Black History Month 2023

By Sarah Yurch | January 18 2023 | FictionNonfictionDiversity

Since 1976, Black History Month has been observed every February, but its origins date back half a century before its observance was formally established. In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), designated the second week of February—the week encompassing the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln—as “Negro History Week.”

While the study and celebration of Black history were never confined to a single week, it wasn’t until the bicentennial in 1976 that Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government. In his address, President Gerald Ford called on Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The theme for Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance. The ASALH notes that this year’s theme comes at a time when books are being banned and challenged at the highest rate in decades, and states are outlawing the teaching of history because it is seen as “divisive” or “uncomfortable.” The recognition of Black Resistance acknowledges the ways in which Black Americans have fought against and refused to comply with oppression and racial terrorism both collectively and as individuals.

See below for some of our titles that celebrate Black Resistance, or click here for a full list of titles in observance of Black History Month.

The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story
A dramatic expansion of one of the definitive journalistic events ofrecent years: The 1619 Project, The New York Times Magazine'saward-winning reframing of the American founding and itscontemporary echoes, placing slavery and resistance at the center of the American story.
$38.00 US
Nov 16, 2021
One World
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURYIn the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America. Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
$9.99 US
Oct 12, 1987
Mass Market Paperback
Ballantine Books
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Sister Outsider
Essays and Speeches
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. “[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”—The New York Times In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to “never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is . . . ”
$17.99 US
Aug 01, 2007
Crossing Press
US, Canada, Open Mkt

You Are Your Best Thing
Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
Tarana Burke and Dr. Brené Brown bring together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures to discuss the topics the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching - vulnerability and shame resilience. Contributions by Kiese Laymon, Imani Perry, Laverne Cox, Jason Reynolds, Austin Channing Brown, and more.
$27.00 US
Apr 27, 2021
Random House
US, Canada, Open Mkt