Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month at the library.

Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the rich and diverse history of African Americans. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Although we should recognize the achievements of African Americans all throughout the year, Black History Month provides a good opportunity to dedicate some time to learning something new.

  • Despite being the first licensed black pilot in the world, Bessie Coleman wasn’t recognized as a pioneer in aviation until after her death in 1926.

Books & DVDs

Dr. Eric Jackson, a professor of history and geography at Northern Kentucky University, suggests checking out the following books and DVDs in honor of Black History Month. Dr. Jackson will be leading a discussion on “The Meaning of Freedom: The Underground Railroad from a Regional and Local Perspective” at our Cold Spring Branch on Tuesday, Feb. 25.


Who Is the Black Panther? A Novel of the Marvel Universe by Jesse J. Holland (2017)

Jesse J. Holland retells the classic origin of T’Challa, the original Black Panther, and updates it for the new century, giving new fans some inside information for the Black Panther movie from Marvel Studios. The novel was recognized with a NAACP Image Award nomination for best fiction in 2019.


Northern Kentucky by Eric R. Jackson (2005)

Eric R. Jackson, in the pictorial history, notes that along the picturesque southern banks of the Ohio River, the African-American communities of Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties have provided laborers and entrepreneurs to aid in the economic growth of the region from the earliest settlements to today. In addition, he contends that despite numerous obstacles and against seemingly insurmountable odds, African Americans in Northern Kentucky made significant contributions in many fields, ranging from music, medicine and literature to performing arts, poetry, education and athletics.


Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement by Fergus M. Bordewich (2005)

Author Fergus Bordewich challenges the traditional images of the origins, development and impact of the Underground Railroad by telling the story of a biracial movement animated by moral outrage, religious fervor and radical politics. Bordewich uses little-known archives to tell his story about the first Civil Rights/Human Rights movement in the history of the United States.


Becoming by Michelle Obama (2018)

In this powerful and inspirational volume, former first lady Michelle Obama, the first African American to serve in that role, crafts a book that illustrates how she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the world.


Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper (2006)

Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for Copper Sun. She also lives in Cincinnati, where she taught high school English for 25 years and was named National Teacher of the Year in 1997. More specifically, in Copper Sun, she addresses issues of the African slave trade, enslavement and freedom



Red Tails

This film (released in 2012) examines a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II known as the Tuskegee Airmen. More specifically, the film looks at the discrimination and racism these individuals faced both inside and outside the military.



This 2013 film examines the integration of Major League Baseball by Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, who wore the number “42” on his uniform for the Brooklyn Dodgers and subsequently the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also important is that the film’s major focus is only on a two-year period in Robinson’s life.


Black Magic

This 2008 ESPN television movie profiles several famous and little- known African American basketball players and coaches who helped change the game and some of the societal forces both inside and outside the college and professional sport. Also important is that this television movie’s initial focus is on the game of basketball in the Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).


Black Panther

This 2018 film is based on a Marvel Comics character of the same name, which first appeared in comic book form during the 1960s, and coincided with the changes in the Modern Civil Rights Movement. In the film Black Panther, T’Challa, the main character, is crowned King of Wakanda following his father’s death, but his sovereignty is challenged by an adversary who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution.

Tell Them We Are Rising

This 2017 PBS television movie/documentary examines the origins and development of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


The Help

This 2011 film is an inspirational story about several courageous women during the 1960s South who built an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks down the harsh racial barriers of the town and region. Specifically, the story focuses on a local white author’s relationship with two African American maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, during the Civil Rights Movement in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi and their relationship with larger racial prejudice and racist society.



Adventure Club: Super Hero Party
Monday, Feb. 17, 4 – 4:45 pm
Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch
Grades 1 – 5

The Meaning of Freedom: The Underground Railroad from a Regional and Local Perspective
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Cold Spring Branch
Registration Required

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