Black History Month: Read, learn and share
Published on February 01, 2023
Each February, Black History Month presents an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the African-American experience throughout our nation’s history. The City of Lakewood joins the federal government, state government and hundreds of public and private organizations in paying tribute to this important commemoration.
A key element of Lakewood's Community Dialogue on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is celebrating the diversity of cultures in our community.
On behalf of the Lakewood City Council, Mayor Steve Croft has issued a proclamation in recognition of Black History Month, available on this page.
Origins of Black History Month
Black History Month grew out of the work of Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African-Americans in the 1910s. Their organization, known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (or ASALH), is dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent.
The commemorative week that they initially created inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local festivities, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures that has since morphed into a month-long celebration.
Resources to learn more
The Los Angeles County Library has a special microsite commemorating Black History Month—chockfull of engaging content which includes a booklist sharing a range of voices that continue to tell the stories of African American struggle, history, art and love.
A streaming music playlist is available to explore artists old and new, and past virtual events are accessible, like a discussion on the legacy of Bruce’s Beach, an African-American resort in Manhattan Beach that was taken from its owners through eminent domain in 1924. In 2021, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to return the county land to the Bruce family.
Another wonderful offering of the L.A. County Library is the Black Resource Center (BRC), which supports research on social, historical and cultural aspects unique to the African American experience, including:
- In-depth reference services to specialized researchers and to the general public.
- Cultural awareness programs such as Juneteenth, Kwanzaa and Black History Month celebrations.
- Promotional materials and displays for programs and activities in support of African American heritage and multiculturalism.
- Community outreach and networking with other organizations and institutions.
The BRC is located within the A C Bilbrew Library; more information can be found at www.LACountyLibrary.org.
Here in Lakewood, adults visiting the Iacoboni Library can take home a special kit in February to explore the rich culinary traditions of Black Americans through two dishes. The kit (available while supplies last) contains a recipe card template, fabric potholder, fabric markers, and an information sheet with a link to a YouTube video featuring Crystal Hodges, Community Library Manager at Compton Library.