Happy Black History Month from the San Diego County Library! According to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, historian Carter G. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for Study of African American Life and History) in 1915. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926 to promote the teaching of Black history. Fifty years later, President Gerald Ford extended the observance to the full month of February. Today, Black History Month is celebrated annually in February in the U.S. and Canada, and in other months in countries around the world.
Every year, the Association for the the Study of African American Life and History highlights a theme in Black history. The theme for 2023 is Black Resistance. A speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Point Loma Nazarene University in 1964 encapsulates this principle. “It’s up to me to use [this moment],” he stated. Black Americans throughout U.S. history have done precisely that.
This Black History Month in San Diego, learn and connect by exploring the vast contributions of Black San Diegans to the region’s culture and history. Commemorate local Black heroes with the San Diego History Center’s project Celebrate San Diego: Black History & Heritage, or read a StoryMap that chronicles The Urban Experience of Black San Diegans. Celebrate African Diaspora and Indigenous cultures at the WorldBeat Cultural Center, or view the online exhibits of a “museum without walls,” the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art. Stop by one of the first Black-owned businesses in San Diego County, the Julian Gold Rush Hotel, known as the Hotel Robinson when couple Albert and Margaret Robinson founded the hotel in 1887. Visit the African Diaspora Museum and Research Center. Learn about Black Services at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. And, of course, check out some great books with lists curated by librarians at SDCL: Joy and Resilience.