Monday, February 6, 2017

February is African American History Month

"Time begins the healing process of wounds cut deeply by oppression." - Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (center) riding at the front of a newly integrated bus following the 1956 Supreme Court decision outlawing racial segregation in public transportation. Don Cravens/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Rosa Parks is just one of the many African American people whose voice influenced significant changes in history. Rosa's story, her lived experience with oppression, and her refusal to live with such hatred and restrictions, literally changed the world for the better.

In writing about her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man back in 1955, Parks writes, "I had been pushed around all my life and felt at this moment that I couldn't take it any more" Again she wrote, "I want to feel the nearness of something secure. It is such a lonely, lost feeling that I am cut off from life. I am nothing, I belong nowhere and to no one" (Rosa Parks Papers). Oftentimes, it is through great desperation and a longing for a more free and just life, that change takes place. Our nation is undergoing significant changes today, and there are many voices crying out in desperation for much needed change.

The old adage states that if we, as a whole, cannot learn from our mistakes, history is doomed to repeat itself. Perhaps taking a moment to look back to one of the greatest changes to American history during the Civil Rights era can help us gain some useful perspective - perspective of where we were, what has happened, what has been sacrificed and lost, what should be celebrated and honored, and what we're still needing to overcome and improve.

Take some time this month to celebrate African American History Month by learning about the lives and events that brought about much needed change in history. Stream videos through the library's databases, check out some books from the library or search through online collections of journals and letters, like the letters written by Rosa Parks, using the links below.

Available at Holman Library, Main Collection
(779.9973 T531 2014 )

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