Black History Month 2018

African Americans in Times of War

"We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice." --- Carter Woodson (on founding Negro History Week, 1926)


  • Central Library: Books On Tap: February 1 @ 7 pm at the Champion Brewing Company

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    Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
    When African-American lawyer Jay Porter jumps into the bayou to save a drowning white woman in Houston, Texas, in 1981, he finds his practice and life in danger when he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation involving Houston's elite.

  • Central Library: Brown Baggers Book Club: February 15 @ 12 pm

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    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.

  • Central Library: Intersectionality: February 15 @ 6 pm

    James Madison University psychology professor Dr. David Ford will explore the ways race, class and other social categories affect the LGBTQ community. This lecture, in collaboration with the Charlottesville Pride Community Network, is appropriate for all audiences, and all walks of life are encouraged to attend.

  • The Gordon Avenue Library: B'Twixt and B'Tween: February 21 @ 7 pm

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    Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney
    In 1936, three children, who are all dealing with loss, meet at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans in New York State. Grades 6 - 12

  • Central Library: Cental Film Series: February 22 @ 7 pm

    I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

    Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

  • Northside Library: February 20 @ 6pm

    Movie Night: 42

    Join local resident, Addison Hobbs, as he discusses his encounters with racism while playing semi-professional baseball from 1943-1957. Afterwards we will screen the motion picture 42: the powerful story of Jackie Robinson and his heroic breaking of Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Light refreshments will be served. This film is rated PG-13.

  • Central Library: CvilleStrong Discussion: Affordable Housing Saturday, February 24 @ 1 pm


    That World Is Gone
    Charlottesville has been trending since last August. This new discussion group will meet occasionally throughout the year to address the issues our community faces. The first discussion will center on the history of affordable housing in Charlottesville. A short film - That World Is Gone - and brief remarks by a panel will precede the discussion.

  • Crozet Library: A Night at the Movies: February 26 @ 6 pm

  • Northside Library: March 6 @ 6pm


    I'm Not Racist..Am I?
    (2014) *Begins at 6pm. Discussion to follow. The discussion will be led by trained facilitators and is in partnership with Beloved Community Cville. Ages 14+. What if this next generation could transcend racism? One year, 12 teens, on a remarkable journey to face racism and white privilege, and to have the conversations most of us are too afraid to have.

  • The Gordon Avenue Library: Book Batch Book Group: February 26 @ 7 pm

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    The Lions of Little Rock
    In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism. Grades 5-6.

  • Louisa County Library: Tuesday Evening Discussion Group: February 27, 7 pm

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    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.

  • Selection of Films at JMRL with Black History Themes

    • 42: The Jackie Robinson story
      42 tells the life story of Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.
    • Hidden Figures
      An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program.
    • Locked out: the fall of massive resistance
      The story of the tragedies and triumphs of the children of Virginia who found themselves on the front lines of a cultural war that desegregated Virginia's public schools and forever altered American history.
    • Flying for freedom: untold stories of the Tuskegee Airmen
      Recounts the story of how some of the best pilots, mechanics and servicement in the United States military during World War II had to fight a battle against discrimination at home in order to be able to fight the war abroad.
    • Eyes on the Prize
      The history of the Civil rights movement in America, from the days of the Mississipi bus boycott to 1980's. Narrator, Julian Bond.
    • Black wheels: history of blacks in NASCAR and other motor sports
      Showcasing the often overlooked achievements of African-Americans in motor sports, this groundbreaking program showcases Black influence from the invention of stock car racing in the 1920's through today.
    • Faubourg Tremé: the untold story of Black New Orleans
      Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. This film presents the area's mysterious and neglected past. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.
    • I'm Carolyn Parker: the good, the mad, and the beautiful
      The story of Carolyn Parker, who was the last person to leave her neighborhood as Hurricane Katrina approached and the first person to return to her flood devastated community.
    • Roots
      Chronicles a black man's search for his heritage and reveals an epic panorama of America's past. Based on the book by Alex Haley.
    • African American Lives
      A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this series uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace roots of several accomplished African Americans down through American history and back to Africa.
    • DuSable Museum of African American History
      This program tours the DuSable Museum of African-American History, and in the process illustrates the black experience in North America. Narrator, John Patrick.

    Selected Books

    AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIRSTS: a look at African Americans who achieved major firsts in such areas as journalism, entertainment, the military, history, and politics, noting the dates of each event.

    AMERICAN UPRISING: the untold story of America's largest slave revolt.

    ATLAS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY: text, maps, and illustrations introduce African cultures and trace African American history from the slave trade through the Civil War, emancipation, the early twentieth century, and the civil rights movement to the present..

    CARTER G. WOODSON: FATHER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY: the biography of the son of former slaves who received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard and devoted his life to bringing the achievements of his race to the world's attention.

    LIFE UPON THESE SHORES: chronicles the most important figures and events, both famous and overlooked, in African-American history.

    ON MY JOURNEY NOW: tells the story of Africans in America through the words of 46 spirituals.

    ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS: a revealing personal account by the legendary basketball star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, traces his childhood in Harlem, his professional career, and the pivotal influence of the Harlem Renaissance on black culture in the United States.

    1001 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY: A comprehensive and entertaining account of the most significant events, individuals, and social movements in African American history is presented in a concise, easy-to-read format.

    SISTER DAYS: a collection of meditations celebrates the stories and legacies of African American women who made a difference.

    VIRGINIA SHADE: an African American history of Falmouth, VA.

    Search for more information:

    African American Authors & Books from JMRL READS

    Books on Black History

    Books on African American History

    Books about Notable African Americans

    Books on the Civil Rights Movement

    Books on the Harlem Renaissance

    Selected resources on African American History from the YA Homework Help site

    Additional Resources:

    • African American Heritage in Virginia
      A Virginia Foundation for the Humanities webpage that explores the African American Heritage.
    • African American Historic Sites Database
      A Virginia Foundation for the Humanities initiative designed to encourage tourism to African American heritage sites and organizations in Virginia while increasing knowledge of the African-American experience.
    • The African-American Migration Experience
      Compiled by The New York Public Library and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Web site is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. Each migration is presented through five units and the site presents more than 16,500 pages of texts, 8,300 illustrations, and more than 60 maps.
    • The Africana Heritage Project: Researching African American Genealogy, History and Culture
      The mission of this project is to rediscover precious records that document the names and lives of slaves, freed persons and their descendants, and make that information available on this free, public access website.
    • Afro-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts
      Presents the information derived from a survey of the resources in Virginia repositories, describing the principal collections of interest to scholars concerned with the Afro-American experience.
    • Explorations in Black Leadership
      This site features a collection of interviews of leaders in the black community. Conducted chiefly by Julian Bond, national chairman of the NAACP and professor of history at the University of Virginia, these oral histories focus on issues of black leadership and the transformational role of the civil rights movement in America.
    • Freedman's Bureau - Virginia
      Established in the War Department by an act of March 3, 1865, the Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing and medicine. The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory.
    • The Geography of Slavery in Virginia
      This is a digital collection of advertisements for runaway and captured slaves and servants in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia newspapers. Building on the rich descriptions of individual slaves and servants in the ads, the project offers a personal, geographical and documentary context for the study of slavery in Virginia, from colonial times to the Civil War. One of the projects of the Virginia Center for Digital History.
    • Race and Place: An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South - Charlottesville, Virginia
      Race and Place is an archive about the racial segregation laws, or the 'Jim Crow' laws from the late 1880s until the mid-twentieth century. The focus of the collection is Charlottesville in Virginia. The archive contains photos, letters, two regional censuses and a flash map of the town of Charlottesville. This research effort is a collaborative project of the Virginia Center for Digital History and the Carter G. Woodson Institute of African and Afro-American Studies.
    • Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture
      Another project of the Virginia Center for Digital History. The funding for this site was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.