Letter from the Library Director:

Honoring Black History

During February, we honor and recognize African Americans’ diverse and rich history. Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Month in 1926. It was called “Negro History Week,” a term that African Americans used during that time. It was celebrated during the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1969, Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University proposed Black History Month as we know it today. In 1976, the federal government officially recognized African American History Month for the first time.

Black history is American history and world history; it is human history. SJCPLS aims to include these topics in programming and content throughout the year, and this month serves as a chance to focus our efforts. We will celebrate throughout February with in-person and online events, staff-curated booklists and displays, and a collection of online resources and exhibits. Our largest event will be the Resilience Family Fest, a celebration of St. Augustine’s Black history and culture, featuring dance and musical performances, food trucks, historical re-enactments, pop-up exhibits, and arts and crafts activities. This community-wide partnership event is from Noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center, 1300 Duval St., St. Augustine

Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find a combination of programs designed to coincide with Black History Month and some of our existing series that will amplify Black stories and voices. Check out our Events Calendar to learn how you can celebrate Black History Month with us. 

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System