Celebrate Black History Month 2013

Freedom Trail, quilt 2012 by Angeli Rasbury
Freedom Trail, quilt 2012
© Angeli Rasbury

Marching to the Mountaintop, bookcover
Marching to the Mountaintop
by Ann Bausum

Rosa Parks Freedom Rider, book cover
Rosa Parks: Freedom Rider
by Ruth Ashby

Join us at the Brooklyn Public Library as we celebrate this year’s Black History Month and three significant milestones in American history:

150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. While it did not end slavery (the 13th Amendment in December 1865 made slavery illegal in the U.S.), symbolically this document marked the end of slavery in the U.S. It was an "important turning point in the Civil War, transforming the fight to preserve the nation into a battle for human freedom" (Source: History Channel). Check out a map of Blacks living in Brooklyn during the second half of the civil war.

50th anniversary of the March on Washington
The March on Washington, one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history, called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. This was also where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

2nd inauguration of the first Black President of the United States of America
Watch the NY Times video of Obama's Inauguration Speech.

February 2013 is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist who became the face of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott which resulted in the end of segregation of the public buses in that city.

For more information and a historical view of these milestones, check out Black History Month at the Brooklyn Collection.

This year's Black History Month is focused on the theme of legacy, including personal legacy and cultural legacy. From genealogy to food to family portraits, our BPL community (staff and patrons) shares their experiences, memories, and works of art.

For more information on events, exhibitions and resources, check out Celebrate Black History Month at Brooklyn Public Library.

Check out Jamel Shabazz's exhibitions at Central Library, the Brooklyn Collection and online. His photographs chronicle the early years of hip-hop style and documented the legacy of the Brooklyn community.