Every February, we celebrate Black History Month to recognize the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture. The roots of this celebration can be traced back to Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, who established a weeklong celebration in February of 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, every February has been designated Black History Month with a special theme. The 2021 theme is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity".
Here are free library resources available year-round to honor Black voices and achievements.
- Celebrating Black Joy, opens a new window
- Black American Autobiographies & Biographies
- Black History Month: Memoirs & Biographies
- Graphic Novels Featuring Black Characters, opens a new window
- Picture Books Featuring Black Families, opens a new window
Palo Alto Reads
Revisit anti-racist resources, opens a new window and past book selections from our “one city, one book” program, Palo Alto Reads.
- The Color of Law
Ebooks & Audiobooks
- Check out Libby's (Overdrive) collection of African American Fiction, opens a new window.
- Stream albums, opens a new window by Black artists on Hoopla
- View full length concerts, opens a new window from music legends such as Nina Simone on Qello concerts.
- Black Voices & Stories in Film, opens a new window
- Explore Kanopy’s collection of African American films and documentaries, opens a new window.
- Did you know Black inventor Garrett Augustus Morgan created the three-light traffic signal? Or that Dr. Patricia Bath pioneered the laser treatment for cataracts? Use Biography in Context, opens a new window to learn about the many amazing contributions by African Americans you might not have known about!
- Access Ancestry, opens a new window and use this guide to get started researching African American family history.
- Discover diverse books and related instructional materials for PreK-12 with Teaching Books, opens a new window.
To access most of these resources, all you need to do is log in with your library card, opens a new window. We hope you discover some great tools to continue celebrating and learning about Black history all year long!
-Doris Chen, Librarian at Mitchell Park Library | Follow @dochn, opens a new window on Bibliocommons