Black History Month 2023

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the history of our nation and to celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans who have created impactful change in our society.

Black History Month can be traced as far back as 1915, when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the organization now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Dr. Woodson initiated the first “Negro History Week” in February 1926, the same week that included the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. It wasn’t until 1986 that Congress officially designated February as Black History Month. 

There is no shortage of stories to tell about influential Black Americans. Ella Jenkins is known as “The First Lady of Children’s Music” and used her influence as a musician to challenge racial inequality and segregation across the country. Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn were the “hidden figures” at NASA who made early space missions a reality. John Lewis was a dedicated leader during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, participating in the Freedom Rides and being a keynote speaker during the “March on Washington” in 1963. He went on to serve in the House of Representatives for 33 years.

You can learn more about these historical figures from our collection at the Yonkers Public Library. Check out some of these titles, or ask a librarian to help you find other powerful stories to read during Black History Month.

February is also the National African American Read-In (AARI), which encourages communities to come together to read stories focused on African American stories and by African American authors. We have a few recommendations to help you get started.

Yonkers Public Library has an exciting calendar of events to celebrate Black History Month. We hope you’ll join us in-person or virtually for some great programs like Yonkers: The Lost City of Hip-Hop, Celebrating the Dream and Acute Inflections: Live Jazz Duo.





















Alison Robles is a part-time page at the Crestwood Library. She is an avid reader with a passion for YA lit, history and science fiction. A Yonkers native, she graduated from Iona University in 2020 with a dual-degree in Marketing and Public Relations.