Since the 1970s, Black History Month has been celebrated throughout the month of February in North America. Pioneered by American historian Carter G. Woodson, February has been seen as a time to learn about and honor Black achievements and history – and in our case Black literature. The choice of month was made based on two important birthdays. The first is Frederick Douglass, a prominent human rights leader born in February of 1818. The second is former president Abraham Lincoln, who was born in February of 1809, and was the president to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which famously freed the slaves from Confederate states.
Diving Into Black Literature
It feels as though this year even more than others, Black History Month should be a time of learning for people the world over. It’s certainly a year of change, with the first female vice president ever in the United States being a woman of colour herself. At Fully Booked, we wanted to take this month to honor the countless contributions to literature from Black authors everywhere. We’re looking into recommendations, new releases and old classics.
The publication of a book of poetry by Phillis Wheatley in 1773 marked the first time that an African-American became a published author. Along with Wheatley, other slaves were able to later publish as well, mostly stories known as slave narratives, about their escape from slavery and freedom. Over the decades, a variety of novels and genres have been published earning international praise for authors like Richard Wright (Native Son), Alex Haley (Roots) and Toni Morrison (Beloved).
Black History Month Content
We’re definitely looking forward to jumping into our choices for Black History Month on the site. Whether you prefer an older text or a more contemporary narrative, there will be a little something available for all tastes! We hope that you’ll join us, and hopefully that you discover a new book or author to add to your tbr. If you’re interested in learning more about Black History Month or ae searching for resources feel free to check these sites out:
- Why is Black History Month in February?
- African American History Month
- History Channel: Black History Month