruce Smith, “Black History Month has become a global observance. Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland commemorate the contributions made by their residents and citizens of African descent. But, the whole thing started in the U.S.”
According to the Library of Congress: “The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.” The commemoration of African-American History was expanded into a one-month observance in February, 1976.
“And, what better way to observe the occasion than to pass on the wisdom and knowledge of the past—with a focus on black history—to our children,” says Smith, who co-founded the Grateful American Book Prize with the late Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“Our idea was to expose young people to interesting stories that would create a curiosity about America’s history.”
Here are some reading recommendations:
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin
Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Moonwalk, by Michael Jackson
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, by Sarah L. Delany, A. Elizabeth Delany and Amy Hill Hearth
About the Grateful American Book Prize:
The panel of judges for the 2019 Grateful American Book Prize is now accepting submissions for books published between July 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. Historically accurate books of fiction and nonfiction written for middle schoolers are eligible for the Prize.