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Archive for February 5th, 2020

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Since the 1970s, the United States has dedicated the month of February to the observance of African American history. Chosen to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, February serves as an annual opportunity to recognize the struggles and achievements of black Americans. Cleveland State, Cleveland Public Library, and the City of Cleveland have a number of events planned this month:

  • On Saturday, February 8, Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and Cleveland native Jennifer Eberhardt, who wrote Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, will appear in conversation at 2:00 p.m. at Cleveland State University’s Berkman Hall Auditorium. The event is free but registration is encouraged. Follow the link for other events sponsored by the Cleveland Public Library this month.
  • Civil rights Attorney Ben Crump will be at Cleveland State University on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 2pm to discuss his new book Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. The event is free but registration is required.
  • Follow this link to view all City of Cleveland official Black History month events.

Highlighted here are some great resources related to Black History from HeinOnline:

  • Slavery in America and the World – all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world.
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set – The Serial Set is the official historical record of the U.S. government, including the pivotal period of the Civil War. The documents within record the words and actions of key players in the political life of the United States, and thus reflect the mindset of the era. From the landing page, perform a full-text search for keywords relating to the Civil War using relevant Boolean operators.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Landmark Cases – Separate but equal cases: Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education. Jim Crow Laws were state and local legislation that enforced racial segregation in public facilities, transportation, and schools. These laws were not challenged in court until the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1892; however, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of state-mandated segregation, provided it be “separate but equal.” This ruling was eventually overturned by Brown v. Board of Education. After argument from Thurgood Marshall (later the first African American Supreme Court Justice), the Court voted unanimously that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.” Segregated schools were determined to be “inherently unequal,” a decision that changed the course of U.S. education and black history.
  • U.S. Presidential Library – Public Papers of Barack Obama – Contains text of the first African-American President Barack Obama’s speeches, addresses, messages, and other documents.