February is Black History Month

By Karrie Marsh, Executive Assistant and Guest Blogger

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Why do we celebrate in February? The month of February was chosen because two important men, who had a great influence on abolishing slavery, celebrate their birthdays in February. They are Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued in 1863, freed all slaves in the rebellious states and paved the way for slavery’s eventual abolition.

Frederick Douglass was a prominent American abolitionist, author and orator. Born a slave, Douglass escaped at age 20 and went on to become a world-renowned anti-slavery activist. His three autobiographies are considered important works of the slave narrative tradition as well as classics of American autobiography. In thousands of speeches and editorials, he levied a powerful indictment against slavery and racism, provided a voice of hope for his people.

It is suitable that the Auburn Hills Public Library is  holding an African American Genealogy Class on February 16th from 1:00-4:30pm. They also have a special program for Black History Month! Storyteller La’Ron Williams, a nationally acclaimed and award-winning storyteller, will be sharing multi-cultural stories with an emphasis on African and African-American culture. Registration begins on February 9th. Contact 248-370-9466.

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